Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
Is travel insurance worth it? Does it make sense for you? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, at least in my opinion. The answer is very specific to you, your travel companion(s) and your plans and needs, not to mention the wide range of plans available. With coverage options available for everything from delayed baggage to jury duty, you’ll want to do some research into the plans available to you. Start by considering the following:
TRAVEL INSURANCE MIGHT BE FOR YOU IF:
You have a non-refundable booking
This is plan specific, however if you’re booking a trip that’s largely non-refundable it’s worth looking into, especially if the trip cost is high. Just make sure, however, that the approved conditions for cancellation meet your comfort level. Insurance that allows “cancel for any reason” claims typically comes with a higher price tag. In some plans there are deadlines for bookings (i.e. all items covered will only be considered covered if they’re booked/paid within 30 days of purchasing the plan). You’ll also want to take note of what the policy offers you if there’s an interruption of your trip. If you’ve got a lot paid out in deposits or its the trip of a lifetime (like heading to Coral Caye) you might want to look into travel insurance.
You want health coverage
If you know you’ve got an existing condition, are traveling with someone who is elderly or are going to be doing something a bit more “high risk” then travel insurance might be for you! Just make sure you’re clear on what’s included/excluded in your plan, i.e. skydiving accidents might not be covered but a broken arm from an average slip would be. Coverage is policy specific but I’ve mostly seen set amounts for medical costs/expenses on your trip (i.e. $500,000 USD max for medical expenses) in the policies I’ve reviewed.
Peace of mind is top on your list
If you’re someone who tends to worry or let rampant anxiety ruin a good time it might make sense to look into travel insurance. Having that little bit in the back of your mind might be just what you need to enjoy your trip! I would also recommend reading on how to make travel less stressful – you can thank me later.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO PASS ON TRAVEL INSURANCE IF:
Cost is an issue
Is it even in your budget? These policies can get pricey. It depends on who you’re going through for your insurance, the ages of those traveling (some policies will also want health questions in relation to per-existing conditions), where you’re traveling to and the length of your stay. Would you want to purchase a $300 travel insurance plan for a long weekend trip to Barcelona with two $250 round trip tickets (it’s a thing, I promise! I bought some in February on a similar deal) when you’re staying in a hotel with a full cancellation policy, especially if the insurance policy is fairly light in coverage/cancellation options? That’s a hard pass for me. If, however, you’ve shelled out $10,000 for your dream anniversary trip and it’s non-refundable from the airline tickets to the hotels(s) then you might want to consider it.
You’re not interested in reading the fine print
If you tend to skip all the small print you might be rolling the dice when it comes to travel insurance! Due to the variation from state to state, along with the individual policy outlines, there is a lot to go over before you pay up. At a minimum you should check for the following:
- Are tour operator “penalty fees” covered? Are your tours even covered?
- What does the plan consider “foreseen” vs. “unforeseen” circumstances? This came into play with a lot of the Covid horror stories about people who had plans that didn’t cover cancellations in relation to the pandemic.
- What about political unrest? This might be worth checking up on if you’re headed to an area that’s politically unstable.
- What are the details on the medical coverage provided?
- Is there coverage for trip interruption? How much?
- Are there fees associated with “cancel for any reason” policies?
If you read nothing else make sure you read (and understand) the outlines of the exact circumstances in which you’ll be able to cancel and utilize the plan in question.
Is travel insurance worth it?
So is travel insurance worth it? The answer is different for everyone. In the past I’ve purchased full travel insurance (and had to use it!) for a trip to Central America that was supposed to be a multi-location itinerary (during hurricane season). Unfortunately Mr. BGB’s time off had to be rescheduled due to do a large work project…..luckily we had purchased a plan and we received all of our deposits back (once proper documentation was submitted)! Hooray! I also got a plan last year when I took my grandma, who was 90 at the time, home to Japan for a few weeks. This plan was purchased primarily for the health insurance coverage and thankfully wasn’t used – grandma took that trip like a pro! In other situations I’ve skipped the insurance, like when I mentioned the super discounted Barcelona tickets – it just didn’t make sense for me to get a policy that would cost almost as much as the tickets so I decided to pass.
I hope that these points make it easier for you to decide if travel insurance works for you! Have you had any positive or negative experiences with travel insurance?