USA To Munich Trips – Forbes Advisor


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The original Oktoberfest—the annual celebration of autumn, beer and German culture that inspired all the others—draws about 6 million people to Munich each fall. If you’re headed to Germany to grab a beer mug, dive into a hip culinary scene and join the party, you’ll want to purchase a robust travel insurance plan.

Munich is a popular city for Americans to visit year-round, but especially for Oktoberfest. If you plan to visit during that time, it’s common for hotels, transportation providers and tour operators to request nonrefundable and prepaid deposits to reserve travel experiences.

Because those outlays can be costly, it’s smart to buy travel insurance.

“There’s no better time to see Europe, but the purchase of a travel insurance policy can help protect you and your family from unforeseen setbacks,” says Tim Dodge, spokesperson for Arch RoamRight Travel Insurance.

You’ll want to consider the travel insurance options to properly safeguard your health, baggage, belongings and money during a trip to Munich.

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Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance

When you make plans to spend Oktoberfest in Munich, you don’t want your beer adventure to go flat because of an emergency. But things can and do happen.

For instance, if your 2-year-old son comes down with chickenpox three days before your trip, you won’t be able to travel. Trip cancellation insurance will allow you to file a claim to recover 100% of prepaid and nonrefundable trip deposits.

That is because a sick child is typically covered under a travel insurance plan’s trip cancellation benefits. Covered reasons typically include:

  • A serious family emergency
  • A sudden job loss
  • Death of a travel companion or close family member
  • Illness or injury to you, your travel companion or a close relative
  • Jury duty
  • Military deployment
  • Severe weather

It’s important to know that a standard travel insurance plan does not cover all reasons to cancel a trip. If you get into a fight with your significant other three days before a trip to Munich and decide you’d rather stay home, your domestic disharmony would not qualify as a covered reason to cancel.

‘Cancel for Any Reason’ Travel Insurance

For the greatest level of flexibility to cancel a trip, consider upgrading your travel insurance plan to include a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance add-on.

Doing so will bump up the cost of your plan by about 50%, but you will have the latitude to cancel your trip for any reason as long as you do so at least—depending on your policy—48 or 72 hours before you are scheduled to leave.

With this coverage, you should be able to recover 50% or 75% of your trip’s nonrefundable costs.

Travel Delay Insurance

Munich is a popular destination during the fall, but there aren’t as many direct flights from the U.S. to Munich as there are to other European cities, such as Berlin.

Most likely, you will need to take a connecting flight to reach Munich. If one of your flights is significantly late to a covered reason listed in your policy—usually including severe weather or aircraft issues—travel delay insurance coverage can reimburse expenses you incur due to the delay.

Let’s say you fly to Munich from Dallas by way of Istanbul, and your flight from Istanbul is significantly delayed due to protests at the airport. In such circumstances, your travel delay benefits can help pay for the cost of a hotel room, and a meal or two until you catch a flight to Munich.

Most policies have a waiting period requiring the delay to last a minimum amount of time—often six or 12 hours—before your benefits kick in. So, be sure to read your policy to see what’s required. Also, save any receipts that help support your claim.

If your covered delay causes you to miss prepaid experiences, you can file a claim for reimbursement. For example, if you paid upfront for a private group tour of the BMW Museum the morning of your first day in Munich and you arrive too late to see the classic cars, you can recover that lost trip expense.

Trip Interruption Insurance

Sometimes life intrudes on a vacation and forces you to cut a trip short. That’s a good reason to buy a travel policy that includes trip interruption insurance, particularly if you travel outside the U.S.

For example, if a relative back home falls gravely ill while you’re enjoying yourself in Germany, your plan would cover costs related to returning home early. Your coverage would pay for your last-minute plane ticket home, plus a taxi to the airport.

Also, if you prepaid for your entire hotel stay in Munich as well as a nonrefundable evening bus tour, your policy would reimburse those forfeited trip outlays.

The trip interruption component of a travel policy pays out for problems listed in your policy, typically including the illness or death of a family member, natural disasters, terrorism incidents and airplane equipment failures.

‘Interruption for Any Reason’ Travel Insurance

“Interruption for any reason” travel insurance coverage expands the scope of your trip interruption insurance so you will be reimbursed no matter the cause of the interruption.

The coverage can add between 3% and 10% to the total cost of your travel insurance and will reimburse you for up to 75% of prepaid travel expenses.Note that benefits for this upgrade usually don’t apply until you are a specified amount of time into your trip, for example 48 or 72 hours.

Travel Medical Insurance

Travel medical insurance is particularly important when traveling abroad because your U.S.-based health insurance is unlikely to be accepted in foreign countries. Check with your insurance company about health insurance coverage outside the U.S. before you travel to be sure.

Without travel medical insurance, you might have to pay out of your own pocket for medical costs, such as seeing a doctor, undergoing an X-ray and getting prescriptions.

Older travelers can benefit from travel medical insurance because Medicare will not work in Germany.

Medical Evacuation Travel Insurance

If you are on a bicycle tour in a rural area outside Munich and collide with another cyclist, you might need trauma care. If there isn’t a nearby medical clinic that can treat your medical issue, your travel insurance company can dispatch transportation to bring you to a hospital elsewhere in Germany or back in the U.S. to treat your injuries.

Medical evacuation travel insurance can help reimburse your transportation costs, and the price is nominal compared to what a private air transfer would cost. You could find yourself looking at a bill in the thousands of dollars if you do not have this coverage.

Baggage Insurance

If your bags are lost, damaged or stolen en route to Munich, you can recover the depreciated cost of your belongings through baggage insurance coverage in a travel policy. Read your plan to understand policy limits and how depreciation will affect your reimbursement amounts. In other words, your insurer won’t reimburse you the cost of new items if your stuff is not new.

Also note that you usually must file a claim with your airline or home or renters insurance before filing a baggage insurance claim. If you’re not fully reimbursed by the initial claim, your baggage insurance can cover the difference.

If your bags arrive in Munich after you do, baggage delay benefits can help pay for necessities to tide you over until your luggage arrives. For example, you might need to buy a change of clothes and toiletries. Baggage delay benefits kick in after a required waiting period outlined in your policy, for example 12 or 24 hours.

Your baggage insurance benefits can also pay if your personal belongings are lost, damaged or stolen during your vacation. Munich is a relatively safe city, but as in other European cities, petty theft can happen, especially in tourist spots.

If something is stolen during your trip, file a report with your tour leader, local authorities or a hotel manager. You may be asked to submit the report when you file a claim with your carrier.

Be sure to read your policy carefully so you are familiar with per-item caps and exclusions; diamond designer jewelry or rare coins may not be covered. And note that you will not be reimbursed for lost or stolen cash.

One More Consideration for a Munich Oktoberfest Trip

In the fall, Munich becomes the beer capital of the world during Oktoberfest. While the world-renowned celebration of Bavarian culture provides an array of festive sights, sounds and tastes, “there is—without a doubt—a unique focus on the beer,” says Scott Adamski, spokesperson with AIG Travel.

“Visitors of drinking age are likely to find themselves strongly encouraged to participate in all of the beer-centric traditions, to the point that they might find themselves imbibing more than intended,” Adamski says.

Accordingly, it’s important to be aware that intoxication above the legal limit at your travel location may cause any loss to be excluded from coverage under the travel insurance policy.

“It is incumbent on the traveler to know what the legal limit is in the country they’re visiting, and also to be self-aware about the possibility of over-imbibing in a setting where drinking culture may be prevalent,” Adamski says.

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