DO YOU TRAVEL INSURED?
Steve - January 2009
Travel insurance is one of the most polarizing topics we encounter with our customers. There appear to be two distinct camps those who won’t travel without it, and those who feel it’s a waste of money. Our opinion on travel insurance is just as black and white despite whether you ultimately purchase it or not, you should at the very least consider it.
We feel this way because regardless of the exact circumstance, vacations represent a significant investment for most of us, and the unforeseen need to cancel can and does happen. Having travel insurance can mean the difference between an enormous source of stress and a situation you simply don’t have to worry about often at a time when you really need to focus on other things.
We can’t tell you if insuring is right for you. We can tell you that when we have customers who find themselves having to cancel who haven’t purchased travel insurance, they usually wish they had. This is the conundrum of all insurance, it’s best when it is a waste of money because of course things went as planned; it’s that one time they don’t that it’s priceless to have it.
It’s also important to note that, despite what customers often hope, most charter boats and companies are not willing to negotiate or offer any concession on their cancellation policies. Charter yachts represent a huge initial investment and ongoing cost outlay for the operator, and of course a charter week is absolutely perishable, and most operators find themselves simply unable to bear the cost of the lost time.
Cancellation penalties are the lion’s share of your exposure in most cases, however, there are numerous other coverage’s in travel insurance that could also come into play. Many U.S. health insurance polices don’t cover you in foreign countries, making the emergency medical protection in travel insurance a huge benefit. There are other, smaller coverage’s, such as baggage protection and expenses for missed connections that also add to the value of buying travel insurance.
While we’re not able to tell you if you should buy travel insurance or not, we can help you find the right policy. Having reviewed many different policies, we found that the widely available general policies all failed to meet the unique needs of yacht charter vacations, and tended to cater to resorts and cruises. So with this in mind, we teamed up with the experts at Travel Insured to discuss these shortcomings, and the result is a travel insurance policy specifically tailored to yacht charters.
This new program, available exclusively to Ed Hamilton & Co’s customers, in addition to having standard areas of coverage also adds some provisions not typically found in travel insurance programs: Weather causing cancellation or delay in travel; Hurricane or Hurricane Warning causing cancellation of travel; and poignant in today’s economy, involuntary loss of your job is covered, (if in that job for 3 years or more); and the policy waives pre-existing conditions if purchased within 14 days of confirming your reservation. In most cases, the premium to purchase this coverage is less expensive than competing plans.
We feel our new travel insurance program offers great coverage at an affordable cost, and we do specifically offer it to our customers. However, by no means do you have to choose this policy, and in keeping with Ed Hamilton’s philosophy of offering impartial advice, we’re happy to help you review travel insurance programs offered directly by the charter operators, or independent companies any time you’d like.
Return to the Newsletter
Return to the Charter Connection Past Articles home page