Trip planning is a large part of vacation/PCS preparations for our families, but what often gets discounted or simply overlooked is travel insurance.
It can be the difference between a smooth sail or bumpy roads back home with nothing to show for it.
I once had a situation when we were overseas where I had to decide to buy plane tickets for 6 back to the states to see a gravely ill sibling. I knew there was going to be a Red Cross notification and emergency leave process, but the providers hadn’t yet uttered the word ‘terminal’. Not wanting to wait, I put out the $10,000. However, I purchased refundable tickets (which are at a higher rate). Before we could use them, the military had taken over and our travel was set through them. I was able to receive all monies paid out from my initial purpose.
Air and hotel rates come in many categories from a ‘buy/pay now’ to discounted rates for all things travel. However, anything can happen on a trip resulting in financial loss or medical emergencies.
A traveler’s best protection is to get informed on refundable trip purchases and trip insurance. Carefully go over what is covered in the policy of the insurer you’re looking into.
I asked fellow military spouse, Stephanie B. Walker, for some travel insurance information to share.
Some tips for making sure you get the right travel insurance:
How Long Will You Travel: Make sure the travel insurance policy covers your entire trip, no matter how long, as well as coverage if your trip is cancelled. It does not matter if you have military orders or if you are affiliated with the military.
Health and Medical: Have medical coverage! Be prepared for medical emergencies, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. Make sure you know what hospitals or emergency facilities you are allowed to attend in your area of travel so that you are not stuck paying the bill. Just because you have travel insurance does not mean you can be seen at any medical facility for a health scare. Of course, this includes Tricare!
Activities: To be fully covered all the way around, the type of insurance you choose should cover all of the activities you participate in on your trip. You will probably be able to enjoy yourself more knowing that your activities are covered.
Personals: Make sure your policy includes coverage for your personal belongings and luggage in case something is lost or stolen.