travel insurance with items packed for vacation

Should You Invest in Trip Insurance for Your Next Vacation?

The decision to get travel insurance may be obvious for some people, but not everyone purchases it when they travel. This type of insurance is there to protect you if something goes wrong during or before your trip. While it depends on who you purchase the insurance from, most travel insurance policies will cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, and flight accidents.

What are the different types of trip insurance?

There are many different types of travel insurance. The smart shopper considers what they need and purchases based on what they think they’ll require. However, you should always examine the odds of something happening. For example, flight insurance will pay out if you are on a plane when it crashes. Considering the chances of you even being in a plane crash are one in 11 million, it makes no sense to purchase flight insurance. Here are the other types you may want to examine: 

  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: If you get sick, or miss your trip, you may be able to recover some of your losses through insurance. This deal sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, consider your investment. How much is your ticket? If it’s a $3,000 cruise, you may want to purchase trip cancellation/interruption insurance. However, if it’s a cheap flight, save your money. 
  • Health Care Insurance: Don’t be fooled by the fact that you already have health insurance and that you have no need for medical coverage through travel insurance. If you plan to travel outside of the United States, your health care will not be covered by your existing plan. If you’re not in a United States vessel or on U.S. land, you may want to think about this type of coverage. If you’re the kind of person to get sick easily, you may want to consider purchasing health care insurance, but be sure to read the fine print to understand your benefits. 
  • Baggage Insurance: This type of insurance is the most important when you’re travelling. Baggage insurance while travelling is essential because if the airline loses your bag, then you’ll be compensated for your losses. The insurance agent may also ask you about excess valuation, which gives you up to $5,000 in additional coverage. Also, with excess valuation, you'll need to describe everything from your bag. If you’re shipping valuables, it’s well worth the cost. 
  • Non-refundable insurance: If you purchase a non-refundable airline ticket and miss your flight, you'll be forced to pay a fee in order to get your flight changed. However, if you purchase non-refundable insurance, the fee is waived, and you're able to book your trip at another time. Before purchasing this, just make sure the insurance is cheaper than the re-booking fee.  

Should I purchase travel insurance?

It’s honestly up to you and what you think you’ll need while you're travelling. If you think you need it, buy it. If you get sick often, consider purchasing medical insurance. With that being said, every traveller should shell out the money for baggage insurance. The best advice is that you should weigh the cost of loss and the cost of the insurance against the likelihood that the event will happen.

Last Updated: May 09, 2016