For may travellers, budgetary constraints come into play when planning their trip overseas. Quite often they are trying to spend as much time overseas as they can afford or trying to get the most bang for their buck when choosing destinations. Unfortunately this can mean that there isn’t always money for travel insurance. Some people can in fact skip travel insurance because they have other kinds of insurance that can cover the most important elements of travel insurance like their medical coverage. However for many people travel insurance is actually a crucial element of any travel plan and it can not only save you money on cancellations and incidents of theft, but can save your life if you require emergency medical care.
For some people travel insurance especially important. For example, if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could flare up while you are overseas, then you should definitely have travel insurance (or suitable medical insurance that includes overseas coverage). If you are traveling during the storm season in the country you are visiting, you should definitely include travel insurance in your costs. So if your trip is interrupted by bad weather you may be able to claim some of the travel costs back.
If you are traveling to an area with political tensions, that might also impact on your ability to travel, so make sure you have travel insurance in that instance as well. Also if you are spending a great deal of money on the trip, or traveling through a large number of countries – your chances of a mishap or delay in your travel itinerary increases so you should take out travel insurance.
Some people can skip more safely travel insurance. So if you already have medical insurance that provides worldwide coverage, you don’t have to worry about that element with travel insurance. If you aren’t taking any expensive items on the trip with you, or you have a homeowners policy that covers your valuables while you are traveling with them, that will also lessen your need for travel insurance.
If you afford to lose some valuables or pay additional travel expenses incurred by cancelations, then your are less likely to need travel insurance. If you are very confident you are traveling somewhere safe, where there is low risk of theft, assault or any kind of political turmoil, you can also potentially skip the travel insurance.
A responsible travel agent will always try to promote travel insurance to you, and in the vast majority of cases it is definitely a good idea. But if your circumstances are similar to those above, you may be more likely to safely skip it.
If you decide to buy the travel insurance, make sure you don’t get ripped off, and obtain a solid policy from a reputable provider. Most travel insurance policies can add about 5% to the cost of the holiday, but if you are traveling to a dangerous destination, that can increase dramatically.
Also consider the fact that travel insurance covers a lot of the possible problems while on holiday, not just medical and robbery related ones. Most travel insurance policies will include payments for baggage loss, trip cancellation, natural disasters, emergency evacuation and medical expenses. Most also include payouts for accidental death and loss of limbs. So if you have a serious accident while overseas, your family members can receive some kind of payout in addition to any life insurance that you may have.
If you cancel your holiday for a personal reason, most travel companies will not give you much of a refund. If you have travel insurance, most insurance companies will pay up to 75% of the cost of your travel. The same goes for missing flights or travel connections – the insurance company will pick up the slack when airlines or travel companies refuse to help with the cost of new arrangements.
Before you make a purchasing decision about travel insurance, check your existing insurance policies to see if they provide any coverage that can be of use while traveling. Some life insurance, medical insurance and homeowners insurance policies have elements that can be used while you are traveling. You really don’t want to duplicated insurance measures if possible because you may be able to get cheaper insurance that doesn’t include the duplicates.
You should also consider that some tour packages include insurance costs for all of the participants. This is especially true of cruise tours, they usually push participants into insurance because of the dangers of traveling at sea. You can usually opt-out, but consider the features and cost of the policy they are selling compared to third party policies – it might be a better deal.