Most travelers aren’t aware that travel or trip insurance is an important part of prepping for long trips or traveling abroad. If you are injured in another country, your health insurance may not cover you. This article will go over why having coverage is necessary so you are ready for any disaster, and when it is not as necessary to have travel coverage.
What Travel Insurance Is and What it Covers
Travel insurance is insurance that covers losses you incur either internationally or domestically. What it covers will depend on the company you go through and what they offer you. Whether it’s worth getting involves a couple of factors, those usually being how much you plan on spending for your trip and what risks are involved. Remember, travel insurance is not the same thing as having prepaid auto insurance.
When Travel Insurance Isn’t Worth it
There are times when travel insurance isn’t necessary to buy. Let’s go over a few of those. And keep in mind these are just a few. Every trip is different, so keep in mind what options fit your needs.
Often when traveling within your country, travel insurance won’t be needed. Specifically, within the United States, domestic travel isn’t usually very expensive, and you don’t usually go on a trip for longer than a week.
This is especially true if you plan to take a domestic trip in a car, even when you are traveling in a rental car. As such, it’s not usually worth the cost to insure your trip. Your medical coverage and car insurance, if you have insurance, will often cover you for any emergency you might run into while away.
The cost of insurance for your flights is not often worth it. If they cancel your flight and it is due to events outside of your control, airlines usually will give you the seat on the next available flight, or they will return the flight ticket with money. This is also often the case when your flight is delayed.
If Your Card Offers it
There are several credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will offer you built-in trip reimbursement for trip interruptions. Other credit cards offer baggage and trip cancellation coverage. So be sure to check the fine print on your credit cards before you buy any travel insurance.
Cheap and Quick Trips
Like with domestic trips, it’s not worth spending the money on travel insurance if your trip is quick and you booked it at the last minute. You will just need to ask yourself if it’s worth spending the money or if the trip is cheap enough that losing the cost will not matter.
When Travel Insurance Is Worth it
Now, let’s cover the times when you should buy travel insurance. Yes, there are times that it is worth it. Like I mentioned before, it just depends on your circumstances.
Traveling abroad is one of the biggest reasons you will want to get insurance. These trips are often very expensive, and there is a lot of money to lose from sudden cancellations or delays. You also run a much higher chance of losing your baggage or having it damaged the more flights that it changes.
Most medical costs are expensive, and medical accidents are hard to predict. Having travel insurance can cover most of your medical needs. And nothing can ruin a trip more than suddenly being slapped with a large bill at the end of it. You will want to avoid unexpected travel expenses as much as possible.
Cruises are expensive, they carry a high risk, and they usually travel internationally. These are all major reasons you will want insurance if you decide to take a cruise to the Bahamas. Often, the cruise company will offer you travel insurance.
There isn’t much of a difference between what they offer you and what you will find, so there is no harm in taking their offer.
Major Travel Insurance Components
Always be sure to look over any travel insurance carefully before you buy it. You want to understand exactly what they are offering to cover and any caveats they may add in the fine print. Also, remember these key things when deciding whether to get travel insurance or not.
Travel insurance can cover medical emergencies and medical evacuations. This is often the major reason you will want insurance. Be sure to check the fine details, though. They often have a limit on how much they will offer to cover.
Travel insurance can cover sudden cancellations. These are anything from you or your family getting sick to there being a sudden accident or death, or even there is a sudden change in your plans. Just make sure the insurance you buy does cover sudden cancellations.
Most valuables are replaceable, but in the case of expensive equipment like laptops, cameras, and valuables, you will want insurance to cover those things in case they get lost or destroyed. Though you should also remember that most insurance covers items that are lost outside of your control — not items lost because you misplaced them.
Not all travel insurance will cover you in the case of a car accident. This is especially true if you are at fault for the accident. Make sure to read the fine print of your travel insurance and double-check your car insurance to see what coverage you have.
Your travel insurance will end once you come home. If you decide to end your trip earlier than the amount you paid for, you, unfortunately, will likely not be eligible for a refund. You may still be covered if you resume your trip, but your insurance will not cover you while you are at home.
As mentioned before, read the fine print of your insurance and make sure you understand the coverage. If you come home early due to a medical condition or because of a cancellation, you will likely be covered under the insurance.
When in doubt, do your research. Not every travel insurance you find will cover what you need. So weigh the pro and cons of having travel insurance and double-check what things you may need for your trip.
About the Author
Brennan Lingo writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, Carinsurancecomparison.com. They also enjoy traveling and have taken a few trips overseas to New Zealand.