We are planning a summer vacation in Europe and are wondering about travel insurance. Is it really necessary to have or is it a waste of money? –Brian-Portland
The standard for many years was the thought if losing your trip to a cancellation would be a financial hardship than you needed to insure it. Times have changed along with travel insurance since that attitude once dominated the industry. Now with affordable travel insurance policy there is no reason not to purchase coverage. I have to admit however that in spite of this change I still followed the old model up until a polarizing event that changed my perception of travel insurance.
While guiding a group in the Alpine village of Grindelwald, Switzerland I turned them loose for a few hours of free time. Several people chose to go souvenir shopping while others wanted to stroll down the streets of this small village nestled in the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps. One couple wanted something more adventurous and decided on a popular activity that resembles a scooter with mountain bike tires called Trotti Bikes. In Grindelwald you can take a gondola up the side of an Alp and then ride your Trotti Bike down a paved path back into the village. In comparison to other adventure sports it is a very safe activity. Nearly an hour after I had left this couple at the Gondola station to begin their adventure did I received the message that one of them was being rushed off to the hospital. I managed to catch this couple right before the wife was being taken into surgery. The unfortunate accident happened after she applied the brakes on her Trotti Bike to firmly - flipping over the handlebars and somehow cutting her leg on the side of her Trotti bike. Tearing several tendons in her leg she would require immediate surgery. Right before wheeling her out to the operating room her husband looked up at me and asked “is it too late for travel insurance?” In that one moment my entire perception about travel insurance changed.
With today’s travel industry there are a multitude of affordable options for insuring your vacation that range from trip cancellation to medical coverage. Choose a policy that best fits your needs, but be sure to read the fine print of the desired policy– you need to know what is covered in case you have to use it. Purchase your insurance through a reputable company that is a fully licensed travel insurance company. Once you have purchased your insurance be sure to carry the documented proof while on your vacation. With the low cost of today’s insurance take the worry out of travel so you can enjoy every minute of your vacation!