As the summer sun begins to shine, vacation plans start taking shape. The thrill of embarking on an adventure is palpable, but with the fun that comes with traveling, you always risk running into expensive problems far from home. Lost luggage, canceled flights, injuries, rental car mishaps — all sorts of inconveniences can occur when jet-setting. One way to soften the blow of travel disasters is to have travel insurance.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance coverage that provides financial compensation for a range of travel situations, such as trip cancellation or interruption, medical emergencies, lost or delayed bagged, flight accident, and other unforeseen circumstances beyond your control.
In the event of a qualifying incident, you can file a claim with the insurance company to get money back for certain expenses, up to a previously agreed-upon limit.
You can purchase travel insurance policies from insurance providers, or take advantage of travel insurance benefits offered by your credit card provider. However, credit card travel insurance works a bit differently than a travel insurance policy you purchase.
Credit card travel insurance doesn’t typically offer the same level of comprehensive coverage you’d get from a purchased policy. You also can’t choose what type of coverage you receive. That said, many travel credit cards offer some level of coverage for issues like trip cancellation and interruption, trip delays, lost luggage, baggage delays, rental cars and travel accidents.
If you’re considering buying separate travel insurance, it’s worth learning what type of coverage your credit card offers before paying for protection you may already have.
When Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
Travel insurance can be worth it in various situations, depending on individual circumstances and travel plans. Here are some scenarios where travel insurance can be beneficial:
- Costly or Non-Refundable Trip: If you have invested a significant amount of money into your trip, travel insurance can provide financial protection if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to covered reasons. It can help reimburse your prepaid expenses and minimize financial loss.
- International Travel: Traveling to foreign countries, especially those with high medical costs or limited healthcare infrastructure, may warrant travel insurance. It can cover unexpected medical emergencies, hospitalization, or medical evacuation back to your home country.
- Adventure or High-Risk Activities: If you plan to participate in adventurous activities like skiing, scuba diving, or hiking, travel insurance can offer coverage for potential injuries or accidents. Standard health insurance policies are also important to have in place, though they may have limited coverage for these activities.
- Traveling With Valuables: If you are carrying expensive items like electronics, jewelry, or equipment, travel insurance can provide coverage in case of theft, loss or damage to your belongings.
- Travel Disruptions: Travel insurance can be useful when unexpected events like natural disasters, severe weather, or airline strikes cause delays or cancellations. It can cover additional expenses for accommodations, meals, or alternative transportation arrangements during these types of disruptions.
Related: Biden Proposes New Rules That Could Require Airlines to Pay U.S. Passengers for Travel Headaches
Ultimately, the decision of whether to purchase travel insurance depends on your personal risk tolerance, the value of your trip, and the potential financial impact of unforeseen circumstances.
It’s recommended to carefully review your travel plans, assess the coverage provided by different policies, and consider your individual needs before making a decision.
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