If you’ve ever booked travel online, you’ve probably seen the pop-ups or options that ask if you’d like to purchase travel insurance. Some might opt to disregard, as travel is often expensive enough. For others, it’s a no-brainer, as one could never be too careful.
With so many options out there, it’s easy to get confused. We’re here to help—here’s all you need to know about travel insurance.
What is it, exactly?
Essentially, travel insurance protects both you, and your hard-earned money while you’re away from home. Depending on the coverage you purchase, it can protect your fares in the event of a cancellation, weather event, natural disaster or other unforeseeable circumstance. Often, plans can also protect you in the event of injury, death, dismemberment, or theft, will cover medical expenses from any injuries or illness acquired while on the insured trip, and may even cover rental car incidents and lost or damaged baggage.
Depending on the nature of your trip and the destination, many travel insurance plans are customizable to your needs. You can also purchase the insurance through your booking company, or independently. You can conveniently compare some of the leading travel insurance offerings here.
Obviously, the most significant benefit from purchasing travel insurance is that in the event you suffer a covered loss, you can enjoy financial protection. Travel snafus and worse, emergencies, are stressful enough without having to worry about the monetary issues that arise.
Additionally, for many nervous travelers, those traveling far from home or for extended periods of time, often the peace of mind that travel insurance provides is benefit enough.
As with any insurance policy, often the mentality is “better safe than sorry.” Yet, you hope that you’ll never have to actually use or benefit from your investment. Because of this, one of the only drawbacks of travel insurance would be purchasing insurance and then not needing the policy.
Another possibility that could be considered a drawback is that more often than not, reasons for cancellations to be covered can be limiting. For example, if you have a change of heart and no longer wish to cancel, many companies may feel that’s not a justifiable or covered reason. Additionally, if the insurance was improperly purchased, or the specifics of coverage left out an important area or, say, not the full amount spent for the trip, there may be uncovered expenses.
Things to Consider
Before purchasing any travel insurance policy, it’s important to review your existing credit card features, as often times they offer varying levels of protection. The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card, for example, has built-in auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance and lost luggage reimbursement. By reviewing the existing coverage, you can ensure you are not spending or insuring unnecessarily.