Hundreds of millions of travelers ask themselves this question each year. And one in three jet-setters now opt in for travel insurance
But before you can answer this question for yourself, you need to equip yourself with some knowledge, including what exactly travel insurance actually is, what the benefits are, and under what circumstances it makes sense for you and your family to elect for insurance before your next trip.
What Is Travel Insurance?
Different travel insurance companies and other credible sources may range in the nuance they use to define travel insurance, but here is a great place to start: travel insurance is insurance. It’s there to help us financially and otherwise in stressful and unexpected scenarios.
Travel insurance is designed to cover those who elect coverage with financial safeguards in the case of events ranging from inconveniences to calamities. Coverage may include both costs incurred before your trip, such as nonrefundable event tickets or hotel stays, and during your trip, including travel interruptions and medical expenses.
Like other insurance products, from homeowners’ to auto insurance, there are specific provisions tied to policies that outline when and how reimbursements are given – and how much insured travelers are eligible to receive.
Another element of travel insurance is assistance. For example, a travel insurance company may offer aid to subscribing travelers ranging from sharing helpful information to arranging for medical evacuations.
The most important detail to know about travel insurance is that its features can range broadly depending on the company offering the product, the package or policy that’s selecting and a host of other factors.
A Travel Insurance Plan for Everyone
The most essential part of educating yourself about travel insurance involves drilling down into the details of specific plans.
Different tiers of benefits and coverage levels allow travelers to match the insurance to their specific travel plans. A four-alarm, full-blown globetrotting honeymoon and Aunt Lucinda’s family picnic and bake-off may not both require the same travel insurance product.
Among the first considerations to make when selecting a travel insurance plan is whether to pursue trip-specific or annual coverage. Frequent travelers, and those with a big family or young kids, may want to carefully consider the cost savings that an annual plan can provide. It’s not hard to do the math: when travelers add up the piecemeal cost of insurance for the trips they plan to take in the next year and compare it to the annual price tag, there will be a more attractive choice.
One final note about travel insurance that doesn’t come with fine print or footnotes – and that’s peace of mind. It’s a product you hope you never need to use but appreciate when you have it, similar to other insurance products. Once you weigh the importance of this peace of mind, as well as the other factors outlined here, you’ll be closer to being able to decide whether travel insurance is right for your next trip.