Although traveling is mostly thought of as a positive experience, it’s vital to ask yourself an important question: “Should I buy travel insurance?”.
Most people consider themselves healthy, and that nothing will happen to them on their trip (and most of the time, they’re right). But it’s important to realize that travel insurance doesn’t just cover medical expenses, it covers a myriad of bad travel-outcomes that one might encounter.
In this guide, we’ll outline the different travel insurance policies, and if any of them fit your trip’s needs.
Should I Buy Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is a helpful all-purpose coverage when you’re on the road. You’re able to pick which coverage makes the best sense for you, and at a relatively insignificant cost (compared to travel costs), it can be foolish not to get it. My favorite travel insurance site is World Nomads, they have great coverage for a good price. Other sites include Insure My Trip, and Square Mouth.
Types of Coverage:
- Medical Protection: Check with your current medical insurance to see if they offer coverage while abroad. Some do, some don’t. And the last the thing you want, if you’re injured, is to be arguing with insurance companies 3,000 miles away. My travel insurance coverage for my 3-week trip to Italy this summer is $89 (also includes items listed below). That’s a $100,000 policy that covers medical expenses, some dental, hospital advancement, and a handful of sports and activites. If extreme activities like rock climbing, and skydiving are on your to-do list, they also offer upgraded coverage for those. I know I won’t be doing those things so I went with Standard coverage. However, if you are participating in extreme activities, I highly recommend medical protection.
- Evacuation: If you have to be evacuated out of the country back to your home country, consider yourself out about $25,000. Evacuation coverage will cover you if you needed to be evacuated back home for whatever reason: medical, political, natural, etc.
- Luggage Protection: This is often covered by credit cards as well as airlines, but it might still be something to consider because World Nomads also covers items lost off-flight as well. If you’re camera is stolen from you’re hostel or you simply lost it, they’ll cover it.
- Travel Protection: If your trip is delayed or cancelled, it can be comforting to know you’re getting reimbursed for a hotel or event reservation that you missed out on.
- Death: This is the only one on the list that I take exception with. Not because of the severity, but because of the practicality of it. Travel insurance coverage will only cover about $5,000-$10,000 for death. If this is something of a true concern, consider getting full life insurance instead.
Keep in mind that despite coverage being there for your benefit, insurance companies will always try their best not to pay up (they are a for-profit company after all).
Be sure to have all the proper documentation you need to make the claim go as smoothly as possible. Item stolen? Make sure you get the police report.