You’ve planned the perfect getaway. Spent thousands of dollars. Anxiously counted down the days for months until the big day. Facebooked your check-in at the airport. Ordered that first martini.

But then it all goes horribly, horribly, horribly wrong.

Murphy’s Law being what it is, travel insurance can be one of the most vital trip add-ons to purchase before heading off on that trip of a lifetime — or any trip at all, according to Carol Mueller, vice president of marketing at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.

“When you book a vacation, it’s essential to include travel insurance to put the mind at ease by taking trips, not chances,” Mueller said. “You really can’t predict what could go wrong, but it’s important to protect yourself in case something does happen; and unfortunately, we see far too many stories of what could go wrong when traveling.”

Such horrors can be as pedestrian as losing one’s bags to, at the extreme, dismemberment or even the cost of repatriation of one’s remains back to his or her country of origin. While all of these things are not what you want to think about when planning your vacation, it is important to think ahead and be smart.

Mueller said that travel insurance is a good idea not only to hedge against delayed airplanes, baggage strikes and the inclement whims of nature, but also in case of medical emergency or other unexpected mishap while away from home.

“The likelihood of travel mishaps are too high not to stay protected, and let’s face it, no one is immune to a travel mishap,” she said.

Data provided by Berkshire Hathaway estimate that Americans traveling beyond the bounds of the United States will spend $2.37 billion on travel insurance in 2018 alone, up 2.88% over 2017.  The uptick, the company says, follows inflationary uprising in the cost of airfares, lodging and other related expenses that make insurance that much more essential.

Mueller maintains it’s not just those spending thousands on a dream vacation who need to project their investment either.

“Every traveler, from leisure to business, should purchase travel insurance,” she said. “From medical emergencies when traveling to the need to adjust your trip because of a family emergency back home, all travelers can run into the risks associated with travel.”

Increases in travel insurance buys are also generational, with BHTP’s study finding younger customers not only purchase it more than older generations, but are more likely to shop for a better quote, read online reviews and discuss with friends the best trip-protection package deals. (They are also more likely than other cohorts to not use up all of their vacation time, the study finds.)

“BHTP also offers expedited reimbursement directly to debit or PayPal via its BHTP Burst payment technology,” she said. “Insurance providers are also more accessible than ever. Whether it’s by phone, e-mail or through a 24/7 global concierge service, providers are able to solve problems in real time.”

Not only is the frequency in travel insurance purchases increasing, but Mueller maintains the ability of sojourners to file paperless claims via a phone app makes the experience even more painless should the unthinkable occur so far from home. So, the next time that you are booking your travels, think twice before clicking “no” to that added insurance. As always, we remind you to read all the details to be sure that you are getting the best solution for you and your travels…

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