November 11, 2014
Mike finds himself unprepared and unprotected from the unexpected
Over the last year, Adventure Cycling has been recommending people consider purchasing travel insurance with their tour, and many people have started asking questions about it. Hopefully the information provided in this post will help you make an informed decision.
Travel Insurance is something you shouldn’t purchase without doing research and reading the fine print of the plan. The Adventure Cycling materials lists TripAssure as a suggested travel insurance company, but before you purchase any plan make sure you know what you are purchasing and what it covers.
Ask yourself what you are willing to risk losing if you are not able to go on the trip, or if something happens to disrupt the trip. Disruptions can be anything like a personal emergency, family emergency, illness, natural disaster, weather delays, and more. When planning your travels we want you to focus on the success of the trip, but part of a successful trip is being properly prepared. Travel insurance is there to serve as protection and can work in your favor if anything unexpected or unplanned should arise. One of my least favorite parts of the job is not being able to help people out when their situation falls outside the bounds of our Cancellation Policy. Telling someone that they will not be getting their money back when they are cancelling days before the trip starts due to a family emergency, work situation, unexpected illness etc. is really difficult and very unfortunate, but something that can be helped by travel insurance.
In my experience, people get frustrated with travel insurance because they bought a plan that turned out not to be what they needed or didn’t cover what they thought. Research a few plans before you purchase to avoid frustrations. Looking for travel insurance can be daunting. There are many companies, and sometimes it’s hard to trust if you are getting a quality package. Also the question lingers, if you had to use them, would the plan cover the unexpected expenses incurred and/or the already spent money?
Before you start to look for travel insurance with an outside provider, start by looking at what coverage you possibly already have. Here are a few examples of places to look.
If you’ve decided to seek an outside provider for a plan, ask friends, family, or others who have purchased travel insurance and their experience with it. Turning to someone you trust can boost your confidence in the product you are purchasing. From there turn to the web. A site like insuremytrip.com allows you to compare plans against one another.
Travel insurance isn’t only there to protect you; it can also be there to protect your belongings. We often travel with expensive, valuable electronics and on our Adventure Cycling trips, you are traveling with bikes. Travel insurance can include coverage for your belongings if they are damaged or stolen while enroute or during the trip.
Find a plan that covers your belongings
While out traveling, always have a copy of your travel insurance with you and keep all receipts. If something unexpected does happen, working with the plan provider will take some time so be prepared to pay some costs upfront to be reimbursed at a later date when a claim is settled.
It is our hope that you never have to use your travel insurance. It is our bigger hope that if you do need it, you have it. Travel insurance is never mandatory, but I hope you never have to utter the words, "if only I had travel insurance …"
Being protected from the unexpected allows Mike to enjoy all the trip has to offer
Post and photos by Lydia Hess
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2015 Guided Tours today!