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Travel Insurance For Portugal Trips – Forbes Advisor

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Buying a travel insurance plan should be part of your travel preparations for a trip to Portugal, whether you’re going to surf at Peniche, hike, kayak or ski in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, take in the historical architecture of Lisbon, soak up the beach slacker vibe of Comporta or wander the wine country.

A comprehensive travel insurance plan provides coverage for trip cancellation, trip delay and trip interruption. It also covers costs for medical expenses and emergency evacuation, and for lost, delayed or stolen baggage.

It’s best to buy a travel insurance plan shortly after you put down the first deposit for your trip.

Here’s what your travel insurance plan should include for a vacation to Portugal to provide protection for unexpected events that may crop up before or during your trip.

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Trip Cancellation Insurance for Portugal

If you have to cancel your dream trip to Portugal due to an emergency, and you have travel insurance, you can open up a bottle of port wine and find solace in knowing you’ll get some of your money back by filing a trip cancellation claim .

Let’s say you arranged for your brother and sister-in-law to watch your three children while you and your spouse travel to Lisbon to celebrate your 15th anniversary. Your brother has a heart attack a few days before your departure, so you have to cancel.

The trip cancellation portion of your travel insurance plan would cover you by reimbursing 100% of what you lose in prepaid, forfeited and non-refundable costs. It pays out if you cancel because of unforeseen events. That includes a death, illness or injury to you, your travel companion or an immediate family member.

So, if you paid for transportation for a day trip to the island Madeira to enjoy the beaches and explore the volcanic peaks, you would be reimbursed if it’s a nonrefundable expenditure.

Standard trip cancellation insurance plans have limitations. You won’t be covered if you simply change your mind. For example, if your son was being honored at a dinner by his boss and you canceled your trip so you could attend, you wouldn’t be able to file a claim.

“Cancel for any reason” travel insurance

If you want the highest tier of flexibility to cancel your trip and receive reimbursement, it’s wise to buy a policy that allows you to upgrade your travel insurance plan with “cancel for any reason” coverage. Doing so will increase your policy price by an average of 50%. This coverage allows you to cancel for reasons not listed on a standard policy, which could include:

  • fear of travel
  • Lack of ideal weather at your destination
  • Conflict plans
  • just because you change your mind

You must cancel at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure and you will generally receive 50% or 75% of the non-refundable trip money that you lost.

Travel Delays on Route to Portugal

Severe weather, aircraft mechanical issues and other circumstances beyond your control can cause your flight to be canceled or delayed, leaving you staring at the airport’s departure board in dismay. Your trip delay insurance can help by paying for hotels, meals, transportation and personal necessities.

Trip delay insurance is typically included in a comprehensive travel insurance plan.

Let’s say you wanted to save money so you opted for a stop-over flight from Boston to Lisbon, with a connection in Zurich. Your flight is canceled in Zurich due to a computer glitch that shuts down the air-traffic controlling systems. Your travel insurance plan can reimburse you for expenses you incur during the delay. Usually, there’s a delay waiting period of six or more hours before your benefits will start. Be sure to read your policy to understand the coverage rules.

Trip delay insurance is also beneficial If you’re visiting several countries during your European holiday. If you miss your connection from Porto to Brussels because of a car accident and the roads to the airport are closed, you can file a claim for reimbursement.

“Minor trip snafus can happen more often than you think, but fortunately, with trip delay, you can get back on track knowing you can file a claim for possible reimbursements up to the benefit limits specified in your policy. Just make sure to save your receipts for any unexpected incidentals,” says Lisa Cheng, a spokesperson for World Nomads, a travel insurance company.

Trip delay benefits also cover prepaid activities and events that you miss because you arrive late to your destination. If you paid in advance for transportation to the Alqueva Reserve, one of the world’s only certified stargazing tourist destinations, for a cosmic evening under the Milky Way, you could file a claim.

Trip Interruption Coverage

If you’re on a tour taking in Lisbon history, and while admiring the Torre de Belém you get a call that your mother passed away, you would want to cut your trip short and return home. Your benefits would cover a last-minute economy ticket home, plus transportation to the airport.

Your trip interruption benefits could also reimburse you for any pre-paid experiences that you would miss. If you paid in advance to go on a riverboat ride to view the six bridges that span the River Douro, you would be compensated.

Travel Medical Insurance for a Trip to Portugal

Portugal is a relatively small country, about the size of Indiana, so you can pack a lot of activities into a two-week vacation since you can get around quickly.

“If you’re looking for a combination of culture and adventure, Portugal is a good place to go, with historic cities, rugged coasts, volcanic islands and scenic beaches—all within easy reach,” says Cheng at World Nomads.

All the more reason why you should have generous travel medical insurance coverage. It can pay for ambulance service, doctor, hospital and operating room bills, X-rays, lab tests and medicine. Cheng says travel medical insurance can help keep your medical bills from spinning out of control.

It’s always wise to purchase a travel insurance plan with medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation coverage for any international trip. That’s because your own health plan may not have great coverage outside the US Be sure to check with your health insurance company about what global coverage is available. And Medicare is not accepted in Portugal.

“The support comes not only in the form of medical reimbursements, but the emergency assistance company can also help on the ground, whether that be the logistics of getting to a hospital, communicating with a non-English speaking pharmacist about your prescriptions or transferring your medical records,” says Cheng.

Emergency Medical Evacuation During a Portugal Trip

If you’re exploring the Azores archipelago, a two-hour flight from Lisbon, and you experience a seizure, your travel insurance company can coordinate an air ambulance to transfer you to a medical facility to treat you.

Without coverage, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars for a medevac. The nominal cost of a travel insurance plan provides a safety net for international destinations.

You can find plans with $1 million in emergency medical evacuation coverage, but you can buy less if you feel you don’t need that much. It’s prudent to ask your travel insurance agent what estimated costs are for medevac services in the destinations you’re visiting.

Baggage Loss Insurance

Portugal is a relatively safe country, but you should always take precautions while traveling. The best advice is to not draw attention to yourself as a tourist. Don’t wear expensive jewelry, don’t flash cash around and don’t tell strangers your travel plans.

“As in many countries, bag-snatching and pickpocketing can be a problem in areas that are frequented by travelers,” says Cheng.

She says you should be especially cautious when riding popular tram lines in Lisbon, such as the one that goes up to the Castle of São Jorge.

If you get your backpack stolen, your travel insurance plan can help reimburse you for the stolen items, up to the amount specified in your policy.

“Be prepared to show proof of ownership and a report from the police or other local authority where the theft took place,” says Cheng at World Nomads.

The lost or delayed baggage benefits within a comprehensive travel insurance plan can also help you out if your luggage goes astray. You will be compensated up to the limits on your policy. There is usually an overall maximum pay out, and per item pay out that’s capped at a certain amount.

Be aware that you will be reimbursed based on the depreciated value of your suitcases and belongings, which means it will be less than what you’d need to buy a new replacement. Also, you may have to file a homeowners insurance claim before your travel insurance plan compensates you.

Traveling to Portugal During the Pandemic

It’s wise to check embassy sites or ask your travel agent about the status of Covid-related travel restrictions for your destination. Portugal is allowing travelers in the country who provide a negative Covid test at least 72 hours before boarding or if a negative rapid test within 48 hours of boarding. You also have to fill out a passenger locator card.

Some travel insurance plans include Covid-related medical expenses and cancellations under standard coverage, but not all do. It’s wise to buy a plan that covers Covid-related expenses if traveling abroad. The best pandemic travel insurance policies will also provide “cancel for any reason” insurance, to give you the best flexibility.

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