You can plan every detail, map out activities and locations, but the truth is, anything can happen while you are traveling. A sudden accident, property theft or lost luggage can turn a dream vacation into a nightmare. Proper travel insurance protects you and your property. It can cover cancellations, flight delays, property damage, lost luggage and most importantly medical costs. It also provides peace of mind.
This is a breakdown of average insurance costs compared to the costs if you do not have insurance. (figures from consumer affairs website.)
round trip flight
non-refundable ski lift tickets
flight cancellation fees
non refundable train tickets
non refundable guided tour
additional hotel fees
flight change fees
taxi from airport to hotel
cost of meals during delay
When deciding for a travel insurance provider, you need to consider the types of coverage and services available. Then see how they fit your needs and if the plan overlaps with any existing coverage. Will you require supplemental medical? Evacuation insurance? Or do you just need property protection? Bellow are some of the items to review prior to acquiring any supplemental plans.
Here is my list of top five travel insurance providers. I picked these based on my experience and their reputations. All tend to be on top of most customer and industry reviews. All appear on either Frommers.com and or Consumer Advocates.com Top Insurers list for the last year. My personal choice is World Nomads but I usually get at least one other quote from the other four providers and compare the results.
At the start of my photography career I had the opportunity to shoot the Everglades in Florida. I had spent the day in the Sea of Grass photographing the alligators. In the late afternoon I found my spot. On a slim walkway above the swamp I waited for the setting sun. My camera was mounted on a new lightweight travel tripod I was testing, when for no apparent reason, I heard a quiet "click" as the mount to the camera failed. The click was followed by a splash which exploded like a stick of dynamite in the silent everglades. Every bird took off in a panic. All the alligators panicked and performed death rolls. I hopelessly watched the bubbles rise from the murky water beside the tripod. I suspect that my Canon 5d Mark II and a 400mm lens still rest on the bottom of that swamp. Although I had a travel insurance, my property loss was limited to $250. That amount covered the UV lifter and the strap; the rest was a rather expensive lesson in buying the proper insurance. Also for verifying weight capacities on tripods.
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