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As an epicenter for religious history, Israel is a popular destination year-round. Many of the hotels, tours and excursions need to be paid in advance. Often, these trip deposits and outlays are nonrefundable. Faith alone can’t prevent unexpected travel problems, so it’s wise to have travel insurance to protect the money you’ve invested in your trip to Israel.
“Israel is a country of religious significance and offers a traveler both natural beauty as well as wonderful museums, temples and religious tours for all to appreciate,” says Scott Adamski, spokesperson for AIG Travel Guard. “Get a pair of comfortable shoes and explore the many wonders that make Israel an important and enjoyable destination.”
The best travel insurance companies provide policies with trip cancellation, trip delay and interruption, travel medical expense and baggage coverage. Consider these benefits when shopping around for a travel insurance policy.
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Trip Cancellation Insurance for Putting the Holy City on Hold
A journey to Israel can take months to plan and years to save for, and yet something could happen that prevents you from going. Trip cancellation benefits apply if you need to cancel your trip for unforeseen reasons listed in the policy, such as an illness, injury or the death of a close family member. Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for 100% of prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses.
Not all reasons to cancel your trip will be covered by a basic travel insurance policy. For instance, if you decide to stay home because your grandchild is going to be the lead in the high school play, you would not be eligible to file a trip cancellation claim.
“Cancel for any reason” travel insurance
To make a trip cancellation claim no matter the reason is, add “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) travel insurance to your policy. This upgrade generally adds 50% to your travel insurance cost. But CFAR allows you to cancel no matter what and a claim, as long as you cancel at least 48 hours before you’re scheduled to depart. CFAR insurance typically reimburses 75% of your insured trip costs, and you usually have to buy it within 14 days of booking your trip.
Security considerations in Israel and the Middle East
Civil unrest—a concern for many visitors to Israel—isn’t usually covered by travel insurance, says Meghan Walch, spokesperson with InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance comparison provider. If you’re concerned that reports of civil disorder will make you feel unsafe, Walch says buying a CFAR upgrade may be a good idea. “CFAR offers the most flexibility to cancel a trip, at least two days before, for something other than a covered reason,” Walch says.
Terrorist attacks are covered by most travel insurance plans, as long as you bought the policy before the incident became foreseeable. That’s one of the advantages of buying travel insurance when you book your trip. You get the maximum length of time for cancellation benefits. You also don’t miss the window of time allotted to buy CFAR and other time-sensitive benefits.
Oy Vey! Travel Delay Insurance for Israel Trips
The travel delay insurance within a comprehensive travel insurance policy can cover the cost of a hotel, meals and other extra expenses if your flight is delayed by an unexpected event, such as bad weather or airplane mechanical issues. You can also be reimbursed for nonrefundable trip costs for the parts of your trip you miss. Let’s say a delay causes you to arrive in Israel a day late. If you paid in advance for a tour of Tel Aviv, you can file a claim to recoup the money.
Note that travel delay benefits have a required waiting time specified in the policy. For example, you may have to be delayed by six or 12 hours for delay benefits to apply. Also, trip delay coverage will have a per day and a total maximum benefit limit per person.
Trip Interruption Insurance for a Golan Heights Hiatus
No one goes on a trip expecting to return earlier than planned, but an emergency back home could cause you to cut a trip short. In that case, trip interruption insurance can be a blessing. You’ll find this coverage within a comprehensive travel insurance policy.
Trip interruption travel insurance can pay for a last-minute flight home from Israel if you have to leave early because of a reason covered by your policy. For example, illness, injury or the death of a travel companion or an immediate family member is covered by most policies. You can also file a claim for prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses that you will lose.
Not all problems and incidents are covered by standard trip interruption insurance. For instance, if you discover there are ongoing protester clashes at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and you decide to skip that portion of your excursion, you would not be eligible to file a trip interruption claim.
“Interruption for any reason” travel insurance
If you want the freedom to abbreviate your trip no matter what, you can buy an “interruption for any reason” (IFAR) travel insurance upgrade. Buying an IFAR upgrade adds 3% to 10% to your travel insurance cost, but reimburses 50% or 75% of your insured trip costs, depending on your policy. IFAR benefits generally apply after 48 or 72 hours into your trip. Not all travel insurance companies offer an IFAR upgrade.
Medical Problems During Israel Trips
When you travel abroad, travel medical insurance is among the most important considerations. Your U.S.-based health insurance may not travel with you, so it’s best to reach out to contact your health insurance company to verify what, if any, global coverage you have. Senior travelers should know that Medicare isn’t accepted outside of the U.S.
That’s why it’s very important to have travel medical insurance. It pays up to the policy limits for doctor and hospital expenses, lab work, medicine and X-rays, among other medically necessary expenses due to sickness or injury. The best travel insurance plans have $500,000 worth of coverage, but many plans offer less if you don’t think you need that much.
Emergency Evacuation Travel Insurance
Adamski of AIG Travel says that while there is adequate medical care available in the larger cities of Israel, your journey might take you to more remote regions of the country. If you are injured or become very ill while there, you may require immediate air transportation to reach an appropriately equipped medical center.
Adamski says medical evacuations can be expensive—from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands, depending on your location and condition. That’s why it’s smart to buy a travel insurance plan that includes medical evacuation insurance. It pays up to your policy limits for medevac services to the nearest adequate treatment center.
Non-medical evacuation travel insurance
What if political or civil unrest erupts while you’re in Israel, and you feel unsafe? Some travel insurance policies include non-medical evacuation benefits that transport you to safety, says Megan Moncrief, spokesperson with travel insurance comparison provider Squaremouth.
If you’re worried about civil unrest, consider buying a policy with non-medical evacuation coverage. For example, AIG Travel’s Travel Guard Deluxe includes security evacuation coverage up to $100,000.
Baggage Insurance for Israel Trips
If your bags get lost or stolen, baggage insurance can reimburse you up to the limits of your policy for the depreciated value of your suitcases and what’s packed inside. Be sure to read your policy for per item coverage limits and exclusions.
Also check to see if your baggage insurance is primary or secondary. If it’s primary, you file a baggage insurance claim first. If it’s secondary, you first file a claim with your home insurance or renters insurance, then with your travel insurance company.
Baggage insurance also extends to your personal belongings when you’re at your destination. If your backpack gets stolen, you can file a claim for reimbursement. Be sure to get a theft report from local law enforcement or your tour leader. You will need this report when you file a claim.
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How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for a Trip to Israel?
The average cost of travel insurance for a trip to Israel is $456, based on data from Squaremouth. Travelers insure an average of $6,349 for trips to Israel.
In general, the average travel insurance cost is 6% of your trip cost, according to Forbes Advisor’s. The cost of travel insurance is usually primarily based on your trip cost and age.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.