Consider buying travel insurance for your trip

This was originally published on Monday, September 3, 2018, in the Pacific Daily News.  Click here to subscribe to the PDN. 

Recently, one of my employees educated me on the benefits of travel insurance. Her granddaughter fractured her foot while traveling. Luckily, the group with which they were traveling purchased insurance prior to the trip and that policy covered all associated medical costs.

After speaking with my employee, I reached out to Narcissa Rosario, regional production manager at Moylan’s Insurance, where the group purchased the insurance, for more information. Narcissa was very helpful in providing insights, which I’d like to share with you.

If you’re planning a trip, you may want to consider purchasing insurance. Most major credit cards may provide limited coverage for accidental occurrences, but what they don’t cover may leave you vulnerable.

Travel insurance can help with unforeseen events — a medical emergency, car accident and even fees associated with canceling your trip. Travel insurance is intended to provide financial protection for unexpected events.

What to consider

When deciding if you need insurance, take a few of these questions into consideration:

  • Will you be traveling to a foreign country?
  • Will you be partaking in adventure sports (skiing, whitewater rafting, etc.)?
  • Can you afford the costs of canceling or delaying your trip?
  • Can you afford the cost of an early return flight back home?

When deciding if you need travel insurance, go through every scenario you can think of that could turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.

Travel insurance comes in different policies. The main ones are medical coverage or trip cancellation. But you can also get coverage for lost luggage and even rental car coverage.

Premiums are usually 5 percent to 10 percent of the cost of the trip. For example, if your trip to the Philippines is $3,000, you may pay between $150 to $300. Considering the cost of fees if you get sick or must cancel your trip, that’s relatively inexpensive.

Talk with insurance companies

Before deciding what type of insurance you may need, check with your insurance companies.

Talk to your health insurance to see if you are covered in that country, if have to go to a certain provider and what to do in a medical emergency. Talk with your auto insurance company to see if it covers you and your passengers when you rent a vehicle, or if they have a contract or agreement with car rental companies where you’re traveling and what type of occurrences will they cover. Some homeowner’s insurance will cover stolen items while you are traveling.

Some credit cards will cover some form of insurance. But they may have strict policies regarding what they will and won’t reimburse. Most credit cards won’t cover medical care abroad. They may also cover only the portion of your trip you purchased with the card. If you used reward points, they may not cover anything. Call to understand exactly what they will cover.

 

Michael Camacho is president and chief executive officer of Personal Finance Center. He has more than 24 years of experience in retail banking and at financial institutions in Guam and Hawaii. If there is a topic you’d like Michael to cover, please email him at moneymattersguam@yahoo.com and read past columns at the Money Matters blog at www.moneymattersguam.wordpress.com.

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