Is Travel Insurance Necessary? 3 Things To Check When Buying One

With a multitude of things a traveler needs to prepare before a trip, it is often easy to forego purchasing insurance coverage. A national survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates in 2013 shows that only 21% of the respondents reported buying travel insurance. The same study also reveals that 49% of people included in the study did not purchase travel insurance policy because they do not understand the importance of having one. The reason for its unpopularity is quite understandable. Traveling is already an expensive venture, making travel insurance an additional cost some might pass up on. On the other hand, the extra fee will offer the protection and security that you want for a more blissful vacation.

So one question that may start hanging over your head is: do you really need travel insurance?  

The importance of travel insurance cannot be undermined because you cannot entirely be certain of future events. Still, since the trip details such as length of travel and the number of travelers vary, travel insurance is likewise not necessary for every trip. One way to determine if it is a wise choice to buy travel insurance is by examining the cost of the policy and the financial risks you are taking by deciding to skip it. In general, the insurance cost will be equivalent to 5-10% of your total travel cost. 

This amount will save you worries from any unforeseen trip cancellations or missed flights. It will also cover your expenses for any unexpected accidents or illnesses you may encounter while on the road.  Being in a place where your existing health card is not valid increases the risk of you spending more on healthcare. Therefore, if you have health concerns and plan to stay overseas for a while, it is probably wiser to purchase insurance coverage. Meanwhile, if you purchase airfare at a budget rate and the flight schedule is in a few days, buying travel insurance may not be helpful since there is a low chance that you will cancel your flight. Many other scenarios can determine if you need or do not need travel insurance. Therefore, weigh the pros and cons depending on your own circumstances. Once you realize that getting insured is indeed the better option, the following reminders can help you get the most out of your coverage:

Read the terms. 

It is never wise to sign a document without reading what is written on it. The same is true in travel insurance. Therefore, allow some time to sit and read through all the terms written in your policy. You want to take note of the benefits you can get in cases such as accidents, illnesses, or flight delays and the conditions for availment. Aside from the inclusions, you also want to be on the lookout for things that are not covered by the policy. Do not hesitate to consult with the insurance company any inquiry you have or clarification you want. 

Be meticulous. 

Not all insurance providers are equal so a bit of research to check the background of the company will go a long way. Choose a provider that has a good reputation in terms of paying claims and providing assistance. You will gain insights into their services by reading testimonials or reviews from past clients. You can also check the services of several insurance companies so you can compare and assess which provider gives the best offer.

It pays to be prompt. 

You do not want to procrastinate if you want to enjoy the protection of travel insurance for a longer period of time. This is because some insurance policies get you covered for up to 2 months before your actual trip. So if your trip is finally confirmed, do not waste time by delaying your purchase to get protected as soon as possible. If you wait for something unexpected to happen before purchasing insurance, the company may have reasons to deny your request for reimbursement. Some insurance also offers a review period for a number of days so you can freely make changes to your trip or plans. 

Being a savvy traveler requires a lot of research, planning, and preparation. But as you start booking airfare and checking hotel rates, do not forget to give travel insurance some thought. It can be the key to your best vacation ever.

Brad and Julie DuncanIs Travel Insurance Necessary? 3 Things To Check When Buying One

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