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 Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Should I buy travel insurance?

If you are getting ready to go on a trip, you may be asking yourself, “Should I buy travel insurance?” The answer is not simple, as it can depend on many different factors whether you are a business traveler or a vacation traveler. The type of trip, the cost of the trip, and the location of the trip will all be part of the decision if you should buy travel insurance.

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Business travelers are different then vacation travelers. They usually travel alone, they may only bring a carry-on bag, and they may be gone for only one or two days. Some business travelers, however, travel internationally and may be gone for extended periods of time.

Vacation travelers can range from a single person going on a cruise to a family of five heading to Florida to visit Mickey Mouse. Vacation travelers also enjoy international travel, which can change the dynamics of a trip completely.

The Benefits of Travel Insurance

There are benefits to travel insurance for every traveler. There are multiple packages so that you can choose the plan that is best tailored to your needs.

For example, you may be traveling light and not be checking any baggage, so you may not need insurance for lost or delayed luggage. However, your trip may be very expensive and so you may want trip cancellation insurance in case your trip gets canceled for covered reasons.

Your health insurance may travel with you, but sometimes it does not; especially if you are going overseas. International travelers may especially want to consider the benefits of travel insurance for emergency medical treatment, emergency medical assistance, medical evacuation, and hospitalization.

Other types of travel insurance that may be beneficial include personal liability and legal expenses. The type of coverage you need will depend on your trip, but if you choose the correct plan then your peace of mind is usually worth the expense.

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The Disadvantages of Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is not necessarily beneficial for every trip. If you are driving across the state line for a long weekend, you may not need travel insurance. Your car insurance may be adequate coverage if you have a car accident en route, and it may even cover your personal belongings left in the car should they get stolen.

Before starting on any road trip, make sure you know what type of car insurance coverage you have. If you only have liability but you want collision and comprehensive, you will need to add that on to your policy before you start your vacation and take any chances.

You may also not need to spend money on trip interruption or trip cancellation travel insurance if your airline and hotel costs are not very expensive. Some hotels may even allow you to cancel your trip penalty free if you give them at least 24 hours notice. However, if you have international airplane tickets and non-refundable hotel reservations, then you may benefit from travel insurance.

If your health insurance travels everywhere and has excellent coverage, then purchasing medical travel insurance may be redundant. Before taking any trip it is a good idea to check your health insurance policy to see what is covered and what isn’t. You also need to consider the costs of in-network versus out-of-network to decide if travel insurance offers you better coverage at a more affordable price.

For example, your health insurance plan may cover hospitalization for out-of-network costs at an international hospital. However, it may not cover the emergency evacuation from a cruise ship to that hospital. Between the cost of the evacuation and the substantial difference between in-network and out-of-network insurance costs, the travel insurance could save you thousands.

Choosing a Travel Insurance Company

Once you decide you should buy travel insurance then you need to find a good travel insurance company and invest in the right package. A good travel insurance company will help you select a travel insurance plan that will give you the best benefit without costing you more than the trip itself.

You also need to be sure that the travel insurance company has a sound financial rating, a solid reputation, and a fair claims payout process. Travel insurance will not do you any good if the company does not stand behind its policies.

Many travel agencies offer travel insurance and will simply add it on to your invoice. The travel insurance is most likely not a product of the travel agency and is simply a product that is being resold to you.

While it may be convenient to purchase the travel insurance directly through the travel agent, it may not be the most cost effective method. You may get better rates and possibly even better coverage by purchasing travel insurance directly from an insurance company.

The best thing to do once you decide you should buy travel insurance is to shop around for travel insurance plans. Enter your zip code on this page to get fast travel insurance quotes now for free.