Tickets? Check. Hotel reservations? Check. Hot new bikini to show off your post-wedding bod? Check. It seems you’ve got everything set for your honeymoon, but you may be forgetting one small but crucial item in the rush of honeymoon and wedding planning—travel insurance. Here’s the lowdown.
Protect your assets
Like your wedding, honeymoons are special—and expensive—purchases, and travel insurance protects your investment. “If an illness, accident or other unforeseen circumstance forces travelers to cancel or interrupt their plans, they face two major financial losses,” says Dan McGinnity, vice president of AIG Travel Guard, a travel insurance provider. “One is the money invested in nonrefundable prepayments and the other is the medical expenses that are often not covered by health insurance.” Travel insurance can protect against those hindrances, including delayed flights, lost luggage and medical emergencies. Some policies also recoup your money if your airline folds.
Lost and found
Experts cite a more than 70% increase in delayed or lost-baggage incidents in the past year. And while most airlines compensate for lost and delayed luggage, the payout is a set and uniform sum—generally less than $200. (To add insult to injury, many airlines require that you appear in person at the airport to receive payment for delayed baggage.) With insurance you’re more likely to receive compensation for lost, delayed and damaged bags based on your needs. Bonus: many plans protect against theft.
Call it global warming or the El Niño effect, there’s definitely something in the air. Record-breaking weather patterns have been wreaking havoc on popular honeymoon destinations around the world. If your transportation arrangements or accommodations are directly affected by severe weather, your premium can provide reimbursement for prepaid, nonrefundable expenses. And in the case of evacuation, additional travel expenses can be covered. In order to be reimbursed for losses, you must purchase travel insurance before severe weather is forecasted or predicted.
In sickness and in health
All the stress and excitement of wedding planning can affect your immune system. Factor in some different foods and water and you just may come down with something. Fortunately, travel insurance will cover your medical expenses and—if necessary—your trip home. Plus, your plan can refund your money for unused hotel stays that you already paid for. The same is true if you have an accident and need medical assistance. Transportation (like air lifts and ambulance rides) is often covered, as are medical procedures and medication that your usual health plan may not include. And while most standard travel policies exclude emergencies occurring while partaking in extreme sports like hang gliding and bungee jumping, McGinnity notes that Travel Guard’s new My Travel Guard product is one of the first active plans.
On time arrival
Experts suggest buying travel insurance at the same time you book your vacation. Most major travel sites offer it as part of the package. You can also get a plan separately and as late as the day before departure. (Get recommendations at user sites like igougo.com). But keep in mind that “most policies include additional coverage if purchased within 15 days of the initial trip deposit date,” says McGinnity. While most of these plans are valid for a single trip, frequent fliers can opt for an annual policy.
The bottom line
Generally speaking, travel insurance plans don’t have premiums or deductibles. And the average cost is $50 per person per vacation. Not having to forgo your honeymoon due to unforeseen complications—priceless.