Travel Insurance: When You Need It and When You Don’t

May 23 2024

Travel Insurance: When You Need It and When You Don’t

Americans are spending an average of $272 per person, per trip on travel insurance for prepaid trips, but is it necessary? What does it cover? Read the fine print, but most policies cover losses resulting from events beyond your control (such as illness or death in your family), lost luggage (partial payment), and emergency medical expenses. There’s been a big increase in the number-and percentage-of people buying travel insurance, fueled mainly by the Pandemic. Most purchased a policy online, through a booking engine, or through an airline or cruise provider.

According to Forbes (February 2024), 85 % of travel insurance sales were for international trips. The average trip cost for international travelers was $5,959 and for domestic the average trip was $3,315. On average, international travelers paid $255 for their travel insurance and domestic travelers paid on average $311. Factors that influence the cost: your age, type of trip you’re taking, length of stay, and destination. When does it make sense to fork out the cash?

  • Consider purchasing travel insurance:
    • If your trip is non-refundable
    • If you’re worried your trip may need to be cancelled due to family illness or weather
    • If you’re concerned about access to medical care overseas because your health insurance may not cover medical emergencies outside the U.S.
  • Leave home without it:
    • If you’re using frequent flyer miles
    • If you’re staying at a hotel with a reliable cancellation policy
    • If your credit cards automatically offer some travel insurance.

Don’t plan on getting travel insurance if you hear a storm is about to hit your destination; if the tropical storm or hurricane has been announced, it’s too late. If you don’t buy the policy within seven to 15 days (about 2 weeks) of paying for your trip, other exclusions may apply, such as coverage for preexisting medical conditions or for the financial default of your travel supplier. Compare policies at insuremytrip.com, or travelguard.com.

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