Accessories, Budget

Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

February 14, 2013 by

Looking out at sunset

Do you really need travel insurance?

Saving for a trip can be hard enough at times. It’s easy to think you can’t afford travel insurance.

The question isn’t really whether or not you can afford the insurance; it’s whether or not you can afford to lose the money you’ve spent for your trip if circumstances change. 

Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

Before you buy travel insurance, ask about the cancellation policy offered. For instance, it is not unusual for a tourist-type destination to require all monies be paid six weeks or more in advance of arrival.

How much of that would you get back if you happened to break a leg two weeks before you were supposed to arrive? In most cases, you would not be reimbursed, unless the property is re-booked, and even then you may be responsible for a cancellation fee.

If you can’t “afford” the unexpected, then travel insurance is a safety net worth purchasing. 

Broken Leg

Types of Travel Insurance 

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: Cancellation insurance covers unforeseen events that result in the interruption or cancellation of your trip.

This covers illness, injury, or death of the insured or a member of their immediate family. If you are traveling with someone who is not family, some policies offer coverage for the insured’s travel companion. 

While trip cancellation provides coverage for health-type reasons for cancellation, most don’t cover other reasons such as losing your job, or if the agency you book through happens to go out of business.

Other policies exclude specific destinations prone to political unrest. If you want full coverage, look for travel insurers offering comprehensive “cancel for any reason” policies. 

Medical insurance: Travel medical insurance policies differ from coverage provided by your health care plan. Depending on the policy, it may cover things such as emergency medical evacuation and the cost of transportation to a qualified physician or nearest hospital.

Cancellation Insurance

Before You Pay for Travel Insurance

Before you shell out your hard earned cash for a policy, check your existing coverage to determine whether you should buy travel insurance.

For instance, some homeowners policies covers lost luggage, and some health insurance policies already cover medical emergencies overseas. In some cases, credit cards offer certain travel related coverage when they are used to charge tickets for the trip. 

With so many types of travel insurance available, coverage and cost vary widely from one policy to another. Before you pay for travel insurance, know exactly what coverage you’re buying and whether or not you really need it. 

Photo credits: Vinni123, artist in doing nothingroland

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