Protecting Yourself Far From Home

May 09, 2017


By Leslie Appel Maher, Private Client Advisor —

We’re all used to protecting ourselves with insurance, routinely acquiring auto, homeowners, and health coverage. Sometimes, though, we forget to protect ourselves while travelling. And, whether your reason for being away from home is related to business or pleasure, knowing you have comprehensive travel coverage in place – well, that’s simply a recipe for peace of mind. After all, no one “plans” to break a leg or suffer a heart attack while far from home, but over my years in a career related to wellness and safety, I’ve certainly seen those very things happen. I guess that’s why I’m so passionate about travel protection and about making sure our Gregory & Appel clients don’t leave home without it.

Trip cancellation insurance is that aspect of travel coverage involving costs and convenience. Most airfares today are nonrefundable, for example, so that if you need to cancel a planned trip for whatever reason, you’d lose money. The AIG Travel Protection policy, for example, can reimburse you up to 75% for nonrefundable expenses if you decide to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours prior to departure. 

Perhaps you did set out for that trip as planned. Then, there’s a delay of more than eight hours due to inclement weather, a natural disaster, even a hijacking – your policy reimburses the cost of food and temporary lodging. Baggage delay coverage reimburses the cost of essential items when baggage is delayed six hours or more after your flight arrives.

Political evacuation coverage may sound far-fetched, but Chubb’s Passport 360 policy, for example, would pay up to $100,000 to evacuate policyholders caught in a country where the U.S. has issued a travel warning.

On the luxury end, optional upgrades to travel coverage include a golf package, covering green fees and recreational equipment damage. Trip cancellation is an optional upgrade.

To me, the crux of travel protection has to do with health coverage. Many clients, I find, have health insurance plans with restricted benefits outside the United States. Excess medical expense insurance reimburses expenses of accidental injury and sickness when you’re traveling outside the country, including medical evacuation.

Medical evacuation insurance is more than a technical term to me. One of my own family members, while scuba diving in Indonesia, was injured far from shore. Not only was she away from shore, but she was also in a country where she didn’t speak the language. Fortunately, she had travel insurance. The travel assistance provider’s multilingual representatives were able to arrange for her medical care.

Medical evacuation, emergency care, communication of critical information, convenience – it’s all part of smart travel planning. When it comes to comprehensive travel coverage, we at Gregory & Appel are committed to have our clients leave home with it – peace of mind, that is!