Is travel insurance a good idea?

 

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“Should I get travel insurance for my upcoming trip?”
You may have asked yourself this question right after booking a flight, a cruise or any type of tour as you are usually asked by online companies if you would like the extra security added to your total at checkout.

But how useful is travel insurance? And is it really needed?

We break it down for you:

First, you need to understand the three basic types of travel insurance and what they are good for. One type of travel insurance covers any penalties or some extra costs that you may get if you have to withdraw your reservations or change your travel plans. This can cover things from reimbursing prepaid expenses such as flights, hotels or reservations due to a death in the family, weather related issues, or missed flights. Another option is to purchase travel health insurance. This covers any gaps in your already existing insurance for such things as emergency medical expenses if you are out of the country or if you need a medical evacuation. The third travel insurance option is insurance that protects against damage, loss or theft. This covers any expensive equipment or personal items that fall outside of any preexisting insurance coverage you may have.

When considering if you will need any type of travel insurance you should base your decision on potential losses or what you feel you can afford to lose. So, check and make sure what the cancelation polices are for your flights, hotels and any pre-booked tours. This will help guide you as you weigh what needs to be covered and what doesn’t. Don’t assume that all venues and items have the same cancelation polices. Also, assess your risks. If you are traveling to a place prone to hurricane weather, during hurricane season, it might be worth your while to insure your trip in case you need to cancel because of inclement weather or an evacuation is needed.

Do keep in mind there are limits to travel insurance. Your reason to put in a claim has to be significant and verifiable. For example: if you wish not to go on a trip at the last second because the city you will be visiting is on high alert due to a security risk, you might have a compelling case. But if you simply have changed your mind and don’t wish to go, that typically isn’t a good enough reason. But it is always a good idea to make contact with the airline or places with reservations to attempt a penalty free cancelation if your insurance ends up not covering it – sometimes companies can be very understanding to your unique situation.

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