Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

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This question pops up in the minds of most travelers before they book a flight or confirm their hotel room. If you are asking yourself ‘Should I buy travel insurance?’, you must not rely solely on your instinct when you come up with an answer. Some people have never bought travel insurance because they don’t pay for rental cars or hotel rooms in advance, don’t pack designer clothes, are in good health and their medical insurance plan provides overseas coverage. However, if you are more at risk than the average policyholder to make a claim or your health insurance plan is insufficient, you should purchase a more comprehensive policy.

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Who needs travel insurance?

People who are more at risk who buy travel insurance are called “adverse selection” in economics, because they are adverse for the insurance company and smart for themselves. For example, a 65-year old man who is planning a trip to India where he will rent a quad or scooter, sleep in a prepaid five star hotel room and eat local street food should already know the answer to the question ‘Should I buy travel insurance?’. On the other hand, a 30-year old planning to visit his friend in London and go to the theater every night might only need an optional travel health insurance that covers medical emergencies.

What does my regular health plan cover?

Usually travel insurance policies are sold in packages that combine different categories of coverage. Before you purchase a policy, go through them and establish what you really need and what you don’t need because you are already covered or not at risk. If the package is not suitable for your needs, you can find many more customized policies online. Make sure the package includes a good travel health insurance if your regular insurance doesn’t cover you abroad. Even if you are protected abroad, verify if there are any affiliated hospitals in the places you plan to visit. It is also important to ask your insurer if they will accept a claim in case you will need emergency care in a hospital that is not affiliated. If you are still asking yourself ‘Should I buy travel insurance?‘, then think about the expenses involved in emergency evacuation. The cost of medical evacuation from a distant land to the nearest hospital and then back home can cost more than $30.000.

Travel protection

If you already paid for your reservation, it is wise to consider travel protection, an insurance policy that offers total or partial reimbursement if your trip is delayed, interrupted or canceled. If you have an expensive prepaid reservation or a sick family member at home, this insurance can save you a lot of money in case of an unexpected event. Some credit cards will provide similar coverage, although it is probably harder to get a claim processed. Your baggage can also be covered by a credit card or by the airliners, with certain limitations, in case it is lost, delayed or damaged. If you are transporting expensive electronic equipment or jewelry, you should purchase this type of insurance. Moreover, if you are a person who worries about everything, having a coverage for every possible situation can allow you to relax and enjoy your vacation.