Something goes wrong and you have to return home—it’s the last thing you want to deal with when you’re on a much-anticipated vacation or cruise. This “something” can be anything from an illness or death in your family to your own or a traveling companion’s health emergency. But, whatever the case, it means that your vacation must come to a disappointing—and sometimes screeching—halt.
To address these situations, most travel insurance policies offer trip interruption coverage that pays both for your transportation home and for the non-reimbursable penalty costs of the rest of your trip. Sometimes, this can be quite a significant amount. Imagine that you are on the second day of a 10-day Caribbean cruise. You receive news that an elderly parent is seriously ill and that you need to get home ASAP. But the cost of your cruise is not reimbursable; you basically lose your entire investment. And the cost of getting immediate transportation home can also be extremely high. In cases such as this, trip interruption coverage is quite valuable.
That’s the general overview. But, as you consider trip interruption coverage, here are a few particulars that are also good to know.
First, if you purchase travel insurance through TripInsurance.com, you don’t have to make your own emergency return travel arrangements. Instead, just get in touch with On Call International, our service provider. The people helping you are specialists who will immediately start working to get you home in the most expeditious way possible. On Call will also do everything they can to get you back in the same manner in which you originally traveled. That is, if you flied out in first class, they will make every effort to arrange for you to fly back in first class. If they can’t make that work, they will get you home in business or coach based on what is available that also meets your time schedule. In the process, On Call may utilize the value of your current airline ticket. If it is unchangeable, they make the arrangements, and the insurance company covers the cost of the new ticket up to the coverage limits of your plan. (Incidentally, On Call’s services come with every policy TripInsurance.com issues, and they cover you 24/7 when you’re traveling.)
Second, when selecting a plan, consider the level of coverage that comes with it. Because the cost of traveling home immediately can sometimes be much more expensive than the original return ticket you may have purchased months in advance, we often recommend that travelers pick a plan that has trip interruption benefit of 150% the cost of your trip. The reason this is so important is because—if your trip gets cancelled at the beginning of your vacation—the plan needs to cover the cost of the vacation you are losing as well as your transportation costs to get home. When you consider the expense of a last-minute ticket, the extra coverage provided makes a lot of sense. You’ll spend just a few dollars more for better insurance that can cover what sometimes adds up to several hundred or even several thousand dollars in extra travel expense.
Yes, no one wants to interrupt a vacation, especially one you’ve been looking forward to for a long time. But sometimes it’s an unavoidable fact of life. And it makes good sense to be prepared for the possibility.
If you have additional questions on trip interruption coverage, please call or email us. We’ll be happy to help you out in any way we can.