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Four Reasons to Buy Weekend Travel Insurance

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Like many people, you might think travel insurance is just for those big, expensive vacations you take once or twice a year. It’s not! Insurance can also cover a weekend at the beach, a New York City jaunt with your sister, a visit to your in-laws — almost any trip, as long as your destination is 100 miles or more from your home. Here’s why it’s smart to insure those weekend escapes.  

1. Travel delays are a big deal for weekend trips.

It happens to every traveler sooner or later: You’re in the airport, grabbing some coffee before you depart — and when you glance up at the screen, your flight says DELAYED.

If you’re leaving on a long trip, this is usually no big deal. But if it’s a weekend getaway, every hour counts. That’s when travel insurance can save your vacation. A plan with travel delay benefits can reimburse you for unused, prepaid trip costs you lose because of a covered travel delay, and can also reimburse you for expenses like meals and hotel stays caused by the delay.

Even better: If you purchase the One Trip Prime or One Trip Premier Plan, you can receive a fixed payment of $100 per day for a covered travel delay or $100 for a covered baggage delay. No receipts for purchases are required; all you need is proof of your covered delay! You may not even have to file a claim. If your covered travel delay is on a flight monitored by Allianz Global Assistance, we can automatically file and pay the claim on your behalf.

2. You’ve got to protect your pre-paid expenses. 

Want to have fun on a weekend trip? You need to plan ahead. “If you’re heading to a spa, for example, be sure to book treatments and fitness classes as far in advance as possible because many spas can be fully booked on weekends,” a New York Times travel writer recommends. “It’s also a good idea to book tables at nightclubs and restaurants, and reserve theater tickets and poolside and beachside cabanas at resorts.” i

The trouble with paying for expensive tickets and reservations ahead of time, however, is that you could lose a lot of money if you have to cancel the trip. Trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for all types of prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses if you have to cancel for a covered reason.

3. Baggage loss or theft can ruin your trip.

Packing all your stuff in a carry-on is no guarantee that your luggage will make it safely to your destination. You might find out that you’re in the last boarding group and all the overhead compartments are full, so you have to gate-check your bag. And gate-checked items do sometimes get left behind or unloaded at the wrong airport. The airline won’t always cover these losses, as one traveler found when a camera disappeared from her gate-checked bag.ii When you’re on a weekend trip, the airline doesn’t have much time to locate your bag and return it to you. Chances are good you won’t get your stuff back until the end of your trip, or after you’ve returned home.

Travel insurance can make the situation so much better. Baggage loss/damage benefits can pay the actual price, actual cash value, repair or replacement cost — whichever is less, and up to the stated limits — for your stolen, lost or damaged items. Baggage delay benefits can reimburse you for reasonable essential items — like clothing and toiletries — up to your maximum limit, while you’re waiting for your baggage to arrive.

4. Bad stuff can happen on short trips.

“It’s just a weekend trip,” you think. “What could possibly go wrong?”

We’ll tell you: Absolutely everything. We’re not trying to rain on your vacation, but we see it firsthand. Our Assistance team fields more than 4,000 calls per year, on average, from travelers who are experiencing a medical emergency during their trip.iii

Now, if you get seriously ill or injured while on a weekend road trip, you’d expect your regular health insurance to cover. But if you’re on a quick jaunt overseas, your domestic health insurance may not be accepted. If you’re on a cruise in international waters, you’ll probably have to pay out of pocket for onboard medical treatment or an emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital. And if you become seriously ill or injured on a U.S. trip and you can’t travel home unassisted, most major insurance companies will not cover medical repatriation, says Kimberly Seay, RN, BSN.iv Seay is the Director of Assistance, USA, for Allianz Partners.

Travel insurance can come to the rescue. Emergency medical benefits can reimburse you — or guarantee payment for — medical care received for a covered illness or injury. And emergency transportation benefits can arrange and pay for medical evacuation, medical repatriation, or transportation for a loved one to come and stay with you if you suffer a covered illness or injury. (Read your plan documents for details and exclusions.)

Our best advice for frequent travelers: Buy annual travel insurance. An affordable annual plan can cover every trip you take in a 365-day span, whether those trips are long or short, for business or for pleasure, international or domestic. Some annual insurance plans also include rental car insurance, which can cover costs if your rental car is stolen or damaged.

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Sep 27, 2018