August 24, 2012

My Travel Insurance Story

I always recommend travel insurance to my clients, mainly to cover nonrefundable expenses or penalties should they have to cancel or cut short a trip. But many travelers don’t realize that this insurance provides other benefits as well, such as coverage for medical expenses or medical evacuation. There’s even a 24 hr customer support line for emergencies like a lost or stolen passport, or last minute changes to travel plans.

I buy travel insurance for almost every trip I take, including this summer’s vacation to Oahu. Fortunately I didn’t need to cancel or change our plans, but my Travel Guard insurance policy turned out to be beneficial anyway.

On our second day enjoying the beautiful beach at Disney’s Aulani Resort, my husband went swimming with his iPhone in his pocket. Which did not have a waterproof case. So we quickly added one more excursion to our list: a trip to the AT&T store for a new phone. Fortunately he had the phone long enough that he was eligible for an upgrade rather than having to pay full price. But it was still an expense we hadn’t planned for.

When we got home, I remembered we had the insurance policy and looked up baggage loss. It said cell phones & other electronics were covered for up to $150 per device. And there were no restrictions for being careless, clumsy-minded, or simply having a middle-aged moment!

I just had to send in some paperwork: a summary of what happened, a diagnostic report from AT&T saying phone was dead, an estimate to replace it, and a ‘denial of coverage’ letter from our homeowner's insurance (since the baggage portion of travel insurance is secondary coverage).

A few weeks later, I received a check for $149, which more than reimbursed us for the $113 we spent on our Travel Guard policy.

I have to mention that later on the trip, my son ALSO went swimming with his phone. Since it wasn't a smartphone, AT&T gave us a new one for free in appreciation for our customer loyalty, so we didn’t submit a claim. However we could have received up to $150 towards a new phone for him as well, since the policy covered up to $1000 for baggage loss. That also included things like lost, damaged, or stolen items, as long as the appropriate reports have been filed with the police, the airline, etc.

As you can see, even one little incident like this can make a travel insurance policy worthwhile. I have to admit, it’s more likely that my family will dump a beach bag filled with electronic gadgets off a boat than cancel a trip last minute. But since insurance policies are so reasonably priced, that alone makes it worthwhile. And the peace of mind that comes from knowing thousands of dollars of travel expenses are also protected is priceless.

If you have questions about travel insurance, please contact me at suzette@family-treks.com.  I can assist you with selecting the right policy for your needs, no matter how you've made your travel plans.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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