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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Should you buy travel insurance for your next trip?

Alisha McDarris




Ah, travel insurance. We've all heard it's a "must-have" for travels of all kinds, domestic to international, short jaunts across state lines to lengthy sojourns in a foreign land. But what is it, really? And what the heck does it actually cover? I'm gonna be honest with you: I've never bought travel insurance (I do like to live on the edge, don't I?), so I wasn't really sure myself. Fortunately for you (and me, I guess), I ran into Brandon Hughbanks, a travel insurance agent from Travel Insurance Center, and asked some questions to get the low down. So here's one for all of us: when to buy travel insurance so your whole trip isn't a wash if something goes wrong.

Terradrift: Tell me a bit about you. Where are you from? How’d you get into travel insurance sales? 

Brandon: I am from a small town in Iowa outside of Omaha Nebraska. My Uncle-In-Law thought I would be a good fit to sell travel insurance so he brought me into the business. 

Sometimes it's who you know, am I right? Do you travel often yourself or have a favorite destination? 

I don't travel a lot. I have an 11-year-old son, so we get to do the summer road trip thing. So far, Deadwood South Dakota and the Black Hills are my favorite places.

Ooh, I haven't been to South Dakota since I was a kid! Time to hit it up again! When you travel, do you use travel insurance? 

For domestic trips I use it more for the trip cancellation. International trips, yes, as most medical plans don’t cover you outside of the US. So at least protect yourself from yourself!

Honesty time: we went without insurance for nine months when we lived in Australia. Terrible idea in a country where everything is trying to kill you. But that's beside the point! What exactly does travel insurance cover, anyway? 

Trip cancellations and interruptions, for one. Say mom gets sick right before your trip and needs your help and you decide to cancel your trip. You get your trip investment back (flights, bookings, etc.). There's also coverage for baggage loss and delay, travel delays (like Icelandic Volcanoes that erupt and stop all travel between the US and Europe for a week), medical coverage (in case you get sick or injured while on a trip), emergency medical evacuation (in case the doctors or hospitals don’t know what they are doing and you need to be sent somewhere else for treatment or back home).

So...everything. Is there anything it doesn't cover? 

Stupidity…Actually, travel insurance can cover that too: Cancel For Any Reason coverage is available if you purchase the insurance within 14-21 days of making the initial deposit or payment for the trip. The key thing to look at on the policy before you purchase is the exclusions section. You see something in there that applies to you? That may not be the policy for you.

I imagine that often includes dangerous activities like base jumping and playing hopscotch in a minefield? So how much does travel insurance cost? 

That just depends on the ages of the travelers and the trip cost. Most people up to age 70 could pay between 5% and 7% of the trip cost.

That's less than sales tax in most states. That doesn't seem too bad. Should I use travel insurance every time I travel? Are there any occasions when it’s not really that beneficial to spend the extra cash? 

That depends on everyone’s individual situations. Best thing to do is call a professional (ie. ME!). We can discuss the situation and see if we need to cover it. 

Makes sense! Tell me a story. About travel insurance, obviously. Have you heard any stories from customers about how travel insurance saved their trip? Or how not having it wrecked everything? 

We had a client on a cruise ship get injured by a deck chair and break a hip. She was taken off the ship to a hospital, had her hip fixed, and was evacuated home and the insurance covered the whole thing. She didn’t spend a dime. Her policy was less than $100.

Dang! Where’s the best place to get travel insurance, generally? Can’t you just get it online? What’s the benefit of booking with you or another agent personally? 

There are so many options for travel insurance out there that if you spent the time to do your research, it would take weeks to find the best plan. The best way to find the right policy is to give me a call or shoot me an email. your travel insurance policy will be the same price either way. I will help you narrow down the options and find the best plan at the best price.

Thanks Brandon! If we did want to get ourselves and our travels covered, how should we get in touch?

Check us out at www.TravelInsuranceCenter.com, then email or call me at bhughbanks@travelinsurancecenter.com or 1-866-979-6753 Ext. 3636 or direct at 402-343-3636.

                travel insurance center


There you have it. Travel insurance demystified. Who knew it could be so straightforward? (Not us, obviously.) Want to protect yourself before you buy that next plane ticket? Now you know how. Fear not and wander on!

Alisha McDarris / Author & Editor

Alisha is a freelance writer and photographer based in Austin, TX. She loves her tiny house, vegan food and experiencing the community of travel in far away places. She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. [Portfolio]

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