Travel Insurance: Unnecessary Expense or Vacation Necessity?

Travel insurance helps provide peace of of mind to travelers, especially those who journey overseas. While different travel insurance policies provide different coverage, the primary purpose of the policy is to help you recover the cost of deposits and plane fare on your journey in the event of an emergency cancellation. Travel insurance can also be used to pay for medical expenses that arise while traveling abroad, as many countries would not have the ability to accept your health insurance.

Types of Travel Insurance Coverage

Many trip insurance companies offer bundled packages. Depending on your needs, you may not require all of the coverage that the company offers. If possible, search for a policy that includes only what you need to avoid paying extra for unnecessary coverage.

• Cancellation insurance: This coverage helps to cover the cost of airfare, security deposits, or other travel expenses that you have to pay in advance in the event that you are unable to go on the vacation.

• Trip interruption insurance: Similar to cancellation insurance and almost always sold together, this covers your deposits and other expenses if you have to leave the vacation early due to an emergency situation, such as the death of a family member at home.

• Medical evacuation insurance: If you experience a health concern on your journey, this coverage will pay to have you removed to a location where you can be treated. This may mean sending you back home, or it may only pay to get you in to a nearby hospital.

• Baggage coverage: If your baggage is lost or stolen on the trip, your insurance can be used to pay for reimbursement on your lost items.

Other Insurance Overlaps With Trip Insurance

When selecting a travel insurance policy, it’s smart to determine what other insurance you have and whether it will cover the same situations as the separate travel policy. For example, most homeowner’s or renter’s policies will cover loss or damage to your personal property regardless of where the loss occurs. Additionally, some credit card companies offer limited amounts of travel insurance for journeys paid on the card.

Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

The primary reason to take out a travel insurance policy is if you are going on an expensive pre-paid vacation, such as a cruise or guided tour. With these journeys, canceling your plans could prove extremely expensive due not only to losing deposits but also needing to pay additional cancellation fees.

If you are traveling in a less rigid manner, however, or paying for your plans as you go, there is little reason to purchase a travel insurance policy. Most issues will be covered through other means, and you can put the money you would have spent on your insurance back into enjoying your vacation.

Image credit: [ The TUBE— Iconic MOMENTS ] St. Paul’s Tube Station, London, England, United Kingdom by UggBoy♥UggGirl [ PHOTO // WORLD // TRAVEL ]’s photostream

Gina Hamilton is an insurance consultant and content contributor for, a provider of all types of insurance in Canada and the U.S. All the most popular company’s rates are available for comparison, such as Standard Life.

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