Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This Is How We Do It: Travel Insurance 101

The view from the top of the Empire State Building
A sponsored hip + urban girl post.

Love to travel as much as we do? Give yourself peace of mind with travel insurance.

Most people don’t question the need for car insurance, but many never consider travel insurance. It’s not something you like to think about, but accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. So how can you ensure you’re covered should the unexpected happen when you’re travelling? First, take a look at what your work or credit card programs provide and decide if there are any gaps to fill.

My American Express Gold Rewards Card offers me travel medical insurance for 15 consecutive days outside of the country or province. It’s a really nice feature to have, since I work for myself and don’t have any other coverage through an employer. It’s convenient for me because it means I’m not rushing off somewhere to buy travel insurance if I decide on a quick weekend getaway to Miami or want to head into Buffalo to do some shopping. It’s sort of one less thing to think about when you’re packing up your bikinis, shoes and dresses for a much-deserved vacay away.
Back in NYC again last week for a concert
However, sometimes I need a little more coverage beyond my Amex Cardmember benefits. I was recently in New York City for just under a month and needed extended coverage beyond 15 days in case anything happened to me during my trip. We all know how crazy expensive health care is in the US  which is why I never ever go without travel insurance.

With one easy phone call, I was able to top up my coverage for only $30 just by calling American Express. I was actually surprised by A) how fast and easy it was and B) how affordable my policy turned out to be. I was given a policy number over the phone and official documents were mailed to my home address.

I purchased the Basic Medical Per Trip Plan, which will give me unlimited Emergency Medical Insurance while I am in NYC.  This complements the coverage on my Gold Rewards Card beyond the 15 days I already receive. And when you consider that treatment for a head injury from a fall can set you back upwards of $179,000 in the US for air ambulance, hospital stay and medical care, well, that extra $30 starts to make a whole lot of sense.

Skating in Central Park
Taking a bunch of connecting flights? Is there a chance you might need to cancel your trip? Try upgrading to Ultimate Travel or Select Travel insurance so your baggage is covered and you are re-imbursed for trip hiccups (i.e. a delayed flight) or cancellation.

If something does happen to you, American Express has a team on-hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week and all upfront costs are covered. The call centre handles over 400,000+ inquiries every year, so I know I’m in good hands.

Do you buy travel insurance for every trip? Have you had anyone you know end up with a large hospital bill while on vacation?

For more information and to determine the right coverage for your next big blowout trip, visit: Amex Travel Insurance or call 1-866-292-5234

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