When planning a trip away, adding an additional cost of travel insurance is often overlooked. Which begs the question, is travel insurance worth it?
Whether you’re travelling to a faraway location or simply to the next country over, travel insurance is a safeguarding method to ensure that your trip of a lifetime doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
If you’re on the fence about purchasing travel insurance, you’re in the right place. This expert guide will take you through what travel insurance covers and the pros and cons of this insurance.
What is travel insurance and why should I buy it?
In simple terms, travel insurance is financial cover for situations, accidents or mishaps that may occur while you are abroad.
Travel insurance is important because without it you could end up with a huge debt.
For example, if you were to get in an accident while abroad, you would be charged with medical costs that would be far more expensive than any travel insurance policy you could buy.
Additionally, without travel insurance, you could lose money due to cancellations or have your entire trip spoiled because of lost luggage or legal costs.
What does travel insurance cover?
There are various levels of travel insurance depending on which provider you choose to go with.
For the most part, this is what you will be covered for if you purchase travel insurance:
- Lost or stolen luggage.
- Emergency medical expenses - If you get into an accident or fall sick or injured.
- Disruption to accommodation - Delays and cancellations that are outside of your control.
- Legal costs - If you damage somebody’s property or cause injury.
- Cancellations - This can be having to cut your trip short for situations you couldn’t control or missing your departure if your car breaks down or you are involved in an accident that makes you unable to go on the trip.
Purchasing travel insurance doesn’t stop these situations from happening but it will make them easier to deal with if they do occur.
What does travel insurance not cover?
Now, there are a few aspects that travel insurance does not cover. Here is what that often looks like:
- Adventure and winter sports or any dangerous activities such as climbing or abseiling are not covered. If your trip involves this, you may need to pay extra.
- Some policies will not cover you if you are travelling to regions that The Foreign Commonwealth Office has suggested avoiding. You can find a list of these regions here.
- Luxury items are often not included. This can include watches, laptops, cameras and jewellery. Again, you may need to pay more to have these items covered.
- Your insurance may not cover you if your trip is affected by out of control events, such as earthquakes, pandemics or terrorist acts.
It’s also important to know that if you’re over 65 and/or have a medical condition, you may have to get a separate type of insurance to cover that.
Additionally, if you have a pre-existing medical condition (no matter your age) you have to mention this to your insurer. If you fail to do so, you may invalidate your insurance policy.
Is travel insurance worth it?
The short answer is, yes.
Travel insurance is definitely one of those things that you feel like you will never need to use, however, you’ll be glad you have it if something were to happen.
While travel insurance won’t stop anything bad from happening on your trip, it will prevent you from having to pay unexpected costs and expensive fees.
Ultimately, you have to weigh up the cost when it comes to travel insurance.
If you were to get into an accident, medical bills can be hundreds of thousands of pounds. Travel insurance will be a small fraction of that price.
Pros of travel insurance
From being able to travel with valuables to just generally having reassurance, there are many advantages of travel insurance.
If you were to get into an accident overseas, having travel insurance will ensure that you don’t return home with a hefty medical bill.
For example, if you need to be evacuated from the country because of an injury, that can cost upwards of $182,000 (£150,000). Which is not the type of gift you want to bring back from a holiday.
Additionally, losing your luggage, delays and cancellations, can spoil the entire course of a trip. This means not only do you lose money by losing your possessions but you don’t get to experience the holiday in the same way.
Finally, it’s very easy to find affordable travel insurance.
People can often be put off by purchasing travel insurance simply because they think that it is way more expensive than it is.
In general, travel insurance will cost around 4 to 10% of the value of your trip. So, if your trip costs $1200 (£1000) in total then insurance will only cost around $48-$120 (£40-£100). Some travel insurance price comparison websites offer travel insurance for as little as $9. So, when you think about is having to buy travel insurance isn't too much of a financial stress after all.
Cons of travel insurance
There are few disadvantages to travel insurance, the first being that you may never use it… but is that really a con after all?
However, you should keep in mind that sometimes travel insurance can include vague language as to what activities or services are covered. With this said you should double check all you’re covered for and query any vague information before purchasing to give you peace of mind. Some things to look for when checking your include:
- cover for trip delay
- cover for cancellation due to natural disaster
- cover of luxury or high value items
- cover if someone was to cancel your trip
- cover for baggage delays
- cover if your luggage was to be lost or stolen
- travel protection plans
- cover for your specific trip, for example flying or a cruise line trip
- cover for rental car (if this is something you would choose to do)
- what medical facility is available to you
- cover for flight delays or cancellations
Some travel insurance may have additional loopholes for people who already have pre-existing medical conditions.
Where can I purchase travel insurance?
Choosing the right travel insurance company can seem somewhat of a headache. There are many travel insurance providers that you can choose to go with. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular:
- Ekta (Ukraine)
- AXA (Global)
- Allianz (Global)
- TripMate Travel Insurance (United States)
- Tripinsure101 (United States)
- Viking (Europe)
Make sure to research each insurer to find the insurance company that matches your preferences. Each insurer offering travel insurance will offer different travel insurance coverages.
Do I need travel insurance?
If your destination does not require a VISA to enter, you do not legally need travel insurance. However, travel insurance is a financial cover that can protect you from needing to pay extra costs and give you peace of mind when on your next trip.
How do I file a travel insurance claim?
Filing a claim for travel insurance will vary depending on the travel insurance provider. Each provider will provide instruction on how to file a claim under for their policy. This information can often be located on their website, or by calling their helpline. You should contact your travel insurer as soon as possible after the situation occurs.
What is the difference between normal travel insurance and a la carté travel insurance cover?
Normal travel insurance can be used by anyone to protect from unforeseen circumstances or events, whereas a la carté travel insurance is catered to those who have pre-existing medical conditions, allowingyou to work together a coverage policy that fits your personal needs.
Is Viking travel insurance worth it?
If you’re booking a cruise with Viking, you should also pay for their travel insurance as this will protect your non-refundable expenses. Additional to this, not all travel insurance plans offer protection for cruise line trips. if you choose to not use Viking travel insurance then we strongly advise you check your chosen insurance policy offers cover for cruise line vacations.
Do I need/should I get travel insurance for an AirBnB?
AirBnB holiday stays are getting more and more popular each year, with millions of AirBnB properties available worldwide. In short: Yes. When booking an Airbnb having travel insurance will cover you for situations such as cancellations, injuries, and illnesses that may prevent you from staying in the Airbnb. AirBnb offer more information on this topic here.
While travel insurance can seem like one of those additional costs that you can go without, it is vital to ensure that your trip is protected.
From medical costs to legal bills and luggage, having travel insurance will prevent your trip from being ruined by these unforeseen events, and protect your back pocket when an issue arises.
You can’t always control the things that happen to you in your life, however, you can put aspects into motion that if something were to happen, you would be better equipped to deal with it.
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