If you’re planning a trip, you’re probably wondering, is travel insurance worth it? It’s easy to feel like you can skip buying travel insurance to save money, but there are certain situations where you definitely need it, such as for international travel or for medical coverage.
Having travel insurance is also worthwhile if you want to cover anything unexpected that might come up while you’re traveling.
You could be hiking, break a leg, and need to get airlifted to the nearest hospital. Your partner could contract serious food poisoning and need hospital treatment. You could come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 and need to quarantine for two weeks (which is why having travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage is so important). A flight could get canceled or seriously delayed, and your luggage could be lost.
In this article, I’ll discuss the cost of travel insurance, who needs travel insurance, and when to get travel insurance. Keep reading to find out when it’s worth it to buy travel insurance.
Why Get Travel Insurance?
Why have travel insurance? The main reason for buying travel insurance is to have medical coverage abroad and/or travel protection. You can also add on any optional coverage if you require it, such as cancel for any reason, adventure sports, or electronics.
Making sure you’re covered in case of an emergency or unexpected event will mean that if something does come up, you won’t have to pay for it at your own expense.
The main types of travel insurance coverage and add-ons include:
- Emergency medical expenses – This is the most important type of coverage for any trip. You never know when you’re going to get sick or injured while traveling, and medical bills can be expensive. At the very least, make sure you have travel medical insurance coverage before you go on a trip.
- Evacuation and repatriation – Coverage for medical transportation to the nearest hospital or repatriation back to your home country may not even cross your mind as being necessary. However, if you fall seriously ill and need treatment in your home country or get injured in a remote area and require air transport to the nearest hospital, it will be very pricey to pay for transportation fees at your own expense. Evacuation and repatriation coverage ensures that these transportation costs will be covered by insurance instead of coming out of your own pocket.
- Travel delay/interruption/cancellation – Unexpected situations can arise at any time and mean delaying, interrupting, or canceling your trip. While altering your trip plans can be disappointing and frustrating, with travel delay, interruption, and cancellation coverage, you won’t have to worry about losing out on what you paid for your trip as long as you delay, interrupt, or cancel your trip for a reason that’s covered by your policy.
- Baggage loss/delay – Although it isn’t super common nowadays, luggage can still get lost, damaged, or stolen. Baggage loss and delay coverage will help you avoid paying out of pocket to replace any valuable or necessary items you may lose.
- Cancel for any reason – Basic travel insurance cancellation policies will only reimburse you for trip cancellation if you cancel your trip for one of the reasons covered by the policy, such as a sudden illness or inclement weather. If you want to be able to cancel your trip for absolutely any reason, even if it’s not covered by your policy, this add-on will allow you to do so and still get reimbursed. You can find out more about CFAR in our guide to cancel for any reason travel insurance.
- Adventure sports – If you’re planning on playing sports or doing lots of adventurous activities on your trip, this add-on is for you. Sports and adventure activities can easily cause injuries, so this type of coverage will ensure that you can get covered treatment for any medical issues that may arise.
- Electronics – This add-on provides coverage for any valuable electronics, such as laptops, tablets, and cameras. If you plan on traveling with expensive equipment, electronics coverage is ideal because you won’t have to replace the electronics with your own money if they get stolen, lost, or damaged.
Who Needs Travel Insurance?
When is travel insurance worth it? Buying travel insurance is definitely worthwhile if you are traveling abroad because otherwise, you won’t have medical insurance coverage. Of course, you can just get travel medical insurance instead if you don’t want any trip protection coverage, but medical insurance for travel should be considered a necessity for international trips.
Travel insurance is also a good idea if you have booked any flight, hotel, or other reservation that can’t be canceled or reimbursed easily by the company, website, etc.
You don’t necessarily need travel insurance if you will only be traveling domestically and just want medical coverage because you will already have domestic health insurance to cover you. You also don’t need to buy a flight ticket protection add-on for travel insurance. Your airline is responsible for any delays or cancellations of flights, so they should reimburse you without your having to file a travel insurance claim.
Should You Buy Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance may not be necessary or worth it for every single traveler. To help you decide if you need travel insurance, below are some common travel situations where travel insurance may or may not be worth it.
- Is travel insurance worth it for international travel? Yes, if you’re taking a trip abroad, travel insurance is absolutely worth it. As a bare minimum, you should have travel insurance with medical coverage. Without it, medical treatment abroad will not be covered, and you could end up being responsible for some hefty medical bills. It’s also useful to have travel insurance so you can get cancellation coverage, since flights to international destinations and hotels abroad will be more expensive. So, you’ll definitely appreciate getting reimbursed for those expenses!
- Is air travel insurance worth it? You don’t need air travel insurance if it’s specific extra “airline coverage” that’s not included in general travel insurance. Most airlines will reimburse you if your flight gets delayed or cancelled, even without travel insurance, so there’s no need to shell out for extra, unnecessary coverage.
- Is annual travel insurance worth it? Yes, annual travel insurance, which is coverage for all of the trips you take in a year, is worth buying, but only if you are a frequent traveler. If you just take one to two vacations a year, single trip travel insurance will be cheaper for you. On the other hand, if you travel multiple times a month, the price of annual travel insurance will be much cheaper than buying individual travel insurance plans for each trip.
- Is domestic travel insurance worth it? Yes, domestic travel insurance, or travel insurance for trips within your home country, is useful to have if you want trip protection coverage, i.e. baggage loss, trip delay, trip interruption, and trip cancellation coverage. However, if you only need medical coverage, you will already be covered by your primary health insurance, so there’s no need to get travel insurance.
- Is travel insurance worth it for a cruise? Yes, since a cruise involves international travel, having travel insurance is a good idea. You’ll have the medical coverage you need in case of an accident or emergency and be able to receive compensation if you need to cancel or delay your trip.
Is Travel Insurance Worth the Money?
So, is travel insurance worth buying? Usually, the price of travel insurance is much cheaper than the cost of a medical bill or the price of a missed flight or unused hotel, so having travel insurance will cost less money than having to pay for any travel mishaps out of pocket.
To show you just how affordable travel insurance can be, I’ve generated some travel insurance quotes by using the example of a 30-year-old American citizen who lives in Pennsylvania and needs travel insurance for Europe for a one-week trip that costs $2,500.
Emergency Medical Expenses
Evacuation & Repatriation
125% of $2,500*
100% of $2,500*
100% of $2,500*
100% of $2,500&
IS TRAVEL INSURANCE WORTH IT?
*Price used for example
Why You Should Get Travel Insurance
Still wondering, is travel insurance worth it? Ultimately, travel insurance is worth getting if you need travel medical coverage or are traveling abroad. It is also helpful to have if you want cancellation coverage to cover hotels, flights, and other expenses.
It is better to have travel insurance and not need it than to avoid buying it and end up needing it, so if you’re on the fence about purchasing travel insurance, err on the side of caution.
If you do decide to buy travel insurance before your next trip, go with Heymondo. Their policies provide comprehensive coverage for an affordable price, and they pay your medical expenses upfront for you instead of requiring you to file a claim to get reimbursed. You can even save 5% on Heymondo policies with our discount code.
5% OFF your travel insurance
Currently, we are using their annual travel insurance policy and so far, it has been one of the best investments we have made for our trips as frequent travelers. We have had to use their plan three times, two for medical reasons and one for trip cancelation, and their travel assistance is superb.
If you have any questions about travel insurance, feel free to comment below and I’ll happily answer them for you!