Each time we book travel we are tasked with answering “yes” or “no” when it comes to protecting our trip with travel insurance, and I would be willing to bet that more people are exactly the way I used to be with the “nah nothing will happen” attitude when the decision is placed in front of us. To be fair, I have had more good than bad experiences without travel insurance but I will not travel without it now. I have put myself in too many situations where there was absolutely nothing I could do but pay out of pocket – and to think, for most of these trips I could have been protected for under a measly $50 dollars. So what is it that makes us take the risk when saying “no” to travel insurance? I haven’t come to an exact answer yet because 1. it isn’t expensive 2. you are protecting your trip that you just paid for – there is an assumption that if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect your travel (amiright?) and 3. you are taking a risk at so many unknown factors and outcomes that could disrupt or even ruin your trip. Traveling without travel insurance after everything I have been through is no longer an option. Allianz Travel Insurance is the one thing I always know I have now because I purchased an annual plan and it only cost me $125 (price varies)! Just thinking about the sheer amount of money I have lost by not having it is 40 times that.
Here are 5 times that purchasing travel insurance could have helped me.
- The time the airline lost my luggage in Ireland .. in JANUARY .. and I did not have any warm clothes on me or get my luggage back for 3 days! This of course was at the height of the Euro and I had to pay cash out of my own pocket for clothes each day hoping my luggage would come back. Had I purchased travel insurance I would have been covered up to $1,000 for clothing allotment until my luggage was returned.
- The time I booked a cruise and just 2 weeks before sailing I fell incredibly ill and was hospitalized on both coasts of the U.S. Now my illness did not qualify under travel insurance (but my health insurance did) and I lost the full amount paid of the cruise because I was too sick to go. Over $2,700 I could have had returned to me to re-book another trip at a later date when I was feeling better because travel insurance would have covered this under emergency medical.
- The 27 hour flight delay returning from Asia. I don’t know how this even happens – but when you are flying half way around the world and stopping in multiple airports and really just want to sleep, learning that you have a flight delay of more than a days time can be disheartening. Sure, airport lounges can be great in transit – – but not for 27 hours. At this point you have to make the decision to leave the airport and get a hotel. If I had travel insurance I could have been covered by the trip delay (if it is longer than 6 hours) and had my hotel and meals covered.
- The pesky fall down the stairs in Paris and the French doctor who had to come to my hotel and barely spoke a lick of English. Now there was a medical emergency that cost me a pretty penny. I didn’t break anything but it put me out of commission a lot for the next 5 days of my trip. Walking was very painful and my back end and right leg were black with bruises. If I had travel insurance I could have had the doctor visit covered, a translator (one of the many services Allianz’s assistance service covers) and could have gone home since it disrupted my trip – I should not have continued on but I did because 1. I didn’t want to lose the trip and 2. I did not want to buy a plane ticket in addition to the money I had already spent on the trip.
- The time my rental car was broken into and damaged in Hawaii. Who could have known that 20 seconds after walking away from my car rental at a public beach that someone would drive up and smash the window while taking my belongings? What came next was even worse .. all of the hassle with the car company and not being able to enjoy my vacation. I had no money, no I.D. no credit card or access to one, bathing suit stolen, prescription goggles, and the hassle of the car company demanding payment upfront to put me into a new car (when I had no money). In the months that followed that car company wanted several thousand dollars for having their car out for repair on the window and it was just an unnecessary situation that could have been avoided. If I had travel insurance I could have had the car taken care of, my clothing replaced and the lack of hassle I received from the car company while in Hawaii and for months to come when I left.
So you see – I have lost a lot of time and money just by not having travel insurance to protect me in case situations like these arise. Don’t make the costly mistakes that I have and make sure to protect your travel – after all, travel is an investment on you and your education around the globe.
*Dislaimer: this post is written in collaboration with Allianz Travel Insurance. As always, opinions are entirely my own.