Understanding the Many Risks That Can Jeopardize Safety, Well-Being, and Assets When Traveling

Tim O’Brien
SVP, Property & Casualty
Assurex Global

While the adage “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” has inspired many to embark upon exciting journeys, shouldn’t travelers who take that first step be prepared for the possible misstep that can turn an otherwise delightful journey into a nightmare?

Understanding the many risks that can jeopardize the safety, well-being, and assets when traveling is no small task. Following are the categories of common risks that travelers should be aware of, along with a series of questions that can be posed to help travelers better understand each risk and the importance of examining available solutions.

 

Trip Is Cancelled or Interrupted

While the reasons travel may need to be canceled or interrupted can vary, the following are among them: weather, terrorism, employment, medical, and a worldwide pandemic.

Example: To celebrate your mother’s 75th birthday, you plan a long-postponed tour of Italy. Three days before the planned departure, your mother is hospitalized, and you must cancel the trip. How can you recoup the nonrefundable costs you have incurred?

 

Trip Delay/Baggage Issues

Flight delays have caused many travelers to miss connecting flights, cruise departures, and check dates, while lost or delayed delivery of baggage can create unanticipated expenses and great heartache.

Example: You arrive in Hawaii for a second honeymoon, but your luggage doesn’t. What solutions can you expect to rely on to cover your immediate expenses if the luggage is merely delayed a day or two, missing for an extended period of time, or stolen?

Example: You are traveling with your family, and your connecting flight has been canceled due to severe weather, causing you to miss the departure for your cruise. How can you recoup the cost for the missed cruise or the unexpected hotel costs and arrange new flights to return home?

 

Need for Medical Care While Traveling

Medical emergencies can arise at any time, whether due to a prior condition, sudden illness, or injury. Having access to quality medical care while traveling abroad requires prior planning.

Example: While touring Spain, you experience severe abdominal pain, suggesting you may need an appendectomy. How can you locate a physician and hospital that can provide a high level of care?

 

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation may become necessary to transport a patient to an appropriate medical facility. Non-medical evacuation may be required to transport travelers from a dangerous situation in instances of civil or political unrest or a natural disaster.

Example: You are at a beach resort in Florida, and two days after arriving, an offshore hurricane causes local authorities to call for an evacuation. Who can you turn to for evacuation assistance? Who will reimburse you for your lost vacation investment?


What is the best solution to manage these many risks? Work with an independent agent who knows the questions to ask to prescribe the right protection solution to meet your needs.