Times When Travel Insurance Is a Must-Have

Having travel insurance can help you get reimbursed for the hefty cost of canceling a huge trip, and much more.
Times When Travel Insurance Is a Must-Have. Woman sitting at the gate waiting room with traveling documents and coffee.

If you're planning a big trip or even just open to the possibility of taking one in the future, there are a few key things to consider beforehand. Your personal protection should be among the top points of consideration before leaving home for an extended period of time, particularly if you'll be leaving the country. Having the right protection can help you get the reimbursement you need in case of many types of disasters.

Fortunately an independent insurance agent can help you get set up with the right kind of travel insurance before your big trip. They'll get you covered well before you start packing your bags. However, let's start off with an overview of travel insurance, what it is, and when and why it might be necessary.

First, What Is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is designed to help protect you from unexpected accidents, losses, cancellations, and more while you’re away on a trip. There are certain types of incidents that other personal policies, like home insurance, can't protect you from while you're away. That's why it's relevant to consider adding a travel insurance policy to your itinerary if you'll be taking a long trip, especially internationally. 

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Though travel insurance policies can vary, many of them provide at least the following protections:

  • Trip cancellation coverage: Reimburses you if your trip gets canceled due to circumstances beyond your control, such as an airline or cruise line going out of business, or if there's an emergency in your family. 
  • Baggage or personal effects coverage: Reimburses you for losses if your personal items like bags get stolen, or otherwise get lost or damaged during your trip.
  • Emergency medical coverage: Reimburses you for losses related to medical emergencies, which may involve you or a family member having to be rescued out at sea or on a mountain and transported to a hospital.
  • Accidental death coverage: Reimburses you for losses if a family member or you die during your trip. Coverage may not be necessary depending on if you have life insurance already, and what kind you have.

Talk with your independent insurance agent about your travel plans before you leave. They can help you determine if you need to add travel insurance, and which types of coverage are necessary if so.

Do I Need to Consider Additional Types of Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance comes with many different options beyond those previously listed. You may want to add several more to your policy, depending on your personal needs and concerns. Your independent insurance agent can help you find coverage for missed connections, travel delays, emergency evacuations, rental car collisions, and much more.

Why Would I Need Travel Insurance?

You might not need travel insurance for every trip you take. Your independent insurance agent can help advise on whether getting this coverage is necessary, but there are a couple of major reasons you might want to purchase coverage, including:

  1. To protect against medical risks: When traveling within the country, you can most likely use your existing health insurance if you get injured or ill. But if you'll be traveling internationally, it might be a challenge to find a healthcare provider that would accept your coverage.
  2. To protect against financial risks: Especially if you'll be purchasing tickets and making other reservations that lead to a very expensive trip, consider how much you could stand to lose if you had to cancel everything. If an emergency or major illness popped up right before your scheduled trip, without the right protection you could be out hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Having travel insurance before a major trip can help provide the extra peace of mind required to allow you to make plans efficiently and enjoy your trip to the fullest extent.

When Do I Need to Get Travel Insurance?

There are a couple of key scenarios in which it might make the most sense to get travel insurance. Just a few examples can include:

  • You’ve spent money that you can’t afford to lose: If you've saved up for your trip for months, or even years, you probably don't want to lose those funds if a disaster happens or you need to cancel the trip.
  • Your destination is prone to disasters: It's possible your trip might expose you to hurricane-prone areas like Caribbean destinations or earthquake-prone regions like the Mediterranean, which could result in trip or event cancelations or even injuries to you or your family.
  • You booked adventure travel that takes you to remote areas: If you'll be participating in inherently dangerous activities like zip-lining in a rain forest, driving alongside natural predators in an African safari, or hiking the Andes, you might also want to have travel insurance on hand first.

Your independent insurance agent can rattle off several more example scenarios of when having travel insurance could make a huge difference in the success or failure of your trip or vacation.

Make Sure Your Coverage Is Effective

Travel insurance covers a lot of disasters, but it can't cover everything. Before you file a claim, you'll need to ensure that what you're filing for isn't excluded by your policy. Purchasing a travel insurance policy with a "cancel for any reason" inclusion can help you guarantee this.

Some travel insurance policies won't cover:

  • Certain dangerous activities like parasailing, bungee jumping, motor vehicle racing, and any resulting disasters
  • Alcohol-related incidents
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Pregnancy-related incidents while away

Review your travel insurance policy extensively with your independent insurance agent. Also, be sure to work with them when buying your policy in the first place. They'll help you maximize your chances of having any claims successfully covered after a disaster.

Is Travel Insurance Expensive?

Travel insurance policies vary widely depending on the type of coverages you select, but they can often cost about five to six percent of your overall trip's costs. Your trip's overall cost is one of the biggest factors that influence the cost of your travel insurance, to account for the insurance company's risk of potentially having to pay for its cancelation. An independent insurance agent can help you find a travel insurance policy that's affordable for you.

Don't risk taking an expensive trip without having the proper protection in place first. Without travel insurance, you could be out thousands of dollars or even more if you have to cancel all or part of your trip, or if another disaster occurs while you're away. If you're unsure of whether travel insurance is right for you, your independent insurance agent can help you decide.

Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?

Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll cut through the jargon and clarify the fine print so you'll know exactly what you’re getting.

Independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best travel insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green

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