Whenever you purchase a ticket to travel inevitably you will be faced with the travel insurance upgrade offer. However, your friends will argue that it is an unnecessary expense, and that one friend of yours that managed to get dengue fever on his last trip to Africa says he will never travel without it again. Often travelers will weigh the risk, and decide they are extremely unlikely to become sick while traveling, but if you do, traveling insurance sure would be helpful.
One of the things to consider with travel insurance coverage is everything it would cover in the event something came up. Certainly the odds of any of these occurences are slim, but it is nice to have the coverage just in case. Travel insurance covers:
- Natural Disasters
- Political Upheavals
- Medical Emergencies
- Lost or Stolen Belongings
- Trip Cancellations
Should any of these occur at home or abroad the insurance will cover the expense or cancelation of the trip.
If you already have home owners, auto, life, health insurance, or credit cards, it is important to check with them and determine if you are already covered. Oftentimes these other insurance policies will cover you while you’re away. Furthermore, don’t waste money on insurance that will only cover small loses. It is more cost effective to simply take the loss yourself than to pay for the insurance which can add up to 5-7% of your total trip cost.
If you are not covered and you’re still unable to decide if you want the insurance or not, make a list of your concerns. Depending on your concern the type of coverage could vary. If you’re concerned about the risk of flying then term life insurance is the best bet. If worried about contracting an illness while abroad, medical travel insurance is the policy for you. What may be ok for someone else is not the ideal for how you would like to travel. There are those that swear by insurance and those that would never bother. In the end you are the only one that knows if insurance is for you.
Once you’ve decided to purchase insurance, the best bet is to go through an online insurance broker. Before biting the bullet speak with one of the representatives and get a policy sample copy and discuss if your specific concerns are covered and have them specifically point out where it states on the policy that they are covered. Beware of purchasing from tour operators as the policy will be worthless should their business go under.
In the end it is up to each traveler to decide if travel insurance is for them. While it can be an extra expensive, it can also be the difference between feeling safe and secure on your vacation. Should a tragedy occur and you need to cancel, you’re covered. If you get an illness, you can go to the local hospital and know that your treatment is taken care of. On the other hand you could purchase insurance and everything go perfectly as planned and never need it. It is up to you what peace of mind and security is worth and what makes you feel comfortable when you’re away.