It’s easy to think of travel insurance as an avoidable and unnecessary vacation expense. It isn’t until something bad happens that you fully realize why you need to have it. Travel insurance adds safety and protection to travel whenever the unexpected occurs.
Canceled! © seanoneill
If you’re still not convinced that you need travel insurance, we’ve listed seven key scenarios where a decent policy will make all the difference, whether you’re off on a weekend break or embarking on a more long-term adventure.
- #1: You’re covered if you miss a connection
Imagine you’re on a multi-leg flight, booked thru separate airlines, and your plane gets caught up in a two-hour holding pattern. This happened to me outside Doha. Not only will you be stuck waiting in the terminal, you will also miss the connecting flight to your next destination.
Without travel insurance, a missed connection can blow a huge hole in your budget. You’ll lose the money you paid for the original ticket plus you have to book a new connection at an inflated, last-minute rate.
Travel insurance protects you with coverage for missed connections, refunding the cost of booking a new flight. Some providers will even cover the cost of a hotel room for the night while you wait for your connection the next day.
- #2: You’ll get the medical help you need, wherever you are
It’s late at night and you suddenly start feeling seriously ill. At home, this would be solved with a quick trip to your local hospital. But you’re in an unfamiliar country with a totally different language, and you don’t even know where the nearest hospital is.
Travel insurance protects you from the high cost of overseas medical coverage. Instead of ending up with a bill for thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars for care, you can call your insurance provider and ask for the nearest supported hospital.
In some cases, you could be covered for emergency assistance and airlift services to help you reach the nearest hospital as quickly as possible. With a good travel insurance policy, you won’t face the risk of paying out of pocket for healthcare overseas, even for severe injuries.
- #3: You’ll be reimbursed if something gets stolen
From stolen smartphones and pickpockets to hotel room burglaries, theft is an unfortunate fact of travel. Even in “safe” destinations, bad people may target your property, forcing you to spend your own money on a replacement and potentially ruining your vacation.
Travel insurance protects you from the cost of replacing goods by letting you claim the value of lost or stolen items. If you lose your camera, your backpack, or laptop, you can claim back the cost of a new replacement.
- #4: You’re covered if the airline loses your luggage
Everyone’s worst travel nightmare is to arrive at your destination and spend hours waiting at the baggage carousel, only to discover that your bag was either lost by the airline or sent to the wrong destination.
Lost baggage can ruin a vacation, but it can be rectified with travel insurance. If your insurance policy includes coverage for lost or delayed luggage, you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of new items, from clothing and personal hygiene items to a completely new suitcase.
- #5: If your flight is canceled, you can buy another ticket
From bad weather to bad management, flights are often canceled without notice. When you’re booked on a flight that’s suddenly canceled, it can seriously disrupt your travel plans and make it difficult to get to your destination (or get home) without huge costs.
Instead of booking a last minute ticket at your own expense, travel insurance lets you refund the cost of replacement tickets caused by canceled flights. You may even get any hotel fees back if a new flight is only available the next day.
- #6: You’ll be covered if you need to cancel your trip
Sudden illnesses, a death in the family, natural disasters and other unexpected events can put get in the way of your travel plans. If you need to cancel your trip for a reason outside your control, it’s nice to know you’ll be able to recover the money you’ve already spent.
When your travel insurance policy includes cancelation coverage, you can receive a refund for related expenses. Instead of worrying about two problems at once, you get the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll be compensated for the money you’ve already spent on your vacation.
- #7: If a terrorist attack happens, you can cancel
You’ve booked your vacation and waited months for the departure date to arrive. And then two days before you’re scheduled to leave, a serious terrorist attack occurs in your destination, leaving you with closed airports and serious questions about your personal safety.
If your travel insurance policy includes coverage for terrorism, you’ll be able to cancel your trip without being out of pocket for flights, hotel bookings and other expenses. You can rebook a different vacation to a safer destination without potentially losing thousands of dollars.
Can you really afford to go without travel insurance?
- Your safety and health should always be your top priority, no matter where you plan to travel. A travel insurance policy keeps you safe, healthy and financially secure in any country, giving you the confidence and certainty that things will be okay.
- Many travelers write off travel insurance as “another avoidable cost”. But the point of a crisis is that it is unpredictable and some learn the hard way when a missed flight, medical emergency or sudden unexpected event make them realize the real value of travel insurance.