Take Control of your Personal Safety while traveling: Part 2 Travel insurance… is it worth it?

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You have a trip coming up. You’re so excited, as well you should be. If you’ve read part one you’ve already done your research. You have a plan of what you want to see, maybe some activities you want to do. More importantly, you’ve checked out the climate of the place you want to go. I’m not just talking about the weather. No matter what type of trip you take you’ll want to make sure that you and the people you’re traveling with are safe. This week we’re going to talk about travel insurance and if it’s worth the additional fee.

Travel insurance is it worth it?

This tends to be an option that is offered on every flight, auto and hotel booking today. It is usually offered at the end of your booking summary, right before you pay. When I was new to travel I used to forgo this option every single time. I was young and thought there was no way I would ever need or use this. However, that’s not the point of travel insurance.

First and foremost, travel insurance is meant to provide peace of mind. It’s your safety net for the what-ifs. What if you get into a car accident with your rental car… and you waived the supplemental car insurance provided by the car rental company? Many may think that their current car insurance will cover them. That may be true, but what if you’re in a foreign country? What recourse will you have then? The reality is you won’t have much.

Travel insurance is a good bet whether you’re traveling foreign or domestically. Not only will it provide supplemental insurance to cover you in an accident but it will also provide you with additional health insurance that will lessen your costs in countries where your US travel insurance does not cover. If you opt for “No matter what coverage” your entire trip could be refunded if you cannot go due to unexpected circumstances such as sickness. What if plans change and you just can’t go? “No matter what” coverage will help you get a full refund there too.

Travel insurance also will pay you for lost baggage, missed trips, and delays for a fraction of what you think it might cost. All in all, it’s a terrific addition to your trip and will give you the peace of mind that no matter what you’ll be covered.

What does it cost?

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Pricing is determined by the age of the people traveling, the overall cost of the trip and the length of the trip. For a week-long trip travel insurance could run you around $100 – $150 per person. For example, I booked a trip for clients who traveled over New Year to Costa Rica. The clients are from New York, in their 50s and would be traveling for just over a week. The total cost of their trip was around $2000. The travel insurance cost for the two of them ended up being $170 USD. The couple was driving all over Costa Rica so knowing that they had supplemental medical/dental and trip insurance gave them peace of mind to enjoy their trip. That’s worth the additional price to be able to enjoy your vacation, no matter what, if you ask me.

Are there any downsides?

Besides the added cost, there are few downsides to getting travel insurance. Some downsides may be a delay in being able to apply for your benefits. For example, if you lose your luggage some companies have a 12-hour delay before you can claim the baggage as lost.

However, it is important to do your research on which travel insurance will be the best for you and your trip. There are a ton of travel insurance providers out there and not all are made the same. Here is a shortlist of some of the best travel insurance companies. (Please note that these are personal recommendations. Click on the link to check out pricing and coverage.)

How do I know which insurance to get?

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The first thing you should do is look at your trip. Are you going on an adventure trip where you may put yourself in a risky situation?  Will you be driving in a foreign country? Are you going for an extended trip such as a study abroad? These questions will determine if you need more coverage or not.

Once you’ve done a bit of research, make a list of all the parts of your trip you might want coverage. Talk to your friends and family. More people get travel insurance for their trips than you might think. See what they use and if it might be a good fit for you. Then call the insurance companies you might want to work with. I would at least speak to one or two. Ask them for advice on which plan they think might be the best fit for the type of travel you’re planning on.

Now you have a little more peace of mind.

No one can predict how your trip will go. However, you can cover yourself and your family if something happens to derail your trip. The point is that travel insurance is meant to give you assurances that you will be covered if your trip doesn’t go as planned. Do you use travel insurance? Have you thought about getting travel insurance? What’s stopping you in you don’t? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time.


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