Sunscreen. Bathing Suits. Hand Sanitizer? Packing for a tropical vacation – or any vacation these days – has certainly changed since the start of the COVID-19 health crisis. While things like clothing, shoes, and toiletries once topped the packing list, the go-to essentials for today’s travelers are very different, thanks to the global pandemic. In addition to hand sanitizer, face masks and COVID-19 test kits have become must-haves in a traveler’s suitcase.
As people continue to end isolation and emerge from their homes following two years of restrictions and lockdowns, they’re looking to get out and about and make those bucket list travel plans a reality. With COVID-19 still very much a factor, insurance industry experts are cautioning jetsetters to make sure they protect their vacation investment with the right type of travel insurance.
“Travelers still need to do their research on any COVID mandates still in place,” says Patrick Long, President and CEO of BayCoast Insurance. “Some destinations require negative testing, have vaccination status requirements, or other international travel restrictions. It’s more important than ever to do your research. Travelers should still be prepared to quarantine for 14 days once arriving at a destination, as this mandate is still in place in certain locations.”
And then there’s this to consider – what happens if you or your family become sick during your vacation? What rules are you expected to follow before returning home? If you get stuck in quarantine in a foreign country, could you even afford the added expense? It’s this type of unplanned situation that could turn anyone’s trip to paradise, into a nightmare.
So what can a traveler do? Experts say, take precautions and be prepared.
“Knowledge is power. Review any travel restrictions that may impact your trip by visiting the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites. Information may also be found on the websites for the state or country you’re traveling to as well, Long adds.
Insurance professionals offer three tips to consider before traveling:
- Proactively discuss travel plans with a travel expert. Collect as much information as possible about your vacation destination. Learn more about where you are going, the best way to get there, the hotel you plan to book and even the activities you’d like to try while on vacation.
- Protect against cancellations. If there’s one thing we’ve learned with COVID-19, is that you should expect the unexpected. Changes can happen at a moment’s notice. Because of the ever-changing travel landscape and guidelines that vary between states and countries, travel insurance may be an option to consider. For a nominal premium, travel insurance may help you rest easy, if you’re forced to cancel or delay your dream vacation.
- Tailored Coverages are available. Keep in mind that coverages can vary between insurance carriers, so when shopping around for travel insurance, be sure you know your specific needs so you can choose the best policy for your lifestyle.
What are some types of insurance coverages you may want to consider before you travel?
- Cancel For Any Reason endorsement. This endorsement typically gives travelers the most flexibility to recoup a portion of their expenses if they are forced to cancel their vacation for any reason, except for those explicitly excluded in their policies. Be sure you understand the specific rules of your policy when opting for this type of coverage.
- Trip Delay Coverage. This coverage may offer reimbursement for a scheduled trip that is delayed or interrupted due to an event that arises that is beyond your control. Based on the specific policy, travelers may be able to obtain refunds for hotel expenses, food and possibly airfare costs if their flight is impacted.
- Travel Medical Coverages. It’s something you hope will never happen. But if you’re on vacation and become ill, you’ll want to be prepared, especially for medical expenses that may not be covered by your current health insurance. Another consideration – if COVID-19 is a concern for you, make sure the travel policy you choose offers medical coverage for pandemics. You’ll also want to be sure you’re covered for emergencies, various other illnesses and even pre-existing conditions, just to be sure you’re covered.
Talk to your Partner’s Insurance Group representative today to find out which insurance coverages will work best for your unique travel situation. BayCoast Insurance is committed to helping provide you with the best customer service possible. For more information about travel insurance, or any other insurance questions you may have, please call 508-491-3100. Click here to learn more about travel insurance.