A stresses traveler puts his head in his hand and slouches while sitting in an airport.

Is Travel Insurance a Gimmick?

Insurance is one thing we hate paying for, but we’re glad we have it when we need it. Many travelers decline travel insurance because they can’t imagine any scenario where they’d be canceling their travel plans.

On the other hand, some can’t imagine traveling without travel insurance. So what’s the deal? Is travel insurance a gimmick? Let’s see!

A stresses traveler puts his head in his hand and slouches while sitting in an airport.

What Is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance policies cover a variety of travel-related risks and expenses that travelers experience. They can help mitigate the financial responsibility travelers experience when things don’t go as planned while traveling.

This could be due to injuries, sicknesses, lost luggage, or anything that could cause a last-minute cancellation.

Is Travel Insurance a Gimmick?

Travel insurance can be an effective way to protect your reservations and medical expenses. If you can cancel your reservations without penalty and your medical insurance policy will cover you wherever your travels take you, then travel insurance will not be necessary.

On the other hand, there are many times when travel insurance is highly effective and is a good investment. You may be taking a major risk by choosing not to purchase travel insurance in some instances. 

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Why You Should Always Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance provides peace of mind to the policyholder. It will often be worth it if you’re paying big bucks for an international trip.

It can be an added expense, but it helps protect you from a major financial loss if something unexpected happens. Your health insurance policy might not be accepted by doctors where you’re traveling. You don’t want your souvenir from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to be a boatload of medical debt.

Traveling can be incredibly expensive, and a once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan cruise will cost you several thousand dollars. However, if someone in your family were to experience a medical emergency, you may lose every penny of your cruise if you have to cancel your plans.

Most cruise lines have strict policies when it comes to cancellations, typically stating there are no refunds if a passenger cancels within 14 days of the date of departure. If you can’t stomach the thought of flushing all that money down the toilet, you better buy travel insurance.

We’ve heard nightmarish stories of individuals losing their baggage while traveling. They arrived at their destination and discovered their bags were nowhere to be found. They only had what they carried onto the plane. Some travel insurance policies can help cover the costs of the essential items you’ll need to get by until the airlines can track down or replace your bags.

What Are the Benefits of Travel Insurance? 

There are many benefits to getting travel insurance. However, the primary reason many travelers purchase travel insurance is because of the assurance it provides.

You never know when a medical emergency or another dramatic event will happen in your life. Being able to quickly change your plans without facing a huge financial loss can allow you to enjoy the whole process of traveling.

Another benefit of travel insurance is that there’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to coverage. You can work with an insurance provider to help craft a policy that fits you and your specific needs. Make sure you have a travel insurance policy that works for you and how you travel.

What Are the Disadvantages of Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance can be costly, and you’re likely already spending a chunk of change on your travels. Adding travel insurance to your trip may give you some assurance, but it will increase the overall cost of your trip in the process. If you’re looking to travel as cheaply as possible, travel insurance will make that difficult.

Another disadvantage of travel insurance is that it doesn’t cover everything. You need to read the fine print and clarify what is and isn’t covered by the insurance provider.

If you’re planning to partake in adventurous or dangerous activities like rock climbing, scuba diving, or skydiving, you may not get coverage for injuries resulting from those activities. Many policies exclude activities that involve wars, acts of terrorism, or the use of alcohol.

Skimping on travel insurance to cut costs? Here are some creative ways to travel if you’re broke.

Does Travel Insurance Cover Illnesses, Including COVID? 

Travel insurance policies will cover a variety of illnesses and medical emergencies. However, how travel insurance providers handle COVID-related coverage varies considerably.

Some providers cover the expenses, and others don’t. If this concerns you, you’ll want to ask specific questions to your provider regarding coverage.

How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?

Travel insurance costs vary depending on your trip’s cost, the coverage benefits, and your age. However, you can typically expect to spend an additional 5% to 10% of the non-refundable fee of your trip.

You’ll want to weigh the cost of the policy with the potential financial risks you’ll be facing when making your decision.

A woman begins to remove her face mask as she walks down a sidewalk.

Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

If you’re planning to travel internationally, it’s typically always worth it. Some of these trips are incredibly expensive and require paying non-refundable deposits.

You could make a huge financial mistake by passing on travel insurance. It can ruin your current travel plans and potentially even future ones.

On the other hand, if you’re traveling domestically and can easily cancel or reschedule your plans, it’s not worth it. Only you can decide how much risk you’re willing to assume regarding your travel plans.

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