Disclaimer: This post is sponsored in part by Squaremouth.com, but the opinions and experiences are my own.
I know, it’s not nearly as fun as talking about amazing destinations, but it is an important topic to consider when we travel. It’s easy to ignore the subject when we are in the throes of travel passion. If you are a travel junkie like me, booking travel gives an endorphin rush that can’t be matched by anything besides the travel itself. Buying travel insurance is more like a bucket of ice water over your head.
Most people never need the coverage that travel insurance provides. Most people don’t even know anybody that has filed a claim on a travel insurance policy. I am an exception. I broke my shoulder while on a scuba diving trip on Bonaire a few years ago. Without travel insurance, the accident would have cost me $10,000 because it happened at the end of December, so the policy covered two $5,000 deductibles owed before my standard medical insurance even kicked in. You can read the story of the accident here.
I never go scuba diving without a specialty policy that covers scuba accidents, yet I still procrastinate when it comes to buying standard travel insurance.
Are you rolling the dice with your trip?
Not buying travel insurance is one part gambling and one part suspicion that the airline or cruise line or tour company is just trying to make an extra buck while they have me on the hook. When I get to the part on the booking screen where it asks me if I want to cover the trip, it feels like I am shopping on GoDaddy or Vista Print. I love the products both of those websites sell but hate the add-on sales pitches begging me to spend another fistful of dollars before I leave the page. It’s creepy and annoying.
And what are you really getting when you buy travel insurance directly from the travel provider? I’m sure it’s all in the fine print somewhere, but I don’t like trusting them to know how much coverage I need for my luggage or how much deductible I want.
And what happens if you need the insurance? How do you contact the provider? Again, there is probably a phone number somewhere, but I’m not sure I would have the presence of mind to find it in an emergency.
I recently found what I think is a better way to buy travel insurance. SquareMouth allows you to compare 110 travel policies from 21 providers to find the exact policy that matches your needs. I recently purchased insurance for an upcoming cruise with Viking Ocean Cruises. Not only did I feel good about the policy I bought, but I feel good about my ability to get help if I need to file a claim.
The process was easy and I feel like I know more about travel insurance after spending time on the site reading the helpful popups that explain the various categories of coverage. You can also spend time researching on the site without providing any personal details upfront. There’s even a Cruise Information Center with videos, interesting articles, and a section of frequently asked questions about insuring your cruise.
I wrote about the details of making the purchase in a story for Travel Pulse.
The bottom line is that after I made the purchase it felt like I was in control. I didn’t just randomly click “yes” on the cruise line or airline’s website. I adjusted the options to get the coverage I felt was most important to me and using their mobile website, I know I can get help quickly from the other side of the world.
This post was written in partnership with SquareMouth. All opinions are my own. Please refer to our review and sponsorship policy for details.