Do You Really Need Travel Insurance?


Travel is something that many people enjoy, whether it’s for business or pleasure. It doesn’t matter why you travel, just that you are. It’s a wonderful way to see the world, to experience different cultures and lifestyles, and it’s a wonderful way to find you. Have you ever traveled somewhere and unexpectedly found yourself wondering if you could, in fact, ever live there? Have you ever been somewhere and felt so immediately at home that you found yourself saddened by the prospect of returning home? Travel is something that makes you very rich, even if it provides you with nothing tangible but a few beautifully snapped photos and a shot glass you picked up at the airport. There is no downside to travel, except for the actual travel portion of travel. For example, flight delays are no fun, boring, and awful occurrences. Natural disasters that close down entire islands and damage resorts can put quite the damper on your next vacation. That’s why so many people choose travel insurance. Do you need it? That’s a question I cannot answer for you. As someone who travels frequently and is not looking to jinx my good fortune, I’ve never needed or purchased travel insurance. However, now I feel like I have to or I’ll regret it. If you’re not certain, here are a few things that might help you decide.

Travel Insurance is Good for Out of Country Travel

If you get hurt hiking up Mount Everest or skiing in the Swiss Alps, and you might, it’s going to be quite expensive. A travel insurance policy might just cover your needs if you are out of the country and in need of medical assistance. For example, if you require a helicopter to fly into the mountains and get you out, you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars in medical fees. A travel insurance policy is going to cover you out of the country, so you do absolutely want and need a travel insurance policy if you are leaving the country.

The Overall Cost

If you paid all of $500 to take a cruise and the cost of travel insurance is half that, you might not want it. At the end of the day, you’re paying for something you won’t really benefit from when you could probably just call the cruise line and ask to change your tickets to another date, pay a fee and probably the rate difference and call it a day. If your insurance is nearly as much as your trip, our advice is that it’s probably not worth the money you are going to pay.

Traveling During Hurricane Season

First and foremost, if you ever book any type of vacation that takes you into the Caribbean, South America, the West Coast or the East Coast between June 1 and November 30, you need travel insurance. Sure, your airline is going to cancel all flights to your destination if a hurricane hits. And yes, you might not get to go to a hotel that’s closed because of 130 mph winds, but that doesn’t mean they will refund you. If you’re traveling somewhere with known disasters that can literally pop up out of nowhere and affect your trip at the last possible minute, get the insurance. It’s the smart thing to do.

Check Your Airline and Hotel Cancellation Policies

Another way to consider whether or not you need travel insurance is to check your cancellation policies. If you get sick or need to cancel a room or flight at the last minute, or change the date of the flight or room, what is the penalty? Most hotels and airlines do charge a penalty if this happens within so many days of your arrival date, but often the fee is quite small and insignificant. This might make the total cost of travel insurance a bust since you could have just paid the change fees and rebooked your travel for far less. It’s something to consider.

Different Types of Travel Insurance

Now that you have an idea whether or not your particular trip is worth the cost of travel insurance, you should know how many types of insurance are available for travelers; many. Travel insurance is a broad term for so many other terms. This could mean cancellation insurance, change insurance, disaster insurance, travel health insurance, lost baggage insurance, and the list goes on and on. If you are not certain what kind of insurance you should get, ask yourself a few questions. Ask yourself what you will lose financially without insurance. Ask yourself if you are covered through your own insurance or your credit card for any of the things that might occur when you are traveling.

For example, many credit cards offer 24 concierge service and travel insurance dedicated to lost luggage. If your cards offer lost luggage coverage, you don’t need to purchase that as a separate policy. If your health insurance covers you internationally or on vacation, you don’t need that kind of insurance when you are gone as an added policy. If your car insurance will cover the cost of your rental car insurance, you don’t need to purchase the insurance policy offered by the rental car agency.

There is no right or wrong, yes or no, black or white answer to the age old question as to whether or not travel insurance is right for you. It either is or it is not; and only you can determine the answer to this question. Consider everything involved in your trip, what it is you stand to lose financially, and whether or not you can get away without a policy or not. Additionally, you might consider it pointless if you have the cash to cover the kinds of emergencies or fees that might pop up when you are gone. For most people, travel insurance is worth it. For others, it is not worth it. For others, still, you might find that a policy is worth it for one trip and not for another.

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