When Bad Things Happen To Good Vacations

The topic of Travel Insurance is one of my biggest challenges as a Travel Professional. No matter how extravagant or low-budget your trip may be, there are many things totally outside of your control that could turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. I have seen so many situations over the years that have affected my clients’ (and even my own) travel plans, and my eyes have definitely been opened to the need for a good travel policy.

A client recently shared this account of how Travel Insurance benefited her grandmother during a Destination Wedding in Cancun:

“It was the Fall of 2013, and my brother and sister-in-law had just announced their engagement, along with the news that they were having a ‘destination’wedding’  in Cancun. Everyone in the family was excited — even our 86 year old grandmother agreed to go! Most everyone in the family was booking our trips through a travel agent, and it was a good thing. Why? Well, we had never purchased trip insurance before, but travel insurance was something they highly encouraged. Grandma decided that it would be a good idea.

As it turned out, we are all so thankful she took out that policy. You see, two days before the wedding, Grandma was playing table tennis out by the pool. (Oddly enough, this was a very normal type activity for her to do.) We were all sitting around enjoying the day, and the next thing we knew, she was on the ground. She was in a significant amount of pain and needed to go to the hospital right away. The situation immediately became our worst nightmare and then some. You see, she had broken her femur bone right up by her hip. The Mexican medical personnel were trying to push my parents and grandmother into doing surgery immediately.

Thankfully, my other sister-in-law is a nurse practitioner and quickly became the liaison between the trip insurance company, the Mexican hospital, and the hospital in my grandmother’s hometown of Omaha, NE. Within 12 hours a medical transport airplane was in the air and on its way to Cancun. The flight crew made their way to the hospital in Cancun, picked up my grandmother, and were back on the aircraft and headed toward Omaha in less than 2 hours. Upon landing in Omaha, she was taken by ambulance to the hospital of her choosing, where they were awaiting her arrival. They took her off to surgery, and the rest is history!

What is the take-away…trip insurance is a must for this family, especially if traveling outside the US. The insurance policy cost was around $300, and it ended up paying out over $25,000.  Don’t we all wish the stock market had this kind of return?”

A fellow travel consultant recently shared her account of circumstances she witnessed on her own River Cruise that could have benefited from Travel  Insurance.  See what she had to say:

“I recently was privileged to experience a 7-day European River Cruise on the Danube from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. While cruising down the Danube, one elderly gentleman had to be taken off the boat by an ambulance and had to have open-heart surgery at a German hospital.

2 days later, a woman who had recently had a knee-replacement bent over to pick up her slippers and completely dislocated the new knee. The boat had to pull over in Bratislava to evacuate her to a medical clinic for treatment.

On the way home, my flight from Budapest to Vienna was delayed for mechanical reasons, and the family sitting next to me missed the tight connection to their Transatlantic flight home to Chicago and were forced to stay an extra night at an expensive Vienna Airport Hotel, including having to purchase dinner and breakfast for themselves and their three whining kids.”

Whew! Any of these situations would be extremely stressful, and could be financially devastating if you don’t have adequate Travel Insurance.

Consider these possibilities:

— One of your parents falls and injures themself and needs you to be their caregiver

— One of your adult children falls ill or needs surgery and has nobody to watch the grandchildren — they need Grandma!

— Your flights to Miami are delayed or cancelled due to the new Polar Vortex, and you miss the Caribbean cruise you have been planning all year –The ship has the nerve to sail without you!

— 2 days before your Italy tour, your largest client at work announces that they will be cancelling the contract if you aren’t in their offices by 9:00am 3 days from now

— The volcano in Iceland erupts again, spewing ash into the sky and all Transatlantic flights are cancelled for 3 days. You are stuck in Paris for an extra few days where the average hotel room costs $400 per night, and you miss an important sales call back at work that costs your company a huge contract