July 8, 2019 - Kate
Ever since the U.S. State Department issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory on March 31st due to the COVID-19 pandemic, avid travelers have been focusing more on domestic travel now more than ever.
You’ve planned a domestic vacation and you may think it’s not necessary or the risk is too low to worry about travel insurance. If that sounds like you, we highly recommend that you think again, even if you’re not venturing too far from home.
Even if your trip is just getting away for the weekend, there is always risk involved. Delayed luggage and flights, medical emergencies, and even rental car damage are just a few things that could go wrong. However, domestic travel insurance can keep you safe in an emergency and cover the bills due to these unexpected events so you can make the most of your weekend getaway.
Pro-tip: Many travel insurance policies require that you’re traveling at least 100 miles away from home in order for coverage to apply.
As you begin to travel outside your home or even across the country, purchasing travel insurance is more important than ever in protecting against unexpected interruptions, injuries, and even cancellations. This is a game changer when it comes to protecting your nonrefundable trip costs, no matter how short your expedition is.
Still a bit skeptical? Let us break down some of the very possible calamities you could experience and how travel insurance can provide much-needed travel insurance benefits for your short (and perhaps Stateside) trip:
When you have a relatively quick jaunt planned, every hour of travel counts. If your flight is delayed, even by just a few hours, you could end up missing a connecting flight or part of your tour. This can be extremely annoying and costly.
Delays likely mean you’ll need to pay for meals and accommodations while you wait for your transport to leave, which means spending even more money (not ideal when you’re already on a budget!). Instead of just losing all of that money, pick a travel insurance plan that has travel delay benefits! You’ll be able to recoup those unexpected extra costs such as a hotel room, meals or local transportation.
When you’re going on a short trip, you’ve probably selected the items you plan to bring with you pretty carefully. If your bag gets lost or delayed en route to your destination (domestic or not!), you may not have a lot of time to wait for it to show up before you need it and you may need to purchase a bunch of new stuff at your destination.
With most travel insurance plans, though, you’ll be covered for those expenses. It won’t get your bag to you sooner, but it will mitigate the stress and financial loss that often comes with baggage delays, so you can get to the good parts of the travels sooner. Many travelers have experienced delayed or lost baggage, but check out these important steps to do right away when an airline loses your bags to ensure your travel insurance claim gets processed fairly –and more quickly.
No matter where you are or for how long, you never know when an emergency situation will arise. It can be easy to convince ourselves that it’s less likely that anything will come up on a short trek and that coverage isn’t necessary. That logic can lead to a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, medical emergencies, injuries, and weather issues–to name just a few–can always arise, and it’s important to prepare for them with travel insurance.
Most standard travel insurance policies will cover you if one of these types of emergencies comes up. For example, standard trip cancellation coverage will kick in if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason such as if you get sick prior to departure, a family member passes away, or if your work requires you stay home. If bad weather throws a wrench in your travel plans, such as a snowstorm or a hurricane, you could recoup your unused trip costs if you can’t make it to your point of departure.
It’s important to note that most travel insurance providers will still treat COVID-19 as a standard illness if you’re treated by a physician. This applies to benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical expense and emergency medical evacuation. Make sure to review our list of the top travel insurance provider’s coronavirus position statements while comparing your policy options.
At the very least, your insurance will give you peace of mind that should anything go awry, you won’t end up with a major bill on top of it and you’ll get the medical assistance you need while traveling a short or long way from home. You’ll even have access to 24/7 medical and travel emergency assistance with your plan, so if a crisis happens during your trip, you can get the help you need from emergency experts.
Even if you have major medical health insurance while on your domestic trip, your travel insurance policy could pick up the remainder of your medical bills that your healthcare provider doesn’t cover. For those who have high medical deductibles, this could save you from a large doctor’s bill if you were to get sick or injured while traveling.
If you’re planning to rent a car on your domestic trip, you’ll need to make sure you have rental collision insurance added on to your travel insurance plan. Even if you consider yourself to be the best driver in the world, accidents occur –and when you’re in a car that’s not your own, those calamities can be expensive.
With rental collision insurance, you’ll be covered whether or not you are responsible for the accident in your rental car –this includes in America too! As we discussed above, most travel insurance policies will also cover any medical expenses that you incur as a result of a fender-bender.
Pro-tip: If you know which car rental company you’ll be using, do some research or call ahead to make sure that they’ll accept third party insurance before selecting your travel insurance plan.
No matter how long your travels are or if your traveling across the country for a weekend getaway, travel insurance is always a good idea. While we certainly hope that none of the emergencies, setbacks, or mishaps we’ve described happen to you, we want you to be covered in the event that they do.
We created a free quote tool to help you get started in finding the right travel insurance coverage for the type of travel you enjoy and we’re here to help if you have any questions or concerns.