Most people treat travel insurance the same way as they do rental car insurance. Either they think that they absolutely always need it, or it is just another scam. The truth is, like all insurance, there are situations in which it is almost a necessity and times when it may not be. The key is taking a moment to ask yourself a few questions. Just like all insurance, it all boils down to risk assessment. The greater the risk of needing coverage, the better the investment becomes. There are 3 different aspects of travel insurance that you need to consider: trip cancellation, baggage loss/theft, and of course medical coverage. Here is a quick look at all three types of travel insurance and some simple ways to find out whether or not you need it.
Trip cancellation insurance is designed so that if your trip is canceled or even cut short, you will get reimbursed for all of your travel expenses that are non-refundable. There are a lot of different factors to consider when it comes to this type of insurance. The first thing that you should do is check with your credit card company to find out if they provide any trip cancellation insurance. In fact, many credit card companies provide this automatically. You can already be insured and not even realize it. If you do not have trip cancellation insurance, the next thing to consider is how expensive your trip is. For example, if your tip will cost $1000 and your insurance will cost $100, then you need to have 1 in every 10 trips to get canceled in order to break even. In general, the more expensive the trip, the greater the value you will get out of the insurance.
The next type of coverage is baggage loss and theft. Essentially, this insurance will cover anything that gets damaged, lost, or stolen during your trip. Again, the first thing you should do is find out if you already have some form of coverage. Credit cards and rental/home-owner insurance may cover this type of issue. The next thing to consider is the value of everything that you are traveling with. Remember, you will need to provide proof of what was lost, it’s value, and that you actually own it. For many people, this type of hassle simply isn’t worth it. Plus, depending on your coverage, you may only get a partial reimbursement rather than a complete reimbursement based upon the situation.
The final type of visitor insurance, and the most common type, is medical insurance/emergency medical insurance. Again, make sure that you are not already covered by your current medical insurance. In most cases, this is the insurance that can prove to be the most useful. Unfortunately, your health simply isn’t something that you can predict. Accidents happen, you could be out having a good time, fall down the stairs, and break your arm. Plus, this insurance will also cover related expenses like evacuation, which is important if you going to be outside city limits. Some of the most common stories that involve this would be things like getting hurt while skiing, hiking, or on the water.
It is important to keep in mind that no two policies are identical. That means that you could easily find a policy that fits your specific needs. One of the biggest reasons that some people don’t think travel insurance is worth it, is because it isn’t tailored to their needs. By taking the time, finding out what is already insured, and assessing your potential risks, finding a travel insurance policy that fits your needs will be much easier and much more beneficial.