Asking “Is travel insurance worth my time or money?” is like asking whether or not it’s worth it to have peace of mind. The answer to that question seems simple, right? It seems like peace of mind would always be worth it.
The tricky thing is peace of mind comes at a cost and one that doesn’t always feel necessary. After all, when it comes to insurance of any kind—home, travel, auto—the hope is that you’ll never need to use it. Which would mean that you’d end up paying up front for nothing but peace of mind. That said, when a situation arises in which you need to rely on insurance while traveling, you’ll be SO glad you have it. It can get you access to necessary care and services and save you a ton of money.
So, in order to determine when it makes sense to purchase travel insurance and when it doesn’t, there are a number of things you should consider:
In general, the key consideration that comes to mind when assessing need for insurance is cost versus risk. First, we recommend thinking about your risk.
How likely are you to use the different elements of insurance available to you?
How likely is it that you’ll need to cancel your flight?
Is there a chance that you’ll need medical attention while you’re away, based on your medical history or where you’re traveling to?
What about evacuation–is your destination considered to be dangerous in any significant way?
We’ll get into greater detail about the situations in which your risk is very likely higher than average below, but these considerations will help you determine whether or not your risk level is high enough to warrant the cost. Once you know what kinds of coverage you might be interested in having, take a look at travel insurance cost. Start off by getting a quick quote, so you know what you’re looking at price-wise, and then start to refine your needs from there.
Then, think about it: Given my level of risk of actually using this insurance, is it worth the cost to have peace of mind while I travel? If the answer doesn’t feel simple enough yet, read on…
If you or someone you are traveling with someone who has a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll definitely want to get travel insurance that includes a pre-existing condition waiver, especially if it’s a condition that–even occasionally–requires professional medical attention. This is one of those situations we talked about earlier in which risk often very clearly outweighs the cost. This is because your regular medical insurance will not cover you while you’re traveling, so you will likely end up covering some pretty hefty bills if you need any medical attention outside of the country. A pre-existing condition waiver is a time-sensitive benefit that must be purchased within a certain time frame from your initial Trip Deposit Date, usually within 10-20 days.
And, as we talked about recently on the blog, don’t forget that pregnancy is usually considered a pre-existing medical condition, so long as you know about it before you purchase your insurance. If you find out about it after, make sure the policy you selected will cover you for anything that arises. You can find the whole rundown of how it all works here.
Whether or not you really need travel insurance largely depends on your destination. The biggest distinction is between domestic and international travel. If you’re traveling domestically, it’s likely that your regular medical insurance will cover you in the same way that it would when you’re at home if you find yourself in an emergency situation.
That’s not to say that you can schedule a check-up in the city you’re visiting and expect it to be covered, but if you end up in the emergency room with a broken leg in Tampa, Florida and you’re from Cincinnati, Ohio, you’ll likely have access to the same care with the same type of coverage that you would at home. Double check when you book your travel, just to be sure, but that’s the general rule of thumb.
If you’re traveling internationally, on the other hand, all bets are off, and you likely won’t be covered by any existing insurance while you’re away. Generally, we recommend that you get at least emergency medical and evacuation coverage when you’re traveling abroad. They’re relatively low-cost and will save you so much trouble should you need emergency medical care or to leave the country suddenly. Of course, if you’re traveling to an area that is experiencing political–or any other kind of–turmoil, the need for insurance increases even further, so be sure to do your research before you make your decision.
Still confused about when you need travel insurance and when you don’t? Let’s talk! That’s what we’re here for. Here’s how to connect with us.