Guide to Annual Travel Insurance Plans

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When sailing, do you usually take out travel insurance?

Travel insurance is one of those cruise topics that no one wants to think about or talk about. It’s certainly not fun to imagine everything that could go wrong on your long-awaited cruise. Vacations are meant to be relaxing and rejuvenating, after all!

But having travel insurance is extremely important. Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical emergencies, trip interruptions, trip cancellations, lost luggage, rental car damage, delayed luggage, theft or accident. other accidents you encounter during your trip.

The most important travel insurance coverage when you are on vacation is emergency medical coverage. Your typical health insurance probably won’t cover (or fully cover) the kind of medical care you might need while abroad or on a cruise ship.

Travel insurance can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the worst case scenario.

Think about it – if your appendix bursts while you’re in the middle of the ocean on a cruise, you’ll need medical evacuation. A helicopter evacuation from a cruise ship can easily cost $100,000 or more, not to mention other means of transportation home.

It goes without saying that everyone should have travel insurance, especially on cruises.

For those who travel several times a year, it can be very wise to invest in annual travel insurance.

How it works?

Annual travel insurance plans allow travelers to purchase one policy that provides coverage for multiple trips throughout a year. Essentially, this means that every qualifying trip taken within 365 days of plan activation will be covered.

Instead of buying separate policies for each trip, it can often make more sense to buy an annual travel insurance policy instead. Not only is it more convenient, but it’s also often more affordable.

If you’re like me, you love to go on cruises and might even go several times a year. I also travel internationally quite often, so it makes sense for me to have a global policy that applies to all my travels.

I love not having to worry about what would happen if I had an accident or needed medical attention while traveling. Peace of mind alone is worth it to me. Again, vacations are meant to be relaxing – so knowing I’m covered for the worst case scenarios really helps me enjoy my vacation to the fullest.

While we hate to think our vacation is going badly, it’s very important to protect yourself.

Is an annual plan cheaper?

When you spend thousands of dollars on an upcoming cruise or vacation, you would hate to see that investment wasted due to some unforeseen event.

For those who travel several times a year, having annual travel insurance is the best option. If you take more than 2 or 3 trips per year, a policy that covers you annually will make more sense than buying travel insurance policies individually.

The cost of travel insurance, in general, is very affordable. Even some of the premium single-trip plans won’t cost more than 5-6% of what you paid for your trip.

On the other hand, annual policies start from just $125. Some of the most covered plans can cost around $600, but the price is entirely dependent on the level of coverage you select.

There is normally a maximum number of days per trip that will be covered. For example, you can take as many trips as you want during the year, but each trip must be less than 45 days (or as defined in your policy).

What type of travel is generally covered?

One of the best benefits of having annual travel insurance means ALL of your trips away from home will be covered.

Of course, that 2-week globetrotting trip to Europe is something you’d consider taking out an insurance policy for. Normally, people think that they only need travel insurance if they have spent a lot of money on vacation. As we know more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, so many things can unexpectedly go wrong when you travel, no matter where you travel.

Although annual travel insurance covers all your big trips, think about the times you made the last-minute decision to fly to a wedding. Or consider the condo you rented a few hours away for a wonderful weekend getaway. Maybe you jumped on the train to surprise a good friend who was visiting town.

All of these cases are also covered by an annual travel policy, although you probably wouldn’t have purchased an individual policy. Most policies require you to be at least 100 miles from home for your policy to take effect; thus, as long as you are outside this minimum range, you will be covered.

Who really needs coverage?

I admit I’ve done a ton of trips without having travel insurance. I know I was lucky because I never had a big disaster, medical emergency or major accident while traveling.

But I’ve heard enough horror stories about travel hassles and huge ER bills to change my mind. The pandemic has also changed my perspective on whether or not travel insurance is really necessary.

While we believe everyone could benefit from travel insurance, some specific travelers would benefit the most from an annual travel insurance plan.

For starters, older travelers are more susceptible to medical emergencies, so it makes sense for these travelers to invest in a good travel insurance plan.

Unlike individual travel policies, the cost of an annual travel policy does not change based on the traveler’s age. This makes an annual travel plan so affordable for older travelers – you’ll pay the same cost of insurance at age 75 as a 27-year-old.

Additionally, spontaneous travelers would greatly benefit from an annual travel insurance policy. While it’s good to snag a great last-minute cruise deal, you might not have much flexibility when it comes to cancellation options. As soon as you book your trip, you get coverage that comes into effect.

It’s hard to know exactly how many trips you’ll make in a year. As a military spouse myself, it’s very rare that we know where and when we plan to travel; therefore, we mostly choose last-minute trips to accommodate my husband’s ever-changing schedule. For this reason, having an annual travel policy works perfectly with our travel style.

Budget travelers could also benefit from investing in an annual travel plan. If you’re careful with your vacation spending, the small investment to protect your hard-earned vacation should be a priority.

What is covered when it comes to cruising?

When it comes to cruising, your biggest concern should be an onboard medical emergency. Although all cruise ships are equipped with medical facilities and qualified doctors to take care of you, the cost is generally your responsibility. Even your normal health insurance would probably not cover the care you receive on board.

As mentioned earlier, medical evacuations are also extremely expensive from cruise ships. While you’ll probably never need this coverage, in the event that you do need it, you’ll owe hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the event of a medical emergency on board or if you need to be evacuated from your cruise ship, you may be covered by annual travel insurance.

Those going to the cruise port will also be covered for delayed baggage, which can be a huge hassle for cruise passengers. If your luggage does not arrive in time for your cruise departure, you may need to purchase the necessary items to take on board. Baggage delay coverage would reimburse these reimbursable costs.

Although the pandemic has triggered additional booking flexibility for cruises, it appears cruise lines are phasing out their flexible cancellation policies. With an annual travel insurance plan, you can be reimbursed for non-refundable travel expenses if you have to cancel or cut short your scheduled cruise (provided it’s a covered reason).

Some annual travel insurance plans now even include epidemic coverage, meaning you’ll have some protection if your trip is affected due to COVID-19 (or other epidemics). This is a great bonus for coverage, as we all know how extremely sick travel can be.

Many companies offer annual travel insurance plans, so be sure to research exactly what is covered before purchasing a plan.

What else is covered?

Although cruising is my favorite way to travel, I also enjoy traveling outside of cruising. In this case, you will receive additional travel benefits through an annual travel policy.

Here is a list of all the coverages you can get under an annual travel insurance plan:

  • Emergency medical benefits
  • Emergency transportation benefits
  • Benefits for travel delays
  • Rental car damage/theft benefits
  • Baggage delay/loss/damage cover
  • Trip cancellation benefits
  • Trip interruption benefits
  • Modify cost coverage
  • Coverage of professional equipment
  • Loyalty program deposit fee coverage
  • Travel accident benefits
  • Access to a 24-hour hotline in case of emergency
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