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Once bitten, twice shy.

Tax professionals all have different stories about “how I got into this business”.

For many of my friends in the tax pro community, it’s because they were burned by another tax pro themselves — or TurboTax! — and decided at that moment to never get burned again … and to make sure that their friends had the same assurance.

And from there, things just sort of … grew.

Well, taxes isn’t the only area where people get burned. And Southern Illinois IL isn’t the only place the unexpected can happen to you.

Friends and clients of mine have been burned often enough by vacation planning gone awry that I felt that I should offer some quick, easy clarity about what you SHOULD make sure you plan before you “vacay” … even though you might be tempted to forego it.

Maybe I’m extra-cautious, but I’m also pretty certain that you’ll thank me if you act on my advice!

I’m A Southern Illinois IL-Based Tax Pro, Not A Travel Agent — But I *Am* A Planner!
In the course of my work, you might think that I get a little “burned out” by all the thinking ahead and planning which my business requires.

Not so. Especially when I want to “get away” from that work. I’m a planner … and I’ve long ago stopped fighting against this impulse, including when it comes to planning for vacations.

So, take it from my personal experience: the last thing you want to do when traveling outside of Southern Illinois IL is worry about any financial loss that might occur as a result of a missed flight, an injury or illness, lost baggage, or any other unforeseen incident. To ensure your peace of mind while away from home, many companies provide several different types of traveler’s protection plans to help ease the burden.

Without insurance, you can lose nonrefundable deposits and prepayments that can add up to hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. But a good, comprehensive travel insurance plan will often reimburse you for all pre-paid, nonrefundable expenses for a covered loss.

For this reason, though some advise against using these sorts of services (and many reject them in a knee-jerk fashion), I’ve always found that having peace-of-mind — especially when it comes to VACATION, when peace is what we’re after! — is worth the extra investment.

So, here are some worthy options, as you hold on to that peace-of-mind this summer…

Travel Arrangement Protection – This covers you in case of trip cancellation, interruption, or travel delays (these can include inclement weather, lost or stolen passports, quarantine, hijacking or natural disaster).

Medical Protection – Despite having health insurance at home, the moment you set foot on foreign soil or even set sail on a cruise, many health plans are considered null and void, so be sure you get travel medical protection to cover emergency medical expenses, such as illness and accident expenses, and emergency medical transportation to the nearest medical facility.

Baggage Protection
– Not only do you want coverage for lost, stolen or damaged baggage, but many plans offer reimbursement for the purchase of essential items if baggage is delayed.

Worldwide Emergency Assistance – If traveling outside of the country, make sure you purchase a policy that covers international emergencies. This can include emergency cash transfer assistance, legal assistance, and lost travel documents assistance.

The cost of travel insurance is based, in most cases, on the value of the trip and the age of the traveler. Typically, the cost is 5-7 percent of the trip cost. Like most every other type of insurance, be it automobile, medical, or homeowner’s, you hope you never need to use it. But it can be a relief to have it when you do need it.

The bottom line is: Before embarking on your next trip, do your homework! Talk to your insurance agent – or call me for a recommendation – and learn more about all the different insurance options available to you, so you can make the best choice for your peace of mind!