Friday, May 20, 2011

Trip: Interrupted?

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article the other day about risk management and vacation planning. With travel costs at an all-time high, it pays to ensure (and, perhaps, insure) that your hard-earned dollars aren't wasted.

We covered trip interruption and cancellation policies last year, and this new WSJ piece does a good job of exploring some of the "loop-holes" through which the folks who issue these policies can avoid paying out claims. They recommend "cancel for any reason" plans as the ones most likely to actually "pay off" if your trip is canceled or is cut short.

Which brings us to the other side of the visa: travel medical insurance. Many health insurance plans (and Medicare) "stop at the border." So it's important to make sure whether or not your plan will cover you on the high seas, or overseas (or in Toronto or Cancun, for that matter). One thing that most "regular" plans may lack is emergency medical evacuation coverage; these claims can mean big bucks out of your pocket. The article notes that "for less than what you pay through airlines, you can buy an independent policy with $50,000 medical and dental coverage and $250,000 or more in evacuation coverage."

While we're not necessarily recommending that much coverage, it's comforting to know that it's available. If you're planning a major (ie expensive) trip any time soon, our own Bob Vineyard may be able to help. He's set up a helpful site with plenty of options, including some for groups traveling together, exchange students, even folks going on safari. Very cool.
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