Should I Take Out Travel Insurance?
Choosing to purchase travel insurance can depend on a variety of factors, including destination, type of trip and time of year. These factors, and many others, may dictate the need for travel insurance to cover issues such as trip interruption, flight cancellations, lost luggage or accidents.
Careful investigation of trip details may also rule out the need for additional trip insurance.
The decision to purchase trip insurance can be complicated but should be part of any trip planning.
Travel Interruption or Cancellation
Interruptions or delays because of weather, traffic or mechanical failure can be a common travel issue. Travel cancellations before departure or en route to your destination can also cause havoc with trip plans.
These issues can result in missed connecting flights, cruise ship departure, guided tours or loss of reservations. If your trip involves multiple modes of transportation or strict timetables, consider trip interruption and cancellation insurance as a possible source of reimbursement.
Some credit card issuers provide free travel interruption and cancellation insurance for cardholders who pay for travel expenses with their card. This coverage might eliminate the need to purchase other policies.
Emergency Health or Medical Treatment
Although you might have adequate health and medical insurance while at home, coverage while traveling should be confirmed before departure. Some health and medical insurance policies limit coverage to the policy holder’s home country or to a specific association of treatment providers.
If this is the case, consider travel health and medical insurance to provide coverage while out of town. This coverage might be specific to the area or country of travel, so be sure to verify coverage for your trip destinations.
Lost or Stolen Luggage
Lost or stolen luggage is one of the most common travel issues and can cause major issues with your trip. For example, necessary medicines, valuable personal items or money packed in a missing bag can delay or even cause the cancellation of your trip.
Travel insurance covering missing luggage can provide reimbursement, allowing you to continue on your trip. For homeowners, some home insurance policies provide this protection under the home contents coverage.
Check your homeowner’s policy to verify coverage.
Rental car insurance can be an expensive but a necessary expense. Damage or total loss of a rented automobile can result in a large financial burden on the renter. Most rental car agencies offer damage insurance, but this can significantly increase the cost of the rental.
Check out rental car coverage through your regular insurance company or inquire about temporary policy riders to cover your trip. In some cases, credit card companies include free rental car insurance when cardholders pay for rentals with their card.
In some cases, purchasing travel insurance might not make sense. For example, if you’re traveling to visit family and carrying only a duffel bag and clothes, travel insurance might not be necessary.
Additionally, if your trip only involves one mode of travel, no connecting flights or flexible travel dates, trip insurance might not be necessary.