Are you one of those travelers who skip the “travel insurance” part when booking your airline ticket? Do you cautiously click NO when asked if you want travel insurance? If the answers to those questions are yes, then you are not alone. If you’re like the casual traveler, you may not think you need travel insurance. After all, it will only make your next trip more expensive, right? As long as you are physically fit, your chances are you won’t need to shell out extra bucks for insurance you probably won’t use…
Though nobody likes spending extra money on travel, purchasing travel insurance could provide you with several quality benefits. First-time travelers and even frequent travelers should get a travel insurance just for the sake of peace of mind while traveling. With travel insurance, you could get medical expenses covered, and reimbursements for lost luggage among other things. Of course, not all travel insurance plans are created equal, so it is important to research and thoroughly review your options before getting one.
Many travelers fall into the trap of failing to get travel insurance because of many reasons, but here is a list of 10 reasons why travel insurance is worth it and why you should never travel without buying travel insurance.
1. Your Trip is Cancelled or Emergency Trip Abandonment
Let’s start with the basics. What if your trip is cancelled? And what happens if you are stuck at a layover with a cancelled flight?
It may not seem likely, but flights are cancelled all the time due to bad weather and technical issues. Other reasons a trip can be cancelled or abandoned include illness, natural disaster, accident, or the carrier goes out of business, but regardless of the reason, a travel insurance policy might guarantee that you qualify for reimbursement. For this reason alone, travel insurance is worth it.
With flight insurance, you will have access to trip interruption coverage that will provide a refund on your interrupted flight. Some insurances even pay for lodging so that you can stay in a quality hotel while you wait on the situation to be sorted out. But it’s not always external circumstances that cancel your trip. Sometimes, it’s you. If you need to cancel your trip for any reason, you can take advantage of your travel insurance’s trip cancellation coverage to get back your out-of-pocket expenses for certain cancellation reasons.
2. You Miss Your Connection
If you’ve ever missed your connection, you already know what this is like. Luckily, with the right travel insurance, you never have to worry about the associated costs of missing a connection again. Missed connection coverage allows you to get the next flight out and helps you pay for the trip. This gives you the security of knowing that you at least won’t be too late to your destination, or worse, you can’t afford to get to your next destination.
3. You need 24/7 Emergency Assistance
We like to think we can control everything. The unfortunate reality is that we often cannot—especially when we are in a foreign country and might not even speak the language. What happens, for instance, if you’re stuck without a way to move from one place to another? Or have some other sort of interruption to your trip? With emergency assistant services, you can contact agents who will find and pay for another means of transportation or help you sort out whatever has gone wrong. This means that you never have to worry about being alone in the middle of nowhere. What’s more, with the right insurance, you can also recover the money you lose as a result of the incident.
Travel insurance is designed to give us peace of mind every time we travel, especially when we head out for that much-awaited international trip. When we are out of the comforts of our home with no access to emergency assistance, things can be tough. So, getting a travel insurance policy takes care of your worry since they have a 24/7, normally multi-lingual assistance team who will help you just when you need them. Regardless of where you’ve traveled to, they will address your needs based on your coverage.
4. You Need Adventure Activities Coverage
What does it mean to have adventure coverage? Well, as travelers, people love to explore and take part in activities, which do not exclude extreme or watersports activities such as paddle boarding, skiing, ice skating, hot air ballooning, camping, and skydiving.
We can go on with the list of things you like to do while you travel, but in the event that something happens while you are having fun, you can be sure that you are secured and covered if you have the right travel insurance.
5. Giving Back to Local Communities
Getting a travel insurance policy not only secures you and your family, but it is also one way of giving back. How? Well, several travel insurance companies, such as World Nomads, allow travelers to allocate an amount to support community development projects. Through this, you can also be an agent of positive change.
6. Emergency Trip Delays
Delays are sometimes inevitable. It can happen to anyone. Anyone can experience a simple baggage delay, but it can also be a terrible flight delay. The magnitude of possibilities can exponentially increase whenever you are on the road. It is also possible that you are unavoidably delayed because of being sick. So, getting travel insurance will guarantee that your needs, such as hospitalization for coverable illness, are taken care of.
7. Emergency Medical Expenses and Transportation
You knew this was coming. What happens if you get sick or injured during your trip? It may sound far-fetched, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Even if you are young and healthy, there’s no guarantee that you won’t encounter some contaminant during your trip. What if, per se, you drink some dirty water that makes you ill?
What if you fall during your hiking expedition? You need to keep these thoughts in mind so that you can give yourself the most protection during your next vacation. With the right travel insurance, you never have to worry about getting sick or injured while on the go. Avoiding expensive medical treatment fees is one of the many reasons why people need to get a travel insurance policy. It will be beneficial for you and your family to be worry-free in case you get unfit while on the road. It takes the pain of medical costs away. Some insurance companies even have dental costs coverage. This benefit of travel insurance outweighs the minimal cost of acquiring the insurance coverage.
And what if you ever need to be evacuated due to a medical emergency? A good travel insurance will take care of your medical evacuation needs. With the help of their 24/7 assistance team, they will arrange and pay for medical transportation and will take you to the nearest medical facility.
8. Protecting Your Gear
Travelers like to take photos or to explore new boundaries using their own gear, such as a camera or sports equipment. Most of the time, traveling involves a lot of action, so your equipment is exposed to possible loss or damage. And some of these equipments cost more than the trip itself. Having a good travel insurance ensures that our gears are protected and replaced if we ever damage them.
9. Stolen or Lost Luggage/Travel Document Coverage
Many travel insurance plans offer coverage for lost passports, meaning you will be covered if your passport mysteriously disappears somewhere along the way. Trust us—you don’t want to be stuck in a foreign country without your passport and without someone ready to be your advocate. For this reason alone, it’s worth buying a quality travel insurance package that will keep you covered in case of an emergency. With the right insurance, you will be able to expedite the passport replacement process.
Apart from helping you navigate replacing a lost passport, travel insurance can also help you locate lost luggage, documents, personal belongings, or assist with the replacement of lost travel tickets.
10. Medical, Accident, and Death Coverage
You’d prefer to be positive and not think about all of the things that might go wrong on your trip, but unfortunately, things like accidents, illness, and even death can and do happen. This is basically why every traveler should get travel insurance because the peace you get from knowing that someone else got your back makes travel insurance worth it.
Questions to Ask Before Getting A Travel Insurance
Not all travel insurances are the same, and not all trips carry the same risk. Getting the right insurance for your particular trip is crucial to making sure you have appropriate and adequate insurance should you need it.
1. Where is the insurance company headquartered?
It is important to know where the insurance company is based because of the number of fraudulent insurance companies that have been surfacing. It is also a smart practice to check the underwriter of the insurance company.
Only trust insurance companies that have one or two licensed underwriters. Legit insurance companies are also regulated by state insurance commissioners. Make sure to check the company’s license number on the insurance commissioner’s database.
2. Is travel insurance mandatory in the country I’m visiting?
It is strongly recommended that you get travel insurance even if it is not mandatory in the country that you will be visiting, but in case you may have missed looking into it, there are countries that make travel insurance compulsory for any visiting tourists. All 26 Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) require you to have a travel insurance policy with medical and evacuation coverage. This policy also applies to citizens from Australia and New Zealand even if they are automatically granted a 90-day visa. United Arab Emirates also requires tourists to have travel insurance with medical coverage. Whether the country requires it or not, it is still a wise decision to get a travel insurance policy before the trip.
3. Does the travel insurance policy cover pre-existing medical conditions?
This is something you need to properly check, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions that may need medical attention at any given time or could be triggered while traveling.
Also make sure to check what is the insurance provider’s definition of pre-existing conditions. Failing to mention any pre-existing conditions when signing up for a travel insurance policy may cause you more challenges in the future, so it is advisable to be upfront about it.
4. What isn’t covered by the travel insurance policy?
It is as important to know what is not covered by the insurance policy as it is to know about what is covered. This way, you can look for other options or you can purchase add-ons and customize your insurance policy according to your needs. This also helps you plan your itinerary and activities that you will be doing on your trip. Knowing what is not covered by your insurance will give you the idea of what things you have to take extra precautions with.
5. Does the travel insurance cover extreme sports and other high-risk activities?
One of the best things about traveling is experiencing new things that are not available in your own city. This could range from bungee-jumping to skydiving. When purchasing a travel insurance policy for travel that involves you being active outdoors, make sure to check if extreme sports and other high-risk activities are covered. Some insurance policies even include helicopter medical transport when ever needed. Planning to go on an advanced mountain climbing adventure soon? Make sure to choose your travel insurance wisely and consider all possible risks to make sure you’re covered by a decent travel insurance policy.
6. When does the travel insurance policy coverage begin and end?
More often than not, your policy’s coverage starts the day after it is purchased. Some policies though set the on-set of the coverage on the day you depart from your home country or city. The policy ends on the date agreed. If you purchase a 30-day travel insurance policy, its coverage stops on the 30th day from when it was activated.
7. Is the insurance flexible in case I want to stay longer?
Some tourists book a flight with no return ticket to give them more flexibility to decide when to come home. Most travel insurance policies would ask for definite dates when you purchase a travel insurance policy. If you will be traveling indefinitely, purchasing a travel insurance policy that is good for a year or twelve months is the best option. The 12-month policies are best if you plan on making multiple trips or multi-city trips within a year. Make sure to verify the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy thoroughly.
8. Does the travel insurance provider have a 24-hour hotline in case I need to call for an emergency?
No matter how much research, reading, and understanding of your policy was done before the trip, there might still be instances that you would need to call for assistance. Purchasing a travel insurance plan that offers a 24-hour hotline is the best decision, especially if you will be traveling to a country that has an entirely different time zone. Make sure to also check ahead for the numbers you need to call whatever part of the world you will be.
9. Does my travel insurance policy cover all countries I am planning to visit?
This is something worth spending time researching, especially if you are planning a cross-continent trip. Heading to Austria for a week before flying to Thailand? Make sure your travel insurance policy covers both countries. You also must check the coverage and the exclusions of the policy in each country on your itinerary.
10. Is travel insurance just for health insurance?
It isn’t. Travel insurance also covers trip cancellations or interruptions and loss of luggage and gears. It also includes emergency transportation. Before signing up for a travel insurance policy, make sure that it covers your possible needs.
So, are you still wondering – is travel insurance worth it? Yes, it is and should never be skipped especially when you’re traveling internationally or with family. The cost of travel insurances is so minimal that the benefits of the travel coverage outweigh the cost. However, not all travel insurances are the same and you have to do your due diligence to make sure you find the best travel insurance for your needs before handing your money and travel coverage to any insurance provider. Be sure to ask these 10 questions to get the right travel insurance for you and your family.