Confession: I’ve been a big fan of travel insurance long before it became a trendy topic. However, there’s a lot of confusion about travel insurance – what does it cover, is it worth the expense and why would you even consider travel insurance.
Contrary to popular belief, travel insurance is relatively inexpensive compared to the price of your trip. You should expect to spend anywhere from 4 to 10 percent of the purchase price of your trip. Therefore, if your trip will cost $3,000, you should expect to spend around $120 to $300 for a travel insurance policy. The price range depends on a few factors:
- Number of travelers
- Age of travelers
- Length of travel
- Type of coverage
As a longtime friend of travel insurance, there are three reasons why I think you should consider travel insurance on almost every trip you take.
Trip Interruption and Travel Delay
One of the most impactful benefits of travel insurance is trip interruption and travel delay coverage. Every travel insurance policy is different, so it’s important that you do some research before you purchase coverage to know exactly what your policy will cover. However, most travel insurance policies will cover common trip interruptions if you need to cancel your trip for a medical or family emergency.
For example, let’s say you’re planning a trip to Europe and a few days before you’re scheduled to leave you break your leg. The doctor tells you that it’s not in your best interest to travel and recommends that you cancel your trip. Trip interruption coverage would cover any costs you’ve already paid for your trip per your travel insurance policy in the event you decided to cancel.
Travel delay is also an important benefit. Airlines are notoriously late, which causes you to miss connecting flights and more. With travel delay coverage, your travel insurance policy would cover any fees you’d incur from the travel delay.
It’s hard to imagine, but medical emergencies can happen on your trip. If you’re in a foreign country and you have a major medical issue, having a travel insurance policy will be your best friend forever. Many U.S. health insurance policies won’t cover you when you’re overseas. For this reason, it is important to ask what your current health insurance policy does and does not cover before your next big trip.
Most travel insurance policies cover everything from needing a checkup with a doctor in a foreign country to hospital services and more. Some policies even cover medical evacuation costs should you need to return home for a medical emergency.
Many U.S. health insurance policies won’t cover you when you’re overseas. For this reason, it is important to ask what your current health insurance policy does and does not cover before your next big trip.
The downside of medical coverage is that most travel insurance policies will exclude pre-existing conditions. For example, you have a medical issue that you have seen a doctor for within 120 days before your trip. When you’re on vacation, you suffer from the same medical issue. Some travel insurance policies will exclude coverage for that condition. Again, make sure you read all the fine print of your policy before you hit the purchase button.
Baggage benefits have become a very popular perk of travel insurance policies. You are certainly not alone if you have ever traveled somewhere only to find out that your bag did not make the trip or simply vanished.
Most travel insurance policies cover baggage delay as well as lost baggage or damaged baggage. It’s important to remember to report any lost or damaged baggage first to the airline carrier before you leave the airport. The airline will create a report of your situation that will be important to provide to your travel insurance company.