This post is sponsored by Allianz Travel. I have been a long-time Allianz customer, all opinions are my own.
Back in the day, we used to be a little more footloose and fancy-free with our travel planning, rarely investing in travel insurance. Our travel was last minute, inexpensive, and often cancellable. But the more you travel, the more you see — and the more cautious you become. Just think about how fraught with stress travel has become recently, especially when you are flying. Add kids to the mix and oh boy, you have a whole other level of concerns and complications.
I can’t count the number of times one of us has gotten sick away from home, we have had to cancel trips due to illness (those double ear infections are a doozy), or we suffered through airline delays and other problems. We were slow to the revelation of the benefits of travel insurance. But as a family that travels frequently, travel insurance has become as essential as health insurance.
Last year I invested in an annual travel insurance plan with Allianz and there were a few reasons why this made sense for my family and why it may also make sense for yours.
5 Reasons to Get an Annual Travel Insurance Plan
1 – Frequent Travel
We take two or three “big” trips a year as a family. Usually at least one of these is overseas, but we do domestic trips and road trips too. I also travel to a few conferences a year and Glenn travels about 30-40 weeks a year for business.
I can’t even imagine the hassle of trying to buy trip insurance for each of these instances and frankly, you are just as likely to need it on a “little” trip as you are on a big trip. And you may think, I’ll take the risk on a little trip if it isn’t expensive but here is the thing, travel insurance is not just about cancellation, there are so many other benefits. If you are a frequent traveler, the cost of an annual plan is much less than buying insurance for each trip individually.
2 – Medical Insurance
Does your health insurance charge more of “out-of-network” services? Guess what…that trip to the urgent care on your road trip or visit from the hotel doctor — that’s probably out of network. We have had to get hotel doctors to do room calls in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Jamaica. We have visited the pharmacy in Austria.
Especially when you are traveling with kids, you never know what stomach bug, virus, ear infection, strep throat, etc. might crop up — and that is the easy stuff. The last thing I want to worry about at the moment is, “how much is this going to cost me?” You just want to get the help you need and travel insurance includes both medical protection and usually emergency medical transportation.
Ever since I saw someone get helicoptered off of a dude ranch after taking a spill on a horse I’ve realized the importance of medical transportation. And it doesn’t have to be something catastrophic, even getting home with a cast if you break your leg skiing can be challenging on today’s airlines.
3 – Rental Car Protection
Rental cars always seem cheap until you add in all the insurances. Even when you get liability insurance, that may not include rental car damage insurance. You can make the assumption that is is covered by your credit card but you better verify that information to know for sure. Many travel insurance plans include rental car protection, so you can relax a little more on vacation. I know that sure would have saved me a lot on insurance costs when I rented a car in Iceland!
4 – Lost Luggage
Knock wood I’m not jinxing us but I haven’t had luggage lost in a while, but it has happened and it stinks to wear the same clothes for a few days. Every time I pack I tell myself to pack a little of each of our clothes in each bag in case one gets lost but I rarely do. It always seems easier to have our own bags and since I’m usually packing right before I leave I just can’t get myself that organized. I have gotten a lot smarter about keeping my valuables in my carry on but still, lost or delayed luggage is not fun.
Travel insurance will cover lost luggage or provide an amount to replace items depending on how long the luggage is delayed. Each plan varies so it is good to know what you are buying. If you love designer clothes, you may want to make sure the allowance is generous. If you are a Target shopper like me, just make sure you have enough that you can go buy a few things until your luggage arrives or replace what is lost.
5 – Help When you Need It
When things go wrong during your travel it is super stressful. And many times, the people you expect to help you — like the airline customer service representatives — don’t do much to alleviate your stress.
One of the big benefits of travel insurance is having a 24/7 hotline to call when you have a travel emergency. They can help you find medical or legal help, assist with missed connections, let you know what to do if you have lost or stolen travel documents. Sometimes there is even a concierge to help with destination assistance like restaurant reservations, tickets to events, and other information.
Most travel insurance will also cover some travel delay expenses, so if you miss a connection or your flight is delayed enough that you miss pre-paid tours or activities, you can get reimbursed for those expenses.
Allianz Annual Travel Insurance Plans
Of course, if you are going to purchase annual travel insurance, you should go with a company that provides excellent customer service. There are a few reasons why I chose Allianz, but the reason that I’m going to stay a customer is because of their customer service. Earlier this year I got the flu and had to cancel attending a conference. Of course I had booked the least expensive airfare, which was non-refundable, but if anything is going to qualify for trip cancellation benefits it is going to be the flu. Because who wants a contagious person on a plane even if I could have dragged myself to the airport?
As soon as I knew I was sick enough that I need to cancel my plans, I called Allianz. They walked me through everything I needed to do and sent me the forms my doctor needed to fill out (pro tip: get the form before you go to the doctor because when you are sick, the last thing you want to do is go back to the doctor to get a form filled out.) I mailed everything in (you can also start a claim online) and within a few weeks I received my check. Not only was the person that I spoke to on the phone so helpful and caring, getting reimbursed was no hassle at all.
If you travel more than twice a year (for business or pleasure), you should consider an annual travel insurance plan. Allianz offers plans in all flavors including:
The Annual Basic doesn’t cover trip cancellation, but it provides other benefits to help you feel safe on the go including: emergency medical protection and emergency medical transportation protection, trip delay protection, baggage benefits, rental car damage protection, and a 24/7 assistance hotline to help with travel-related emergencies. Learn More »
The Annual Deluxe plan offers affordable protection including up to $2,000 annual trip cancellation and trip interruption; emergency medical; lost, stolen or delayed baggage; and rental car damage protection. Learn More »
For more frequent business travelers who need higher trip cancellation and interruption levels, the Annual Executive Plan offers tiered levels up to $10,000 annual. It also covers lost, stolen or delayed baggage; and offers business equipment rental benefits. Learn More »
Annual Premier Plan
The Premier Plan covers you and your household, whether you are traveling separately or together. One policy covers you and your household, whether you’re traveling separately or together. There are three levels of annual trip cancellation offering up to a maximum of $15,000. To learn more, please call 1-866-884-3556.
So tell me, how often do you travel? Do you purchase travel insurance or not?
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