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Travel Insurance: Worth the Investment

Do you really need travel insurance? It's a question that is frequently asked and the answer is yes, you do. There are many reasons for getting travel insurance, everything from possible theft and hospital visits to injuries and death can be covered by a good insurance policy and while you hope you will never need to use it, insurance is something you'll be very glad of should something go wrong.

Types of Travel Insurance

There are several different options when it comes to travel insurance. You can choose just one type, or opt for an all-inclusive policy which will cover a variety of things, including health and theft.

Medical Insurance: This type of insurance will cover any medical expenses while you are out of the country. Note that this isn't always necessary, if you have health insurance back home, it may cover short out of country trips, as well. You can invest in basic health insurance, which will cover doctor and dentist visits and hospital stays, but each policy is different. Make sure you understand exactly what is covered and for how long. It's a good idea to look into investing a little extra for evacuation, as well, so you can be brought home if needed.

Flight insurance: If your plane goes down, this is the insurance that will ensure that you or your surviving family members will get something for it. In general, this is the highest costing insurance and isn't really necessary in most cases.

Trip Cancellation: Not every trip will require this type of travel insurance, but if you are laying out big bucks for a cruise or a vacation spot, then you'll definitely want to look into trip cancellation insurance. If you can't make the journey for any reason, it's canceled, you get sick, etc. then you can get your money back, so it's a good way to go.

Luggage/Baggage Insurance: Lost bags are a common problem when flying, whether you stay in the country or fly around the world. Airlines within the US may give you up to $3,000 in compensation, but if you are flying overseas, the amount you could recover is minimal, so you'll want to make sure you have some insurance to cover anything you might lose in your luggage.

Things to Consider

If you are interested in extreme sports and intend to take part in them while traveling, keep in mind that many types of insurance do not cover injuries that you may have from such activities. There are special extreme travel insurance options that will cover you if you plan to go rock climbing or skydiving, however.

Make sure you read any and all policies very carefully. It's important to make informed choices when you are buying travel insurance and you need to know just what is covered and what is not. The fine print will usually let you know what could be a deal breaker, so pay attention to this part. Anything you aren't sure of should be cleared up by the insurance company before you pay anything.

Make sure that the cost of the insurance is lower than whatever it's going to cost. For example, if you are paying $50 for a cross state plane ticket, chances are you don't need insurance to cover the possible cancellation.

Travel insurance has many facets and not all types will be necessary for your trips. In fact, you may find that some types of insurance are so specialized that you don't even need to consider them. However, health or medical insurance, along with baggage insurance, if you plan to travel outside the country, are both very important and should definitely be on your list.


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