Why You NEED Travel Insurance

by Kaitlyn Ranze
Updated 11/16/23 by Kenneth Medford III

Under normal conditions, traveling during the busy season – the holidays – can be stressful. This year, like most, airlines and their passengers will no doubt struggle while coping with the increase in travel, whether it’s from staffing shortages, bad weather or computer glitches. These uncontrollable issues and so much more is why you need travel insurance.

What is travel insurance?

Travel Insurance is a form of insurance that covers a range of risks that could occur while traveling, including disappearing luggage, flight cancellations, medical expenses, or other losses. 

Here’s 7 reasons why you NEED travel insurance.

A breakdown of the reasons why you need travel insurance, including emergencies, travel changes, and your health insurance's network.

Many people travel with travel insurance because it is a great way to protect yourself and your belongings. Travel insurance can actually save you money as well. Here are ten reasons travel insurance will benefit you:

1) Emergencies happen

If you have to cancel a trip or change plans due to an emergency, travel insurance can refund some of the money that was already spent on tickets and reservations.

2) Travel changes can be expensive.

From pricey plane tickets to last-minute hotel rooms, additional unexpected travel expenses add up quickly. Take it from someone who knows.

Example time:

After a Newark airport flooded in September, my parents had to make rapid changes in their outbound flight. They could no longer connect in Newark, and the next available flight was days later. As their unofficial travel agent, I booked a one-way rental car from Tampa to Miami and paid a premium for them to leave the same day as they intended. (Sunk-cost fallacy came into play – I didn’t want them to miss out on any scheduled tours. )

A travel insurance policy offers additional coverage for certain costs if they come up unexpectedly.

3) Your health insurance probably has a limited network

Certainly if you have an HMO, but especially if you’re traveling abroad, your health insurance may not cover you if you leave your network of doctors. With travel insurance, medical expenses may be covered if you are injured during travel or get sick while away from home.

Check with your travel insurance policy before traveling to know what types of injuries and illnesses will be covered.

Planning an adventure while on vacation?

High risk activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping and scuba diving in some cases would not be included under regular travel insurance plan. But you can opt for specific adventure sports travel insurance.

4) Bags Get Lost

Years ago, I traveled to Thailand with a single suitcase and a tiny backpack filled with snacks, a jacket and a book. When the airline lost my luggage, I had no clothes to wear. It took them nearly five days to recover my bag, and another two days for the airline to deliver it. In the meanwhile, I had to cover the cost of replacing them, because I didn’t have travel insurance.

Bags can also get damaged or stolen.

A good travel insurance plan typically offers reimbursement in case your possessions are damaged, lost, or stolen. Some travel insurance policies may limit how much money they will pay out if travel luggage is broken, stolen, or even if it’s just delayed. Make sure you check the fine print to know what they do and don’t cover.

Moreover, if your checked bags don’t arrive on time, travel insurance can reimburse you for clothing and toiletries until your bags turn up.

Remember that the level of coverage for items may vary depending on the type of travel and where it’s going; some policies offer more coverage than others, and some may not offer this type of coverage at all.

Image of a guy sitting on a beach in a beach chair with a laptop, basking in the rays of a sunset. Overlaid text reads, "how to make money while you travel." This is definitely someone who knows why you need travel insurance.

5) Health fluctuates

If you’ve paid for travel in advance but can no longer go, some policies will reimburse the unused portion of your prepaid travel expenses. This way, you don’t lose all the money you’ve already spent on airfare and lodging.

Postponements happen

If your trip is postponed due to illness or other unforeseeable circumstances outside the traveler’s control, travel insurance may provide reimbursement for travel expenses such as change fees. Some travel policies may include trip postponement and travel interruption coverage. This may provide reimbursement if a traveler’s return is delayed or travel plans are changed due to illness or unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control.

6) Additional support if something happens

Travelers who purchase travel insurance before departure will typically receive TPH Service Guarantees, ensuring they won’t be left without assistance should they need it. Travel insurers often offer 24/7 emergency assistance during travel, including medical referrals and replacement of needed medications, at no extra cost.

High risk activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping and scuba diving in some cases would not be included under regular travel insurance plan. But you can opt for specific adventure sports plans.

7) Peace of mind is probably the biggest travel insurance benefit

No one plans on an accident or getting sick while they travel. When it does happen, you want to be prepared. Travel insurance provides coverage for the unplanned things and protects your investment in case something unforeseen happens, such as:

  • Emergency medical care and hospitalization abroad.
  • Loss of baggage and travel documents.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption, including missed departure connection resulting in loss of ticket validity.
  • Trip delay
  • Loss of travel money due to potential financial defaults by travel agents during the tour or travel period.
  • Death, injury or illness of accompanying family members and companion traveling with you at the time of travel. Help protect your travel investment today.

Related Links

Complete Guide to all the OTHER Types of Insurance

How to Make Money While Traveling

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