In the new normal of today’s world, travel insurance has gone beyond an amenity to being practically a necessity.
We’ve heard quite a few stories of students sadly having to cancel their trip at the very last second due to testing positive for COVID or dealing with a family emergency. On the plus side, we’re also hearing that they get nearly every penny of their money back, thanks to having great travel insurance. That means “nonrefundable” trip deposits, airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, tours—all of it is reimbursed.
Before the pandemic, travel insurance plans historically did not cover epidemics or pandemics, but after the disastrous wave of cancellations and refunds in 2020, the industry has shifted. Having insurance that covers nearly every possibility offers a huge peace of mind, and parents can choose to spring for Cancel For Any Reason Coverage should they want even more assurance. This is just one step toward helping parents feel comfortable letting their kids travel.
Now more than ever, we live in a world of uncertainty and constant change. We don’t have power to make that not the case, but we do have the ability to prepare and react to those changes. Working with a tour operator and having travel insurance are two ways to do just that.
According to a recent AAA Travel survey, one third (31%) of U.S. travelers say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance for their trips specifically due to the pandemic. Nearly 70% of travelers say the ability to cancel a trip and get a refund is the most important part of considering travel insurance.
Of course, travel insurance offers other benefits as well:
For the unfortunate situation you become sick or injured during your trip. Medical treatment in other countries often means paying bills upfront and out-of-pocket, without insurance.
LOST BAGS OR THEFT:
Cash value reimbursement for the lost or stolen contents of your bags, and covering fees to replace lost items like passports and credit cards.
NON-INSURANCE TRAVEL ASSISTANCE:
Travel protection also gives you access to assistance services available worldwide during trips, for help with lost luggage, locating medical facilities, etc.
Nowadays, any attraction could be unexpectedly closed at any time. Some insurance plans offer an “Inconvenience Bundle,” offering payment for missed opportunities.
Your trusted SYTA tour operator likely already works closely with an excellent travel insurance company, or they can at least point you in the right direction. If you’re “shopping” on your own, make sure to look closely at every little detail.
Next time you’re heading out on a student trip, calm parents’ travel fears by encouraging them to get excellent travel insurance, which is significantly cheaper than basically every other part of a trip. You’ll also avoid more of those days in 2020 when dozens of parents were asking you how to get their money back for a trip that wasn’t going to happen.
When you’re recruiting and registering students for the trip, talk about plans in that very moment with helpful materials that illustrate the importance and expectations of insurance. It’s well worth the peace of mind.
This story originally appeared in Teach & Travel’s May 2022 issue.