The bigger question is how much money are you willing to lose if something goes wrong before or during your vacation?
Travel insurance sounds like one of those types of insurance you don’t really need like some extended warranties. In actuality, shelling out for travel insurance is a smart move in a lot of cases.
If you’re taking a short domestic trip with air and hotel, chances are you don’t really need travel insurance.
If you’re on a tour or cruise, traveling overseas or taking a longer trip you definitely should have some form of it. These days you never know if bad weather, political instability, or illness will disrupt your trip. Travel insurance lets you cancel or interrupt your trip if you get hurt or ill, miss a connection, or come across a terrorist attack. You can get reimbursed for nonrefundable costs like plane tickets.
Many people think their credit card “covers” them when traveling. Some credit cards cover medical and baggage insurance, but in general you’d be surprised how little they include! Also, don’t automatically assume that your regular medical coverage will cover you out of the country.
Basic travel insurance should cover these five things; trip cancellation and interruption, medical, evacuation, baggage, and flight insurance. But, there are a lot of variables.
Here are some things to consider when looking into insurance:
- Trip cancellation or interruption
Compare covered reasons (illness, injury, weather, political situation, etc.) and maximum allowance
- Others traveling with you
Does coverage include travel companions cost if your trip is cancelled?
- Pre-existing conditions
Are pre-existing conditions covered?
- Nearest hospital
If you need medical treatment, are you allowed to determine where you will get that treatment?
- Trip delay or stolen luggage
How much compensation is there for stolen luggage? If your luggage is delayed does your insurance pay for an unexpected hotel stay or the purchase of needed items?
The two insurance companies I tend to sell are Travel Guard and Allianz. I sell them because they have a tried and true reputation and are easy to work with. They have different policies to choose from, and it’s easy to compare them. I had to use my Travel Guard insurance last year when I got sick in Egypt. This caused me to stay an extra night in Cairo, miss my flight and miss the first day of my Nile cruise. I was able to get full compensation for all my out of pocket expenses including the doctors bills. I’ll never travel without insurance again!
The cost of insurance varies depending on age, amount paid for the trip and number of days away. You can even get annual travel insurance if you travel a lot.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on travel insurance, but I highly recommend thinking twice before leaving the country without it!