Do I need travel insurance? When you are planning your next vacation that is a question that is sure to come up. Along with rental car insurance, travel insurance is one of those things that can be confusing to understand. Here we’ll break it down for you so you can head on your trip with peace of mind.
Do I need travel insurance?
Booking flights, finding hotels, figuring out activities to do while on vacation. It can all be overwhelming at first. Even when you’re a frequent traveler there are things that can come up and throw you for a loop. A big question that you should ask yourself amidst all of your plan making is ‘do I need travel insurance to protect my plans?’
There are times when you need travel insurance and times where it may not be necessary. No one wants to waste money on insurance if it isn’t going to help you in the first place.
Look at these three main concerns when making your decision: location, cancellation and medical emergencies.
What kind of travel insurance do I need?
There are four main types of travel insurance
- Trip cancellation- Reimburses you when certain circumstances prevent you from taking your trip
- Emergency medical assistance- Covers expenses related to medical crises, which can be very costly.
- Baggage insurance or personal effects coverage- Provides coverage if your personal belongings are lost, stolen or damaged during the trip.
- Accidental death coverage- provides coverage in event you or a family member dies during a trip.
Is travel insurance worth it?
If you are traveling domestically taking a short flight to visit family and friends you’ll likely not need travel insurance. If the trip is all of the sudden canceled you aren’t going to be out a significant amount of money.
Your health insurance should cover you within the United States although you should always confirm. This leaves the travelers insurance only covering lost baggage and travel delays. In these cases it wouldn’t be worth the money.
Do I need travel insurance for traveling abroad?
However, if you are traveling abroad, going on a cruise or booking a resort then travel insurance is beneficial to you both financially and medically.
These bigger trips can cost quite a significant amount of money. Between flights there and back, hotels or resorts and pricey attractions, you’re investing into these plans not just booking a cheap weekend flight. Most of your payments will be non-refundable. That’s a scary thought when we’re talking about thousands of dollars.
Life is unpredictable. The week of your trip comes up and all of the sudden someone is in the hospital and you simply can’t go. Now what?
With travelers insurance you would be alright. You could reschedule or maybe cancel the trip entirely and not lose out on too much money. Without the insurance you could be out all of your non-refundable payments. In this case, always get the travelers insurance. You never know what might come up.
Do I need travel insurance if I have health insurance?
Another reason to go ahead and purchase the insurance involves medical emergencies while you’re on vacation. Most medical plans aren’t going to cover medical expenses outside of your country leaving you uncovered for the extent of your travels.
Let’s say you take a trip to a resort in Mexico and your child breaks their arm, something that could happen anywhere in the world. Your regular plan isn’t going to cover that ER visit in another country however the travelers insurance you chose to get will cover it either upfront or via reimbursement.
You can typically choose from a number of different plans to fit your needs. If you don’t need an all-inclusive plan, smaller ones may be available.
Are there other types of travel insurance I should consider?
There are many other types of travel insurance. Depending on your destination and circumstances, you may want to consider the available coverage for:
- Missed connection
- Travel delay
- Emergency evacuation
- 24-hour traveler assistance
- Collision/damage coverage for rented cars
Can I purchase insurance after I have booked a trip?
Yes! You can buy travel insurance after booking your trip. However, it’s always best to purchase insurance as early in the process as possible. if you procrastinate, you may miss out on certain benefits.
In short, if you are traveling somewhere close on a domestic flight and not investing a ton into your trip, skip the insurance. If you have planned a trip abroad involving a larger investment of money and time, purchase the travelers insurance.