I bet you are asking yourself: Why do I need travel insurance when I’m traveling in the United States? Maybe you thought travel insurance was just for overseas trips.
Honestly, you may not need to insure every trip within the continental United States. If you’re taking a 2-hour drive to your family beach house, you are probably not worried about trip delays due to weather or losing a bag along the way. Some trips just don’t call for travel insurance.
A travel insurance plan may be beneficial any time you travel more than 100 miles away from home AND have a travel investment you’d like to protect. Many benefits would be useful even if you aren’t traveling internationally. Why 100 miles? Some plans only provide coverage for trips that are a specific distance away from your home - this requirement varies by plan, so check out the plan certificate if your destination is fewer than 200 miles away from your residence.
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption
The benefits of trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage should not be ignored. The covered reasons for canceling a trip can range from severe weather that renders your accommodations uninhabitable, to unforeseen illness or injury of a traveler or non-traveling family member. These same circumstances may cause you to need to end your trip early and return home. Trip interruption coverage can make that process less stressful. Even if you’re only flying to another part of the country, these mishaps can affect your trip. Travel insurance can reimburse your pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unforeseen reasons covered within the plan.
Cancel for Any Reason Gives You the Most Flexibility
Think you may need to cancel for a reason not covered in your plan? You should consider a plan that allows you to add optional Cancel for Any Reason coverage. This benefit gives you the flexibility to cancel for for any reason at all up to 48 hours before the trip. This benefit reimburses up to 75% of your pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost, is time-sensitive and, depending on the plan, the benefit must be purchased within 10-21 days after your first trip payment. This type of coverage is something that must be considered nearly immediately upon booking any part of a trip. All pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs must be insured to be eligible for this benefit.
If you are traveling with one or two stops along the way, it’s very possible your luggage won’t make it to your destination at the same time as you. Comprehensive travel insurance plans include baggage delay benefits if your luggage is delayed over a specific number of hours. This allows you to purchase the essentials when you arrive at your destination and submit a claim for reimbursement when you return. Hint: Save all your receipts, as these are essential for filing a successful claim!
Emergency Medical Coverage
Even when traveling domestically, we recommend contacting your health insurance company while you’re planning your trip to determine if you are covered in the location to which you are traveling to avoid surprises. Emergency medical coverage in a comprehensive travel insurance plan often acts as secondary health insurance. In many cases, you must file any emergency medical claim with your health insurance first.If this claim is denied, then you can file a claim with the travel insurance company for reimbursement for medical emergencies covered by your plan.
Cruise Specific Coverage
Some comprehensive plans will provide different coverage more specific for cruises, such as missed connection coverage if you should miss the initial departure of your cruise ship due to a covered reason. Travel insurance may offer reimbursement, up to the plan limit, for the additional cost it takes to meet up with your cruise.
For example, if you are cruising through the Hawaiian Islands and a covered flight delay causes you to miss the cruise departure, you may be able to book a puddle jumper to get you to the next island to meet your cruise and then file for reimbursement of the extra expense. Also, if your excursions are pre-paid and non-refundable before departure, you may be entitled to a limited compensation if your cruise itinerary is changed after departure by the cruise line and you are not able to participate in the activity at all.