You know that last step before you finalize a trip with an airline or hotel? The one where it asks you whether or not you want travel insurance? Chances are you take some time to consider this, but what is the right decision?
Is travel insurance worth it when booking a trip? It is important that you understand travel insurance before you spend money on it. Remember that it is always important and advised to read the fine print of anything you are being offered before committing so you understand the benefits.
Understand the Different Types
You might not know it, but there are different options when it comes to travel insurance. Some companies might offer certain options but not others. Before you figure out if the policy being offered to you is worth it, you must understand what it is you are being presented.
Some policies will cover you if you have to cancel your trip, your trip is canceled on you, or if you have to come home from the trip early. This sounds great, doesn’t it? It seems like you should be covered in the event that you can’t go on your trip at the last minute; however, it is not as clear-cut as it sounds.
There are things that travel insurance will not cover, even if you have paid for it while booking your trip. Some policies won’t cover pre-existing conditions, baggage delays, the death of a pet, sports injuries (because you chose to take the risk), mental illness, pregnancy-related issues, or divorce. This type of coverage usually means you have to have some newly-discovered disease or be unable to travel due to catastrophic weather events. While there may be some other policies that cover more than that, you should really read the small print. I’m serious.
Baggage and Personal Items Coverage
This is another type of policy you may be offered. This would reimburse you for your items that are lost or stolen while you are traveling. I can only imagine how much of a pain this would be to somehow prove what items you had with you before you left, but I’m sure somewhere in the world someone was thankful that they got this type of insurance. It would be very important for you to learn about what you would have to do if you ever found yourself in this situation while traveling before you commit.
Medical Coverage for Travel
Chances are, you most likely have regular insurance, but that may not cover your traveling medical care if you ever needed to go to the hospital in another state or country. It would be best to check with your primary insurance to see what they have to offer.
Since you are already covered under them, you may be covered while traveling, or perhaps they could offer you something to extend your coverage in other areas. The truth is, if you don’t call and ask them, then you won’t know. That phone call could save you from having to spend the money on extra travel insurance, and can even give you peace of mind to know you are covered in the case of illness or injury.
You definitely want to look into this if you are traveling internationally as I can only imagine the expenses of not only needing urgent care but then also trying to get home.
Accidental Death/Dismemberment Injury Insurance
This type of insurance would cover you if you and your loved ones if you were to get seriously injured in an accident while traveling, or God forbid if someone in your traveling party died. Hopefully, you never have to use this type of insurance, but I can imagine some people like to be prepared.
Sometimes there is a policy offered that includes terrorism insurance. It seems like there has been a lot of that these days, so you never know what could happen. Look into this policy carefully as there may be certain timelines and other specific requirements in order for this type of insurance to cover you. If you are still three months out from your trip, chances are, you wouldn’t be able to use the insurance that far away.
What Else is There to Know About Travel Insurance?
The average travel insurance should not cost more than 5 percent of what you are paying for your trip. If your trip costs $1000, then you should pay around $50 for insurance. If you are going to go for insurance, you want to make sure it is worth it.
Whatever you pay, you have to be okay with losing if you don’t need it. You also have to figure if you spent $1,050 for your whole trip, insurance included, and need to use it, you might not get back that whole amount. Look at it this way. If you spend $1,050 on your trip with insurance and something happens, you might only get $800 back (this is, of course, dependent on the policy), but if you didn’t get insurance then you are out the whole $1,000 if something were to happen. It is certainly a gamble, but isn’t life?
Something else really important to note about travel insurance is you have to purchase the policy before you go. Some people like to book a plane ticket, but don’t book their hotel until they get to their destination. If this is the case, your hotel would not be covered under your insurance policy. While this is not a bad way to travel, it is just something to keep in mind.
So, Worth it or Not?
So, here is the hard part. I know you came here looking for an answer, but the truth is, only you can make the right call for you. You have to look at your situation carefully and figure out if the benefits of travel insurance outweigh the cost.
You must figure out for yourself if spending the extra money is worth it if something unexpected comes up. In some certain instances, and depending where you are going and when, there may be sufficient reason to getting the insurance. Others may not be worried because the amount they are spending wouldn’t put them into bankruptcy if they lost it. Still, some people like the fact that insurance gives them peace of mind.
If you feel as though travel insurance is something you are seriously considering for your next trip, make sure to do some research and read the fine print before you make the commitment. With any contract or insurance policy, it is important to read everything and ask questions if you have them. Whatever you decide to do, be confident in your decision because after all, it’s just money. Most importantly, enjoy your next trip!