Do You Need Travel Insurance?
Hello again travel lovers! Today I wanted to chat about something that most people have heard of, but are likely fuzzy on the details: Travel insurance! What exactly is it? What does it cover? Is it expensive? Let's get into it.
To put it simply, travel insurance works much like any other insurance policy in that it reimburses your for costs or losses that may arise if your travel arrangements don't go quite as planned. While it may not seem worth it to buy coverage on every little weekend away, travel insurance can really come in handy on pricier and lengthier trips.
Types of travel insurance
1. Trip Cancellation or Delay
This type of insurance will reimburse you for nonrefundable expenses if either party has to cancel or postpone all or part of a trip. For example, if the cruise line you booked with goes out of business before your departure or you fall unexpectedly ill and can no longer travel, you'd be covered. These types of policies often also cover trip delays, meaning you'd be compensated for any expenses you incur due to a cancelled flight or things of that nature.
Baggage/Personal Belongings insurance will reimburse you for any baggage or personal items that are lost, stolen or damaged during your trip. Do keep in mind that individual airlines have their own policies for how much they will cover if baggage is lost in transit, and homeowner's insurance policies may cover a certain amount of theft that occurs outside of the home, so check your existing policies before committing to anything more.
3. Emergency Medical
Emergency medical assistance coverage will help offset your costs should you get injured or become seriously ill while traveling. This could include things like transporting you to the nearest hospital or even flying you back home for treatment. Some personal health insurance policies do account for some of these costs, so call your provider to find out for sure.
4. Accidental Death
While many life and personal health insurance plans do already include coverages for unexpected death, these type of policies do offer an additional layer of coverage for your family if tragedy were to strike during a trip.
The average price of travel insurance in the U.S. ranges from about $148-$164, though ultimately costs associated with a travel insurance policy are determined by a few things:
Length & cost of trip: The longer and pricier the vacation, the higher the premium
Location: If health costs at your destination are higher, this will affect the cost of your policy
Medical conditions: Adding coverage for specific medical conditions that you may have can increase the amount you'll need to pay
# of coverages: The more situations your policy covers, the more it will cost
Your age: Travel insurance prices do generally go up the older you get
Travel insurance companies: Allianz Global Assistance & Travel Guard are a few reputable organizations who can offer you policies directly.
Comparison sites: AardvarkCompare, InsureMyTrip & SquareMouth will compare plans across up to 30 different providers.
Your credit card company: Many credit cards offer at least trip cancellation/delay and baggage coverage to cardholders, so it's always a good idea to check your card details or contact the issuing company to see what's included. In addition, AMEX travel offers insurance benefits to customers who aren't current cardholders.
Your rights as a passenger: When a flight is significantly delayed or cancelled you are generally entitled to be rebooked on the next available flight regardless, so having trip insurance wouldn't necessarily get you rebooked any faster. Airlines also have policies for compensating passengers who are subjected to significant delays with things like hotel accommodations and vouchers.
So, all in all the short answer to the question is: Maybe. Before you embark on the journey of a lifetime, take some time to do your research and review your existing insurance policies and credit card user agreements to see where you're already covered and if you may need some added security. Then, take to the skies worry-free!