Before traveling a lot of people wonder if travel insurance is really necessary.
That’s a good question because there is so much conflicting information online regarding the necessity of travel insurance that it can be hard to determine whether or not it’s worth it to have with you when you’re traveling abroad.
There are basically two different sides to the travel insurance argument – those that say that you should have it for every trip and those that say that it’s not necessary at all.
People that aren’t traveling on a regular basis and are only spending a week or two abroad might not think it’s worth it because maybe they’re lucky that nothing has ever happened to them, their bags have never been lost or everything just goes right every time they travel.
On the other hand, for those that are traveling quite a bit, they are well aware of the perils of global travel and they know how much it can cost if something goes wrong when you’re thousands of miles from home and you don’t know anybody or speak the local language.
While it is possible that you can go on the trip without any hiccups the opposite is also true and you could fall down and break your leg before even getting out of the airport or you could arrive somewhere and discover that your baggage has been lost.
As travelers we hope that nothing will ever go wrong and for many people that’s the case every time they travel but it only takes that one experience where something bad happens that will change your mind on whether or not travel insurance is worth it.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of having travel insurance and why you should consider buying some anytime that you’re traveling abroad.
Before I get started though, I want to be completely upfront and tell you that even myself I don’t get any additional insurance every single time I’m traveling.
Depending on the length of the trip I’m going on I avoid getting any coverage but unfortunately I have run into some problems we’re having travel insurance would have been a huge help and instead I’ve had to deal with the problems of my own and pay out of pocket for any unexpected expenses that I encountered.
Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
There are quite a few different parts involved in any travel insurance contract and I wanted to quickly go over some of what you can expect to receive should you book it and why you should consider booking it every time you travel.
One thing to keep in mind is that medical expenses abroad can be very pricey and if something bad happens like you break your leg or get very sick and you need to get evacuated to a better hospital or even to your hometown you can expect to pay tens of thousands and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars for this to happen.
One of the best reasons why you should buy travel insurance is because of unexpected or accidental medical emergencies.
You can never predict when something is going to happen to you when you’re traveling abroad and it’s better to be prepared just in case rather than rolling the dice every time and hoping that nothing happens.
Depending on where you’re travelling you can expect to pay daily hospital expenses of anywhere between $1,000 to $10,000 every day and if you need to be quickly transported home to get treatment and evaluation this can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000.
Apart from any serious physical damage your travel insurance will also cover any unexpected illnesses and even any emergency dental care that you require.
Before traveling it’s a good idea to read through your contract and ask any questions about the coverage that’s available for you if something happens to you when you’re abroad.
Another reason why you’ll want to consider using travel insurance and why I think it’s worth it is because of the trip cancellation benefits that it offers.
Not every insurance company offer this so you want to shop around to find the best one for your needs but the trip cancellation coverage is great if something unexpected happens like you get very sick a few days before your supposed to depart or there is a sudden death of someone in your family and you’re not able to travel anymore.
With this coverage many of your travel costs will be reimbursed and you’ll be able to get back a significant amount of the money you spend rather than having to throw it all away because of something out of your control.
Reading through the contract and policy is again very important here because you want to make sure that you know the exact type of coverage that you’re provided with.
You won’t be able to take advantage of any coverage if you book your insurance the day before you leave so it’s a good idea to search around and look for companies that offer the best coverage for what you’re looking for.
Lost Luggage and Personal Items
Another area where travel insurance might be worth it is when it comes to replacing any lost or stolen luggage and personal items.
Many professional photographers, travel bloggers, YouTube creators and anyone else that makes a living with their electronic gear is typically traveling with thousands of dollars of items in their luggage that can’t be easily replaced.
If something gets lost or stolen it’s a lot better to have insurance that will cover the cost of replacing these items rather than having to pay for it on your own and have to suffer because you went a lot over your budget for your trip.
It’s not often that these things happen but it’s better to be prepared and to have coverage for that one rare occasion where your expensive camera or laptop gets stolen just so that you don’t have to worry about it as much and you can spend more time focusing on having a good experience.
Personal liability is another great type of coverage to have just in case. Remember, this coverage doesn’t apply to you when you’ve rented a car and gotten in an accident.
Rather, it in case you damage someone or something accidentally or if you’re in an accident that wasn’t your fault that you’ll be able to take advantage of the coverage offered.
This type of coverage will also cover any of your legal expenses and liability costs so you’re not completely on the hook for those and you’re not left having to navigate through this when you’re somewhere abroad.
The Length of Coverage
These days you’re able to pick travel insurance for specific length of time that coincide with the time you’ll be traveling.
You can choose from just a few days up to 12 months and length with some providers so whether you are a short-term or long-term traveler there are definitely some options available for you to consider.
One thing to remember here is that your insurance coverage basically end whenever you decide to return home so if you come home earlier than you expected then you no longer have any coverage and you won’t be able to get a refund for any time that you didn’t spend on your trip.
So Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
After going over some of the information here about why you should consider traveling with travel insurance you probably have a better idea about what it offers and why you should always use it when you’re traveling abroad.
However, you always roll the dice when it comes to buying travel insurance and although you hope that you’ll never have to use it it might seem like a waste of money if there ever comes a time where you can take advantage of the coverage that you paid for.
On the other hand, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry and injuries and other unexpected things do happen from time to time so without coverage you’ll just be stressing out the whole time you’re abroad and if something happens then you’re stuck paying for it on your own.
Even after a lifetime of traveling it only takes one accident or one mistake that will cost you tens of thousands of dollars where if you had in fact paid for insurance you would have only had to spend maybe a few hundred making all those years of paying for it worth it for that one accident or unexpected injury.
If you’re on the fence about taking advantage of travel insurance there are two things that you should seriously consider before you head abroad.
Travel insurance is definitely worth it if you’re traveling abroad and any of your existing coverage doesn’t provide any coverage for unexpected accidents that happen when you’re not at home.
It’s also worth it if a significant portion of your trip can’t be refunded like when you’re buying a vacation or resort package and if you weren’t able to travel that you would lose out on a seriously large amount of money.
In these two scenarios I would say that it’s definitely worth having and otherwise you should just roll the dice and consider how much you would be set back financially if something happened to you and you didn’t have any coverage or if any of your travel gear it was stolen and you had to replace it on your own.
If you’re still not sure whether or not to get coverage here are three steps to go through to help you make a more informed decision.
Calculate How Much You Lose if Something Happens
For young and healthy budget travelers getting insurance probably isn’t as important as if you are someone middle-aged and older and traveling in a more luxurious style.
For those luxury trips abroad when you spend thousands of dollars on a cruise or a 5 star resort you’re not going to want your trip to be ruined because of poor weather so in this case it’s better to get coverage and take advantage of any early cancellation options.
Check to See if Your Credit Card Offers Coverage
Many credit cards these days offer travel insurance coverage but you’re going to want to make sure that you look into the details of what it really offers.
Typically you’ll be covered in emergency situations or if anything gets stolen that you paid for using your card but trip cancellation and other coverage options aren’t readily available through credit companies.
If in fact your credit card does offer coverage then you can avoid having to pay for your own separately and just take advantage of your credit card insurance if something happens.
Determine How Much Insurance Will Cost
Finally, one of the last factors in determining whether or not travel insurance is worth it is to find out how much it’s going to cost for your trip.
The longer you’re traveling abroad the more expensive any coverage is going to be so you need to keep in mind what your own personal budget is and whether or not you can afford any additional coverage for yourself and all of your items that you’re traveling with.
Speaking of traveling with expensive electronic there there are also coverage options available for specific items of gear that you can insure like cameras, latops and tablets that will replace them or refund their costs if they’re damaged or stolen during your trip.
As always, make sure you book any insurance before you leave on your trip because you’re not going to be able to enjoy any coverage if you book anything after your trip has already started or after an accident has already happened.