Why Travel Insurance Is So Important This Summer

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Taking a trip this summer? Be sure to buy insurance to protect yourself.

After spending most of 2020 stuck at home, many people have been gearing up to take a big trip this summer. And given that more countries are finally opening their doors to U.S. travelers, the timing may seem perfect for a getaway.

There's just one problem: The Delta variant is currently causing a surge of cases not just domestically, but also abroad. In light of that, it's more important than ever to purchase trip insurance if you're going to travel this summer-- even if you're using a travel rewards credit card to book your plans.

Why travel insurance is essential

When you book travel on a credit card, you'll generally be entitled to some protection. For example, you may be covered for lost or stolen luggage, missed flights, or problems with your hotel booking.

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But there's one thing credit cards generally don't offer great coverage for, and it's medical care abroad. If you wind up falling ill during your travels and need to be hospitalized, for example, your health insurance may not kick in when you're out of the country. And you could be on the hook for serious medical bills if you don't have a comprehensive travel insurance plan. At a time when a highly transmissible virus is circulating, that's a risk you can't afford to take.

And speaking of the Delta variant, it's causing a lot of countries to implement different restrictions. If things change in a manner that makes you no longer want to travel, you may be out of luck if you don't have trip insurance.

On the other hand, it's possible to buy travel insurance that includes a clause that lets you cancel for any reason. These plans do cost more than a basic plan, but they give travelers the most flexibility to call off their trips with minimal financial damage.

Generally, if you cancel a trip at the last minute because you simply no longer want to go, you won't get all of your money back. Your credit card, however, won't offer the same level of coverage as a travel insurance policy would.

Leave yourself with options

At a time when the coronavirus situation is still evolving, it's important to have options with your travel plans. And that's where a good trip insurance policy comes in. Spend a little time researching your choices so you can find the right one for you.

Along these lines, you may want to look at getting a new travel rewards credit card if you're not thrilled with your current one. Some cards offer huge money-saving perks, like free checked bags on flights or discounts on in-flight purchases, and that could help offset the fee you pay for your travel insurance policy. Similarly, the right credit card could reward you with a host of air miles or hotel points, so if your travel experience ends up being a positive one despite the health crisis, you'll have more options for booking another trip soon.

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