Select destination, choose an amazing hotel, plan exciting activities, find the perfect bathing suit...your honeymoon planning checklist likely covers all the things you been daydreaming about. But it should also cover one thing no one ever wants to imagine: what you’ll do if something goes wrong before or during the honeymoon of your dreams. Travel insurance isn’t a glamorous topic, but when you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip like a honeymoon, it’s something you should seriously consider, or you may end up regretting it.
Here’s what you need to know about getting travel insurance for your honeymoon.
Do you need it?
A good rule of thumb is that if you’re spending more than $5,000 on a trip (or any amount you consider “more than you can afford to lose”) then you should get insurance. But it’s not as cut and dry as that. If you have a complex itinerary—the kind where if one part doesn’t go as planned, you’ll lose out on the rest—then insurance is also a good idea. If you’ve prepaid most of the trip, have put down large nonrefundable deposits, or if you’re taking a cruise or package tour, insurance can mean the difference between losing a few hundred bucks or being out the whole cost of the trip.
Insurance is also a good idea if you have any kind of medical condition that might mean a last-minute cancellation or if you’re worried about other trip disruptions (like taking a Caribbean cruise during hurricane season).
What kind of insurance do you need?
Travel insurance comes in several different varieties, so consider the specifics of your trip to figure out which situation is most likely to apply. Trip cancellation coverage provides reimbursement if you cancel for a covered reason (which of course varies by policy). Missed connection coverage and trip interruption coverage give you reimbursement and help if you miss a flight or cruise or if you need to cut your trip short due to an emergency back home. Medical coverage covers you in case you need medical treatment outside of the U.S.; some plans also cover emergency medical evacuation.
You can also get special adventure coverage, which waives the exclusions for adventure activities that most plans have; if you’ll be spending a lot of time climbing, diving, or participating in other adventure activities, it’s a good addition to your coverage.
The most comprehensive coverage is called cancel for any reason, which provides reimbursement if the trip is cancelled for any reason—even reasons not covered by usual trip cancellation coverage. This insurance is typically more expensive but if you stand to be out significant amount of money, and you think that you’re most likely to cancel for a reason not covered by general cancellation insurance (you can’t get the time off work, the region you are visiting experiences political unrest, or you simply change your mind) this kind of insurance may be worth the extra cost.
The best thing to do is consider your specific circumstances: do you have a medical condition, do you have a sick family member you may need to stay home to care for, are you visiting a remote place that would require medical evacuation if you were inquired, are you engaging in risky activities, are you traveling with anything of value, have you prepaid most of your trip? Based on your circumstances and concerns, determine what coverage is most important and find a plan that fits.
How much should I pay?
Typically, insurance costs about 4-8% of your total trip cost, though it varies depending on factors including the price and length of your trip, your age, optional additions, and whether or not you’ll be engaging in any activities deemed to carry more risk. A cancel for any reason policy will be a bit more, about 10% of your trip’s cost. If the policy is less than 4% of your trip’s cost, it might not offer enough coverage and if it’s more than 10%, you might be getting more ripped off.
When should I buy insurance?
You can buy travel insurance any time, even until the day before you leave, but it’s best to buy as soon as you book your trip, as some coverage is only valid if the the policy is purchased within two weeks of the initial payment. Additionally, the sooner you buy insurance, the sooner you’ll be covered if, for example, the tour company goes out of business or if you develop a medical condition.
How do I find a travel insurance policy?
There are several companies that specialize in travel insurance, including Allianz, CSA, World Nomads, and Travel Guard. Airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and travel agents also offer insurance so you can shop around to compare policies. All companies offer a “free look” period of 10 days so if you decide the policy isn’t right, you can get a refund within that 10 days.
Many credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred and American Express Platinum cards offer some coverage, but take a close look at what exactly is covered; you still may need to purchase some supplemental insurance.
How long will it take to process a claim?
Typically it can take up to four weeks to find out if your claim was approved. To speed along the process, make sure you have everything documented thoroughly. It’s also wise to have paper and electronic copies of your coverage with you while on your trip, just in case you need to contact the company or reference your plan. Of course, the best case scenario is that you won’t need to use your insurance, but if you do need to use it, you’ll be so glad you took the time to insure your once-in-a-lifetime trip.