Travel Insurance For A Trip To Barbados – Forbes Advisor

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Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island boasting sun and sand, water sports and relaxation, and a cool culinary scene. With both luxury oceanfront resorts and charming cottages perfect for multi-generational vacations, Barbados appeals to travelers of all ages.

“Barbados is a dream location for those who like the water, and all the amazing activities that go along with it,” says Jon Whitby, a spokesperson with World Nomads, a travel insurance company. “White sand beaches, blue water and amazing marine life are just some of the attractions. It’s no surprise that diving and fishing are some of the top visitor activities.”

As a popular vacation destination, Barbados trips can get pricey, often requiring pre-paid reservations for lodging, tours and excursions. Travel insurance can help protect this financial investment.

Comprehensive travel insurance plans typically package together these valuable coverage types:

  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip delay
  • Trip interruption
  • Travel medical expenses
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Baggage and personal items insurance

The average cost of travel insurance is equal to about 5% to 6% of your trip cost.

This amount can safeguard your investment if you need to cancel your Barbados getaway, experience delays or interruptions during your trip, become ill or injured, or encounter baggage loss or theft.

Here’s what you need to know about travel insurance for a vacation to Barbados.

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Trip Cancellation Insurance for Axing Your Bottom Bay Getaway

Your sand and sun trip to Barbados may need to be canceled before your bags are even packed. Say your father passes away three days before you’re scheduled to go. Your travel insurance plan—including trip cancellation insurance—can ease some grief by reimbursing you for pre-paid and non-refundable trip expenses if you cancel your trip.

In your travel insurance plan’s explanation of benefits, you will find a list of acceptable reasons to cancel. Common reasons include:

  • Death of a close relative or travel companion
  • Sudden family emergency
  • Illness or injury to you, a travel companion or an immediate family member
  • Severe weather
  • Unplanned jury duty
  • Unexpected job loss
  • Military orders
  • Your travel supplier going out of business
  • Terrorist attack

Not all reasons to cancel will be covered by your trip cancellation insurance. For instance, if you canceled because you had a fight with your friend and no longer want to share a room, you would not be eligible to file a cancellation claim.

“Cancel for any reason” coverage

If you want the freedom to cancel your trip no matter what and receive reimbursement from insurance, consider adding “cancel for any reason” coverage (CFAR) to your standard travel insurance policy.

“If you decide to cancel your trip due to a fear of travel—such as a fear of rising Covid cases, political or economic instability, or safety at your destination—you would need to have purchased CFAR for reimbursement of the unused, pre- paid trip expenses. Only CFAR covers cancellation due to a fear of travel,” says Angela Borden, a spokesperson for Seven Corners.

This upgrade increases the price of a travel insurance plan by an average of 50%, but you can be reimbursed 75% of your pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs. It’s important to note that you must cancel at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure.

Trip Delay Insurance for When Watersports Will Have to Wait

Trip delay insurance can help if you start your vacation and encounter a problem along the way. For example, you may experience a flight delay on your way to Barbados. If your itinerary is from Phoenix to Miami to Bridgetown, Barbados, and your flight is grounded in Miami due to hurricane-grade winds, your travel insurance plan’s trip delay benefits can lend a hand.

This coverage can help with some costs you incur due to a delay triggered by a reason listed in your policy. Trip delay benefits can help pay for a hotel stay, a meal or two, a cab ride from the airport or some personal necessities to tide you over until your rescheduled flight. Be sure to keep your receipts, which are required to file your claim.

In addition, if your delay causes you to miss a pre-paid trip expense in Barbados, like private transport from the airport or a rum distillery tour, you can file a claim for those financial losses too.

Keep in mind most travel insurance plans have a waiting period, for instance six or 12 hours, before your delay benefits kick in.

Trip Interruption for When You Need to Head Home Early

Unfortunately, sometimes unexpected events unfold after you’re already at your destination. Trip interruption insurance can ease the financial sting of cutting your trip short. For example, you could be blissfully enjoying a beach massage, listening to the roll of the waves and then be notified that your business partner has died. In that case, you may need to return home early.

Your trip interruption insurance can cover the cost of a taxi to the airport and a last-minute, one-way economy flight home. It can also reimburse unused, pre-paid and non-refundable trip expenses you forfeit by departing early.

That means if you paid for your vacation villa in advance, along with an ATV day-trip followed by a chef-curated seafood dinner on the beach, you can file a claim to be reimbursed.

Travel Medical Insurance for Island Injury and Illness

Barbados does not require travel medical insurance for entry. “However, it is recommended that all travelers purchase travel medical insurance before going overseas,” says Borden.

That’s because your domestic health insurance may not cover you while in other countries and Medicare is generally not accepted outside the US

Travel medical insurance can pay for hospital and doctor bills, X-rays, lab work and medicine if you’re injured or become ill during your trip. For instance, let’s say you break your ankle railway track hiking through the rainforest from Bellplaine to Bathsheba village. Your travel medical expense insurance can cover your treatment costs, up to the limits in your policy.

Emergency medical evacuation travel insurance

If you need medical care beyond what’s locally available, your travel insurance plan’s assistance 24/7 hotline can dispatch an air ambulance to transport you to the nearest adequate treatment facility, or even back home if medically necessary.

Your emergency evacuation travel insurance can pay the medevac costs (up to the coverage limits you buy), which could be in the range of $15,000 to $25,000, says Daniel Durazo, spokesperson with Allianz Global Assistance.

Baggage Insurance Coverage for Loss and Delay

It’s always disheartening to arrive at your destination and realize that your checked baggage is lost, delayed or damaged. If this does happen, be sure to get a report from your airline detailing the incident so you can file a baggage insurance claim.

You may not realize that your travel insurance plan extends beyond checked baggage, and your belongings and personal effects are also protected. Your baggage insurance and coverage for your personal possessions come with per item and overall maximum limits. Baggage delay benefits usually have a waiting period before coverage kicks in, and have coverage limits per person, per day.

In general, Barbados is a safe destination, but like any place you travel to, you need to be aware of your surroundings. “Like all tourist destinations it has its dark side, and although visits are generally trouble-free, tourists may be the victims of petty crime and crimes of opportunity,” says Whitby with World Nomads. “It’s good to stay aware at all times and keep your personal items close.”

If you have your beach bag swiped while taking a dip in the ocean, or have your cellphone grabbed while walking in a bazaar, you can file a claim. A good rule of thumb is to get a loss report from the hotel manager, your tour operator or a law enforcement official, as you will be asked to submit this documentation.

The best way to protect your belongings is to leave any valuables at home. Most travel insurance policies exclude designer jewelry, high-end watches and antiquities. Also, lost or stolen cash isn’t refundable.

Be aware that you are compensated for the depreciated value of your belongings, not for the amount it costs to buy a new replacement.

Additionally, you generally have to file a claim with your airline or homeowners insurance policy before you turn to your baggage and belongings coverage.

Give your travel insurance a thorough read-through before you go on your trip so you don’t encounter any surprises.

Natural Disasters and Barbados

Hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions can all affect travel to Barbados.

“If you’re traveling during hurricane season, InsureMyTrip recommends you purchase a travel insurance policy, and buy the plan right after putting a deposit down on your trip,” says Meghan Walch, a spokesperson with InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance comparison site.

Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

“If a hurricane impacts your travel plans, you may have coverage,” says Walch. “But, if you purchase that policy after that hurricane is named/known, you will not find coverage through your policy.”

Related: How To Buy Travel Insurance For Hurricane-Prone Vacation Spots

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