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By Ed Perkins, Smarter Travel | July 2, 2015
For certain vacations, travel insurance is pointless, for others it’s essential. Determining whether you should purchase travel insurance for your trip all comes down to risk. The best way to determine the value is assess the risk with some of the most frequent types of travel insurance.
Loss of Deposits
Taking a cruise, booking a vacation package, tour, or renting a house often require you to put down a deposit at the time of booking. Should your plans change and you can no longer use what you’ve booked, there’s a good chance you will lose your deposit due to cancellation and nonrefundable policies. Should you be in this situation purchasing ‘trip cancellation’ travel insurance will compensate you for the money you lost.
Ending a Trip Early
Sometimes your trip can be cut short by any number of things, causing you to need to get home in a hurry. This can quickly become very expensive, very quickly. Trip interruption insurance will refund you the non-recoverable expenses of having to head home early or being forced to continue the trip as a solo traveler, should your companion need to leave. If there is a chance you will have to end the trip early, then purchasing travel insurance would be worth the cost.
Illness and Injury
Getting sick or injured while away can rapidly become a financial burden, especially if you are out of the country. Your health insurance may or may not cover you internationally, before making the decision not to purchase travel insurance that covers medical expenses, check with your health insurance provider. When you are in a foreign country and have a medical emergency, you often have to pay upon treatment, whereas if you are covered through travel medical insurance it will cover your costs upfront for you.
While traveling, occasionally people find themselves in need of urgent transport home, especially in regards to natural disasters. Emergency travel (helicopters or private jets) can cost huge sums of money. If you purchase medical evacuation insurance it re-compensates for any such necessity.
…So, Should I Purchase Travel Insurance?
Determining whether you need trip cancellation insurance is easy doing simple math. The more money you have to pay in advance the more valuable trip cancelation insurance becomes, should you need to cancel for any reason. Make sure you read whichever travel insurance policy you choose carefully and don’t pay more to cover money that you would have refunded back to you in the event that you cancel.
Travel interruption insurance and medical evacuation insurance are generally more expensive than travel cancellation insurance. This is because it those situations are generally costly to cover than travel cancellations. The cost usually ranges from 5-15 percent of the total cost of your trip. Deciding whether this is something you need should be based on your destination, length of travel, and your age.
Insider Tip: Avoid using cancellation waivers offered by tours and cruise lines. There is often a lot of fine print and you generally don’t get all of your money back.
When you do decide if you should purchase a travel insurance policy for your upcoming trip, there are several online sites that will help you compare different options, such as:
At the end of the day, choosing the right travel insurance for you has several things you need to factor in, but most importantly, is the risk worth the potential financial fallout?