Going on vacation? Experts say to consider travel insurance

Updated: Apr. 2, 2021 at 3:29 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – With vaccinations increasing and COVID-19 infections decreasing, Destination Analysts, a tourism market research firm, found 67% of Americans will take a vacation this summer. That’s up from 36% last year, according to this research.

Confidence is increasing but there’s still uncertainty, said Clay Ingram, AAA Alabama.

“We always recommend [travel insurance], especially for bigger trips where you’re investing more money or if you’re going overseas it’s always a good idea. But right now, that’s kind of turned from a good idea to almost a must have,” said Ingram.

Many insurance companies have expanded their policies in the pandemic to cover issues related to COVID-19. For example, some policies will provide coverage if a traveler lost their job during the pandemic or if they must cancel their trip after getting sick with the virus.

“Not all have changed,” warned Ingram.

He added, “That’s why booking with a travel agent is usually a good idea because they know all the ends and outs of that and they can help you book the right travel insurance to coordinate with your trip.”

“InsureMyTrip is a travel insurance aggregator site, so, if you put in your trip details and obtain a free quote, you’re able to see all the different travel insurance policies that are available to you,” explained Megan Walch, Insurance Product Manager at InsureMyTrip.

InsureMyTrip allows users to filter plans that offer COVID-19 related coverage.

“At this point, people want to get out, they want to travel, but they also want some kind of security as well,” said Walch.

SquareMouth, another travel insurance site, said sales have been increasing monthly with most travelers buying Trip Cancellation Coverage. This policy can reimburse 100% the cost of the trip if a traveler needs to cancel for a covered reason.

A spokesperson for SquareMouth said more travelers are also buying Cancel for Any Reason policies. These are more expensive policies that have certain eligibility requirements but have the most flexibility, said Walch.

“[Including] an option to cancel say if you don’t feel comfortable traveling,” she said.

In general, travel insurance will cost between 7-10% the cost of the total trip.

READ: How to find travel insurance that offers COVID coverage.

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