Travel Insurance – What is it and why do you need it?

Travel Tips

Hello all. I have talked about this in a post before but only briefly. I wanted to discuss travel and trip insurance more deeply with you all today. Some new information has come my way and I would like to share that with all of you. 

This post contains recommendations on research not done by me or my staff. While we have used the information presented, we make no guarantees as to its value. Please read full disclosure here.

What is Travel Insurance?

As I mentioned in a post here, I never take any kind of paid transport without having travel insurance. Travel insurance is just that, insurance. Imagine if you would, a trip to a beautiful resort in St. Thomas. Now think about how you would get there. Would you fly or take a cruise? Now let’s just say that your flight is very full and you are sitting next to someone with a little cough. No big deal right? Wrong! You will be spending at least six hours next to this person and could catch their cold.

So now you are in St. Thomas and you are sick. Does your medical insurance work there? Do you have medical insurance? Travel insurance will pay (or help pay) for expenses like this while you are away from home. While some private US medical coverage companies do offer a travel coverage, it can still be declined. International hospitals can require cash up front and refuse to treat you. This is where travel insurance comes into play. Every travel insurance company has different features and benefits that you should research. Make the choice that is best for you.

For years we had used the same company because they offered a repeat customer discount. And while it was great coverage, we recently found something better. Jericka at let me know of an article written on their site. They did all the research for me on over 22 different providers and have set it up to where you can get a quote right from the post. They do reviews on all sorts of things and are very thorough. After reading this, we realized that, while great, our current provider was not offering some features we didn’t even know we wanted.

Trip Insurance- Isn’t that the same thing?

The short answer here is no, even though they are usually called the same thing. Trip and travel insurance are two different things and I do recommend both. While travel insurance covers you medically, what happens when your flight is canceled or you get very ill before your trip and can no longer go? This is where the trip insurance addon shines. I am so glad I had trip coverage for our last trip. As you can read here, we ran into a bit of a snag with our travel plans. Without the coverage, we would have been out a considerable sum of cash.

This coverage can help when luggage is (not if) lost, if your plans are canceled due to a family emergency, should your flight be canceled for various reasons, or if you have to make last minute changes to your plans. The more you travel, the more problems can arise. It is a numbers game and eventually, your number will be up. So be prepared. When our flight was canceled last minute over Christmas, we received a full refund for the tickets, hotel, housesitter fee, and rental car deposit.

Make a list

When you start to research a company, the first thing to do is make a list. What benefits matter the most to you? How often would you need a coverage plan? Would it make sense to look for one with repeat or annual savings options? All of these things are important. I know it may seem like an extra expense and trust me you will use it far less often than you will pay for it. But like my daddy (and I am sure yours) used to say “better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”.  So here is a list I use when I check into insurance coverage.

  • How much is it
  • Does it cover “acts of God”
  • Am I covered if I make the changes to my plans
  • What changes can I make that are covered
  • What isn’t covered
  • Do they offer emergency evacuation coverage
  • What is the deductible
  • Can I get a discount if I use them again or buy annually
  • What medical coverage is offered
  • Are prescriptions covered

I am sure there are other things that matter to you more than me so write them down. Do the research and choose the best company and plan for you and your plans.


4 thoughts on “Travel Insurance – What is it and why do you need it?

  1. I’ve always said “No” to Travel Insurance on the past. I guess it was to save money or I was younger and didn’t expect there to be any problems. But now that I’m older, I’ve realized that travel insurance is a necessity. Thanks for this information!

  2. This is very nice to know. I have been a cheapskate when it comes to travel insurance by not availing it. I have failed to realize that the cost it comes with it is actually beneficial. It is a good thing to be prepared, if it case there is medical emergency on our travels.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I have always declined travel and trip insurance in the past, but will now be seriously reconsidering because you never know what may happen.

  4. My wife and I booked one trip without travel insurance and were stuck between a rock and a hard place when a hurricane hit our travel destination. The hotels refunded, but the airline did not give us a full reimbursement. We have not gone on a major trip without it ever since. I highly recommend getting it.

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