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Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
Issue #42-23 features a look at travel insurance and if it is worth the added cost
Is Travel Insurance Worth the Added Cost?
Travel Insurance policies and protections can come in the form of plans you purchase or may have access to from premium credit cards that protect you from certain financial risks and losses that can occur while traveling. These losses can be minor, like a lost or delayed suitcase, or can be significant, like a last-minute trip cancellation or a medical emergency overseas.
From unexpected medical emergencies while traveling overseas to trip cancellations or lost baggage, unforeseen events can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. This is where travel insurance comes into play, offering a safety net that provides financial protection and peace of mind. In most scenarios, travel insurance would reimburse you for your covered financial losses after you file a claim and the claim is approved.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Travel insurance typically covers a range of unforeseen events and expenses that can occur before or during a trip. The exact coverage can vary depending on the insurance provider and the specific policy, but here are some common items that travel insurance typically covers:
Trip Cancellation: Reimburses you for non-refundable trip expenses if you have to cancel your trip due to covered reasons such as illness, injury, death of a family member, or other unforeseen events.
Trip Interruption: Provides coverage if you have to cut your trip short and return home due to covered reasons.
Travel Delay: Offers compensation for additional expenses (accommodation, meals, and transportation) if your trip is delayed due to covered reasons such as weather, airline strikes, or natural disasters.
Baggage and Personal Belongings: Covers lost, stolen, or damaged luggage and personal items during your trip.
Emergency Medical Expenses: Pays for medical treatment and hospitalization costs if you get sick or injured while traveling. It may also include emergency dental care.
Evacuation and Repatriation: Covers the cost of emergency medical evacuation to the nearest adequate medical facility or repatriation to your home country if medically necessary.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment: Provides a benefit to your beneficiaries if you die or lose a limb or sight due to a covered accident during your trip.
Rental Car Coverage: Offers insurance for rental cars, including collision damage waiver and liability coverage.
Trip Delay: Provides compensation for additional expenses due to trip delays, such as accommodation and meals.
Cancel for Any Reason: An optional add-on that allows you to cancel your trip for reasons not covered by standard cancellation policies, such as personal reasons or concerns about the destination.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: Some policies cover pre-existing medical conditions if certain conditions are met, while others exclude them.
Emergency Assistance Services: Typically, travel insurance policies provide access to 24/7 emergency assistance services, which can help with medical referrals, travel arrangements, and other emergencies.
It's important to read and understand the terms and conditions of your specific travel insurance policy. Coverage and prices will vary and some policies may have exclusions or limitations.
When is Travel Insurance Worth the Cost?
Whether travel insurance is worth the added cost depends on various factors, including your personal circumstances, the type of trip you're taking and your personal risk tolerance.
For domestic trips, I would typically go with Option 1 below, but for international family trips, I like the peace of mind of having a travel insurance policy, Option 2, that can cover a wide variety of scenarios that could occur while overseas.
Option 1: If you have a premium credit card that offers some protections, be sure to review what it actually covers, how it is activated, how to make a claim and what documentation is needed.
Option 2: Travel insurance policies typically offer more comprehensive coverage, higher coverage limits, but can come at an added cost.
I personally purchase a yearly family travel insurance plan through Allianz that covers all of our trips on an annual basis, in addition to using the right premium credit card for added benefits and protection.
The Allianz AllTrips Premier Plan comes at a reasonable annual cost and offers a decent amount coverage for travel delays, cancellations, lost/delayed baggage, medical emergencies and more, but there are many companies like AIG, Seven Corners, and others that offer similar policies for only a single trip or annual policies.
"Travel with peace of mind; insurance is your safety net on the journey of adventure.”
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The Family Travel Bulletin is a once weekly newsletter by Randy Singh featuring a curated summary of family travel news, special offers, travel advisor insights and recent blog posts from The Family Travel Guy to help you travel better, travel smarter and optimize value along the way.
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