Thrifty Thursday: Yes You Need Travel Insurance

It’s been a busy hurricane season and as a result, a number of my clients have been asking about travel insurance. Travel protection is something that I always recommend to my clients because a Disney vacation is a very sizable investment to make, and….life happens. In my opinion, it only makes sense to do whatever you can to protect that investment. While I don’t take adding additional costs to a vacation lightly – and would never recommend anything that I did not think would benefit my clients – as I’ve said many times, it’s not always just the cost to consider, as the value you are getting is just (if not more) important. The value of a trip that is disrupted, and you lose tons of money as a result, is…….zero. 

So I know what you are thinking: “What are some reasons where travel insurance can help me?” Consider just 3 very common travel scenarios:

  • You need to cancel your trip: What happens if someone gets sick and can’t travel, a parent dies, you’re required to work, or your house floods? With trip cancellation coverage, you may be able to recover your out-of-pocket expenses for these covered reasons and more.
  • You miss your connection: You’ve planned a cruise but your connecting flight to get to the ship is delayed. With the missed connection you will miss your cruise departure. How will you catch up to the ship? With travel insurance, you can take another flight to catch the ship at the next port-of-call. Travel insurance can help pay for those travel changes.
  • Your flight is canceled: Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, even widespread severe storms can cancel flights in a heartbeat – and we all know that when that happens there is a domino effect across the entire country and delays can last for days. (Just ask anyone who was planning to visit Walt Disney World or take a Disney Cruise when Hurricane Irma hit Florida……) With trip interruption coverage, you’ll have the money to refund the expenses of a new return ticket or to stay in a comfortable hotel, as opposed to the floor of the airport.

And there are a host of other situations where travel insurance can save the day: lost bags; emergency medical needs (especially important if you are cruising and have an accident on an excursion and require medical evacuation – the cost can be in the thousands of dollars!); lost passport; hurricane damage to your destination (Hello Caribbean?); and the list goes on and on.

As I said, life happens. And when you are spending a lot of money on a vacation, doesn’t it make sense to protect that investment? I know people tell me at times “I’m going no matter what”, but tell that to the folks who had travel plans during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma…..

Of course, it’s important to remember that insurance is just that, and nothing is guaranteed. Just like with your car or homeowners’ policies, there are exclusions. So if something occurs that causes you to disrupt or cancel your trip, you can put in a claim, and it is up to the insurance company to determine if the claim will be covered. Keep in mind as well, that travel insurance is there as a protection to you if something unforeseen disrupts your plans. It won’t help you if you want to cancel because the weather forecast for your trip is 7 days of rain. 🙂

Disney, as most vendors do, uses a well respected company to write all of their travel insurance policies. The current cost to add travel insurance as part of a Walt Disney World  vacation package is $77.50 per adult, with children on the package being covered at no cost. Disney Cruise Line computes the cost based on the length of the cruise and number of people traveling. If you are considering adding travel insurance to your Walt Disney World vacation, you can learn more here.

And of course, you can always purchase travel insurance elsewhere. Just be very careful and read all the fine print to make sure that you are buying a policy from a reputable insurance company. One important thing to note: many insurance policies, including the policy that Disney has, do not permit travel insurance to be added after your final payment, and none are going to allow you to add it once a hurricane is bearing down on Florida (in fact, once the storm is named, you won’t be covered for it unless you added insurance before then). So travel insurance is a “plan ahead” issue, and not something you can rely on for help at the last minute.

No one wants their vacation plans to be disrupted, but sometimes it happens anyway, and when it does, travel insurance can be a tremendous help. As your mother always told you, “better to be safe than sorry”.

Find out how the FREE services of a Disney World travel agent can make planning your Disney vacation simple and stress-free!

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