One of Life’s Great Riddles: Do I Really Need Travel Insurance?
You’ve checked — and rechecked — your luggage to make sure you have all the essentials with you when you embark on your latest travel excursion. The one thing you don’t want to bring along: worry over emergency medical care, accidental death, delayed or lost luggage, or trip cancellation or interruption. That’s where travel insurance can come in.
Travel insurance brings a certain amount of peace of mind, but it also can come with a fairly hefty price tag. Knowing what types of travel insurance are available, and how they might benefit you, could help you make a decision about whether or not to purchase insurance before you fly, cruise, or hop aboard a train.
Emergency Medical Care
If you get sick or injured while traveling outside the U.S., your health insurance (including Medicare) might not cover any treatments or medication you receive in other parts of the world. Emergency medical insurance can provide a safety net to help you pay unexpected medical bills that could add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. And that can make a world of difference when it comes to easing travel anxiety.
Travel often brings unexpected wonder and joy, but, unfortunately, it can also bring unforeseen tragedy. Traveling to strange locales can sometimes be unsafe; accidental death insurance is similar to life insurance in that it pays out benefits to a designated beneficiary should the unthinkable occur.
Delayed or Lost Luggage
The dreaded luggage lost or luggage-left-behind syndrome. Let’s face it, you’d like to avoid borrowing certain personal items or intimate clothing from a travel companion, so you’re left to buy replacements until your luggage shows up. Luggage insurance will reimburse you for any money spent buying replacement medication, clothing, toiletries, and the like.
Trip Cancellation or Interruption
You won’t be sending any postcards saying “Wish you were here!” because, well, you’re not there — your trip has been canceled. Trip cancellation or interruption insurance usually reimburses you for the cost of travel expenses if a trip is canceled. You could also be reimbursed for the cost of return tickets home if a trip is interrupted or if certain circumstances cause you to have to cancel your trip.