Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The debate of what type of insurance to buy and how much is needed is ongoing. To decide if purchasing travel insurance is worth it, you need to consider your lifestyle, your budget, and your current insurance situation. There are many people who benefit from travel insurance, but not everyone will find it valuable.

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Travel insurance has its place just like all insurance does. No one wants to use it, but if you need it then you will be glad you bought it. The odds of you needing to submit a claim for your travel insurance is smaller than your odds of making a claim for your car or home.

However, odds are really a gamble and so you don’t know if you will need to submit a claim until something actually happens.

If something happens before or during your trip and you have sufficient outside insurance coverage to provide you with financial assistance, then you may find purchasing travel insurance is not worth it. However if something happens and you don’t have coverage elsewhere, there is a good chance you will be wishing you bought it.

What Types of Travel Insurance are Available

Travel insurance is wide and varied, with packages ranging from lost baggage to loss of life. You can buy travel insurance to cover a host of situations or just medical emergencies. The type of travel insurance you buy will depend greatly on where you are going and how much your trip cost.

Think of travel insurance as a two-fold consideration. Travel insurance provides financial protection for wasted dollars (nuisance issues) as well financial protection for health related situations (necessity issues).

Nuisance issues are things such as lost baggage or a canceled trip. While these can be costly factors, they do not pose an endangerment to anyone. That being said, deciding on this type of travel insurance will depend on how much you paid for your travel tickets or how much your luggage and its contents are worth.

Necessity issues relate to your health and medical emergencies. If you suddenly take ill or have an accident, you will most likely be unable to get to your own family doctor and you may need to seek medical care elsewhere. You may or may not have health insurance to cover this type of situation.

If you have insurance, you may be subjected to out of network costs. If you don’t have insurance, you will be financially responsible for all of the costs. When it comes to health related incidents, costs can easily skyrocket.

Medical issues become scarier when you are out of the country and dealing with foreign policies. You also may be traveling somewhere remote where medics may not have easy access to you. Emergency medical evacuations can costs thousands of dollars alone.

Although having to pay for airline tickets that go unused or needing to replace clothing and luggage is expensive and annoying, it does not put your life at risk. Of course, those nuisance costs can add up quickly as well, so having travel insurance for trips at a certain budget level can provide you with financial protection for most situations.

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When Travel Insurance is Worthwhile

Sometimes it is best to consider lifelike examples when deciding if purchasing travel insurance is worth it. Here are some incidents where travel insurance is worthwhile, based on the overall cost of the trip.

  • Travel insurance is worthwhile when you have a death in the family and you need to cancel a planned trip or return from your trip early. This is called trip cancellation and trip interruption respectively. There are several qualifying reasons your travel insurance will process a claim for these circumstances, including fear of terrorist attacks.
  • You get to your destination and your luggage never arrives. This is more than inconvenient, since you are now away from home with no essentials. Travel insurance will reimburse you for your loss and in many situations will send you emergency cash as well so that you can replace your lost items with something comparable right away.
  • Another situation that may be covered by travel insurance is the theft of your new and expensive video camera that you just bought for your trip. Stolen wallets and lost passports can also get replaced easier with travel insurance.
  • Medical emergencies arise out of nowhere. You can have a near drowning accident scuba diving or stumble on a curb and break you ankle. You can get food poisoning from unfamiliar parasites or simply develop an unexpected case of pneumonia.

Travel insurance can help you pay for a multitude of medical expenses while you are traveling. It may help supplement a health insurance policy that you already have or it can provide one for you if you don’t have one at all.

Of course, if nothing happens then the travel insurance will have not paid out any benefits and your cost for the policy simply becomes part of the cost of the trip. Most people who buy travel insurance would prefer not to have to use it. They buy it so they have it just in case they need it.

Making the Decision to Purchase Travel Insurance

Making the decision to purchase travel insurance is a personal decision and will depend in part on how you feel about the value of it. If you don’t feel it has any substantial benefits, then you probably won’t consider buying it regardless of what types of insurance you already have to aid you in your travels.

However, you should consider all aspects of your trip before quickly ruling out travel insurance. An inexpensive domestic trip with minor luggage may not need travel insurance. However, the cost of travel insurance for that type of trip may make it worthwhile just to have it anyway.

Expensive airfare, extended hotel stays, and traveling abroad are usually indicators that travel insurance may be a good investment. The cost of these types of trips can add up to thousands of dollars and you may be able to purchase travel insurance for as little as $50. That $50 could be a wasted expense of the trip, or it could provide you with everything you need should something go wrong that is covered by the policy.

There are many different types of travel packages from which to choose. This helps you select just the travel insurance you think is worth purchasing. If you are uncertain as to what types of travel insurance to buy, think about nuisance versus necessity.

If you can afford the financial loss of a nuisance type situation, such as your luggage getting lost or stolen, then you may not care to spend the extra money on the premium for this type of travel insurance. If you spend $3,000 on airline tickets, you may want to spend another $100 on a hefty travel insurance plan that covers all aspects of your trip.

Since you don’t know if you will need travel insurance or not, you simply have to decide if it is something that will enhance your trip financially or bog you down emotionally. Once you decide to purchase travel insurance you can find a travel insurance company that will set you up with affordable benefits.

Shop around to be sure you are getting the best deal possible. Travel insurance is a onetime buy, but it has to be the right buy. Get travel insurance quotes online now by entering your zip code at one of the prompts found on this web site!