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3 reasons to buy travel insurance for holiday trips – CBS News

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By Jennifer Earl
/ CBS News
The holiday season is already upon us. Millions of Americans are packing their bags as they prepare to trave this week for Thanksgiving. According to AAA, air travel is up around 8% year-over-year, with an estimated 4.5 million people expected to fly for Thanksgiving. So, be prepared for packed planes and busy TSA lines.
“Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of travel, said in a statement. “Plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you’re driving or flying.”
If you’re planning to fly during the holidays, make sure to book your tickets sooner rather than later (yes, it’s already time to start thinking about Christmas!). Travel experts are expecting a steep hike in airfares around that time. And prices are just going to go up. Airline ticket prices are increasing about 4% per week, CBS News recently reported.
As you book your flight, hotel and other accommodations, make sure you factor in travel insurance. With travel insurance, you can potentially request up to 100% reimbursement for a canceled trip for numerous covered reasons. It can also help you avoid the headache of lost luggage, stolen possessions, medical costs (if you get this type of insurance coverage) and more.
Whether you’re traveling near or far, travel insurance can help put your mind and your wallet at ease. Insert your trip information now to view dozens of travel insurance plans at prices you can afford.
Fortunately, with travel insurance, you don’t have to make any immediate decisions. You can buy most comprehensive travel insurance plans up to 24 hours before your departure date. However, you’ll need to plan ahead (within 14 to 21 days after your initial booking date) if you want special coverage for Cancel for Any Reason or Pre-Existing Conditions.
“Typically travelers will wait to buy a policy until they’ve made at least one insurable payment toward their trip, which can include booking a flight, hotel, tour, or other prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses,” Squaremouth, a U.S.-based travel insurance comparison site, says.
Don’t fret! There’s still plenty of time to protect your holiday trip. But if you need more convincing, here are three reasons to buy holiday travel insurance:
Travel insurance helps ensure you won’t lose your total trip costs if an emergency or unexpected event should arise. Trip Cancellation is one of the top reasons travelers purchase an insurance policy.
“Trip Cancellation is the main concern for most travelers. This benefit provides protection for the financial investment travelers make in their trips, offering coverage for all prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses. This can include any travel-related expenses, such as airline tickets, hotel accommodations, excursions, tours, and cruises,” Squaremouth explains.
Now imagine you have to cancel your trip during one of the most expensive times of year to travel. The cost of travel insurance is just a fraction of the price – 5 to 10% of your trip costs – you would pay if you lost your entire trip deposit.
Search for an affordable travel insurance plan now. Simply enter your trip and traveler information, and departure date, and with a click of a button, you’ll be given several companies and plans to pick from.
This year, consumers are expected to spend $1,430 on average, putting roughly 32% of that toward travel expenses, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 2022 Holiday Outlook. Higher-income households, with incomes of $120,000 or more, are expected to spend nearly double that. Millennials are slated to spend the most, around $623, PwC estimates. That’s 38% more than the average of all the combined age groups.
In the second half of 2021, about 6 out of every 1,000 bags were mishandled by U.S. airlines, according to LuggageHero, citing data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. That’s a total of 1.25 million lost or mishandled bags in the span of six months.
The December holiday season tends to be the “worst month” for luggage-related mishaps, LuggageHero added.
So, if you’re traveling for Christmas or New Year’s, you’ll likely want some added protection in case your luggage gets lost or damaged. This benefit will allow you to get reimbursed for related purchases within a particular window.
“Baggage Delay provides reimbursement for the purchase of clothing, toiletries, and other essential items if a traveler’s luggage is delayed for a specified period of time. After a delay of 12 or 24 hours, the Baggage Delay benefit can cover the purchase of clothes and other essentials,” Squaremouth notes, adding that there’s typically a maximum coverage amount per traveler and a daily limit.
Again, a typical travel insurance policy should include lost luggage, but double-check to make sure it’s listed on your particular plan.
While you hope to avoid any travel hiccups like a flight delay or cancellation, there’s always a possibility. Last year, there were thousands of delays and cancellations across the U.S. during Christmas week as airlines struggled with staffing shortages.
Roughly 47% of Americans plan to travel this holiday season, PwC reported.
“More people traveling means greater risk of travel delays and travel interruptions, and with full flights, it’s harder to get booked on the next flight out. This congestion can also increase the likelihood of baggage delays and lost or stolen luggage,” TravelInsurance.com explains online.
With travel insurance, you can get reimbursed for the costs of meals and accommodations you need during an unexpected trip delay. Just make sure it’s included in your plan. The U.S. Department of Transportation also lists your rights as a passenger in the event of a flight delay.
First published on October 25, 2022 / 10:12 AM
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