OK, it’s time to discuss something that everyone wonders about when booking a trip. Travel Insurance. Is travel insurance worth it? Do you actually need it? I know travel insurance can be daunting and confusing, but don’t worry, I will list out the pros and cons so you can make the best decision for you.
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What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is coverage for unforeseen losses while traveling, whether internationally or domestic. Travel insurance usually falls into two categories, trip cancelation, and travel medical insurance.
Trip Cancellation usually covers some or all of these:
If you have to cancel your trip because of illness, death in the family, or other valid reason listed on your insurance policy.
If you have to cut your trip short due to illness, a death in the family, or an emergency that requires you to return home early.
- Emergency Medical Expenses
If you get sick or injured while on your trip your expenses can be covered to see a doctor.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation
If you get horribly sick or break your leg while hiking and can’t move you will be transported to the nearest medical facility for treatment.
- Repatriation of Remains
If God forbid, you pass away while on your trip your remains would be sent back home.
Lost, stolen, and delayed baggage can be covered.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment
If you pass away or lose a limb in an accident while on your trip.
Travel Medical Insurance usually covers:
Travel medical insurance can sometimes include some of the trip cancellation benefits. Since its medical insurance, it may have more coverage than the emergency medical coverage that is a part of the cancellation packages.
Pros and Cons of Travel Insurance
Peace of Mind
Having insurance will absolutely give you peace of mind. If you miss a flight or get sick you won’t have to worry about how to afford the extra costs.
Compensation for Lost Items
If you lose your baggage don’t worry, you will be compensated for your lost items. Just remember when you’re packing to put anything you absolutely can’t lose, like your camera or jewelry, into your carry-on. Read more about everything I bring in my carry-on here.
Treatment in Another Country
I don’t know about all health insurance companies but I know that most, which I know of, don’t cover treatment outside of my country of residence.
Save Money in the Long Run
If you miss your flight, lose your baggage, or get something stolen from you while traveling you will be so happy that you purchased travel insurance. It will save you tons of money in the long run. Life can be unpredictable, that doesn’t change while you’re on vacation.
Travel Insurance can definitely be pricey depending on the company you choose.
Cancellation Can Be Tricky
Travel insurance policies can be so confusing. All the fine print can make you crazy but it’s important to read it. You need to keep documentation of everything. If you need to cancel you have to have proof of the reasoning.
Coverage Could be Overkill
If you are partially covered through your credit card, partially covered by your airline, and your rental car company you may have a lot of benefits that overlap.
Pre-Existing Conditions Aren’t Always Covered
Pre-existing conditions are almost never covered. Be sure to read your policy thoroughly.
Your Claim May Not be Accepted
Again, make sure to read all the fine print. The policies usually only reimburse you under specific circumstances. For example, if you miss your flight because you woke up late, you most likely won’t get your money back.
How to Get Coverage
Check Current Coverage
You may already have some coverage and not even know it. Check with your credit cards, private insurance provider, and your airline because some offer coverage with the policies or flight you have already purchased.
Research Different Companies
The best thing you can do is research and find the best policy for you. You may only need minimal coverage if you have some coverage from a different policy. Take your time and do as much research as necessary to get all the information you need.
Make sure you read all the details of your policy. Each company varies so each policy will include different benefits.
Travel Insurance We Love: World Nomads
I never travel without insurance anymore. In my opinion travel insurance is more than worth it and I always feel like if I don’t have it, that’s when I will need it. The insurance coverage we use is World Nomads.
World Nomads is insurance made by travelers. They know what travelers need and want. They have two different packages to choose from, a standard plan and an explorer plan.
That way if you plan on cliff diving while on your trip you can get the explorer plan which offers more medical coverage compared to the standard plan.
You can see the list of activities and which are included in each plan here.
As you can see there are many pros and cons of travel insurance. I recommend always having it but just remember to do your research, read all the fine print, and pick the company and policy that’s right for you.