Gone are the days of booking an expensive vacation without taking out travel insurance. Passover programs cost thousands of dollars and for years people have been booking these programs without any kind of security. The truth is that it was rarely an issue before COVID. There might have been rare instances of programs canceling at the last minute or people unable to attend a program for personal reasons. It was better if you paid by credit card as this provided at least some level of protection in case of cancellations. That is not enough in the post-COVID world. Many people learned this lesson the hard way. It has now become routine to purchase travel insurance when you book a Passover program or any vacation for that matter.
When COVID shut down the world and Passover programs were canceled in 2020, everyone was caught by surprise. This was an unprecedented event. The world hadn’t experienced a global pandemic for almost 100 years. There were certainly no Passover programs at that time and not much international travel. It took almost two years for the world to open up again. By Passover 2022, there were many successful Passover programs in cities around the world. These programs sold out very quickly and many of them had waiting lists. Almost all Passover programs recommend that their guests purchase travel insurance. Most people wouldn’t think of booking a vacation nowadays without purchasing travel insurance.
There are different types of travel insurance. Even before COVID, many people took out medical insurance when traveling. Nobody wants to be stuck in a foreign country and have a medical emergency without insurance. That can cost thousands of dollars. After countries opened up post-COVID, some countries required proof of medical insurance that would cover any expenses related to COVID. This often required purchasing additional travel insurance that specified coverage for COVID-related illnesses and quarantine. Foreign countries don’t want to foot the bill for tourists’ COVID-related medical expenses.
Travel insurance is one of those industries that is seeing growth due to the COVID pandemic. While it was always the recommendation to buy travel insurance, many people didn’t think it necessary. However, now it is a real possibility that someone will get COVID and will have to cancel their trip or get sick while traveling and need medical attention or to extend their trip. Travelers who get sick while in a foreign country must consider the costs of the hotel until they can fly and the costs of changing tickets. The travel industry has seen an increase in demand for travel insurance and is expecting the industry to grow over the next few years. Now that the skies have opened, people want to travel but they want security and peace of mind so travel insurance is a must.
There are many options when purchasing travel insurance: theft, medical expenses, baggage, electronics such as laptops, cameras, and cellphones, cancellations, travel delays, search and rescue, and extreme sports are options that have always been available. Now there is also COVID-related travel insurance. Travelers can choose COVID insurance that will cover medical expenses related to COVID, fees for changing flights, and extended stays in a hotel.
Regular travel insurance that covers trip cancellation doesn’t cover the fear of getting sick. You might plan a vacation but another COVID variant pops up, makes you too nervous to travel and you want to cancel your trip. Make sure to purchase a policy that will cover this. Many travel insurance agents and Passover program operators recommend getting “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage. This doesn’t reimburse 100% of your trip but it’s your best bet if you want to be able to cancel for reasons not specified under the terms of standard travel insurance. CFAR coverage allows you to cancel your trip for any reason, up to 48 hours before departure, and get reimbursed up to 75% of your non-refundable trip costs. CFAR cannot be bought on its own but is an upgrade to a standard travel insurance plan.
Passover programs remain very popular and travel insurance is now just another cost of that vacation. People are still looking to get away for the holiday as we saw how quickly Passover programs filled up in 2022. There are so many options for Passover programs for 2023 destinations so people spend time researching where to go for the holiday. After choosing where to go, it’s time to research travel insurance policies. As more people travel, the travel insurance business will grow. There are many travel insurance companies out there and many policies. It is important to do your research and figure out what type of policy is right for you. Think about what type of insurance you need and maybe consult with a travel insurance agent. Almost all Passover programs recommend purchasing travel insurance. Some program operators work with specific travel insurance agencies. As we have all learned, nobody knows what the future holds. It is worth your peace of mind to purchase travel insurance when you book your Passover program vacation.