Staying Safe on Vacation: What Is Travel Insurance? And Why Do You Need It?

85 percent of American vacations are domestic. 46 percent of those vacations are in road trip form. The remaining 15 percent accounts for international vacations like cruises, resorts, and backpacking.

No matter where you go on vacation, there are associated risks.

One way to protect yourself from these risks is by getting travel insurance. It’s an extra cost for your vacation budget but can sometimes be well worth it.

What is travel insurance but a safety net in case something goes wrong? Keep reading to learn about the benefits of buying trip insurance.

What Is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is similar to the other types of insurance you likely have. You buy insurance to protect yourself in case the worst-case scenario happens.

Medical, auto, and property insurance are other common insurance types. When it comes to travel, there are two main types. Basic and comprehensive travel insurance.

Basic travel insurance covers missed flights and lost baggage. It also usually covers trip cancellations due to sickness. This is the base level of insurance; it doesn’t cover everything that could happen.

The other type is comprehensive travel insurance. This covers the same things as basic coverage and more. It also covers cancellations due to natural disaster and medical emergencies.

You can decide if you need basic or comprehensive coverage based on the type of vacation you’re going on. Learn about the different situations covered and the likelihood of each happening.  

Benefits of Travel Insurance

To decide which level of travel insurance you need, learn about the risks. There are some risks that don’t apply to each destination. Some risks are only applicable to international travel and not domestic.

Understand the risks of your vacation and the benefits of getting travel insurance.

Cancellations for Personal Reasons

You can’t predict personal losses and challenges to come up right before travel. But, when they do, you want to be able to cancel your trip without penalty.

Some reasons for cancellation could be the death of a parent or sudden sickness. Your house may need immediate repair due to a flood, tornado, or fire.

Travel insurance that covers personal cancellations ensures you can get your money back.

Your Flight Gets Cancelled

Airlines try to avoid flight cancellations unless it’s absolutely necessary. Some reasons could be dangerous flying conditions or issues with the plane. The destination you’re flying to could have unsuitable landing weather.

In this situation, travel coverage ensures you’re put up in a hotel until the next available flight out. Without it, you would have to pay for a hotel room or come back another day.  

You Miss Your Connecting Flight

When flying internationally, it’s normal to have a layover and connecting flight. If you have enough time between flights, it isn’t an issue.

But, if your first flight gets delayed you might be too late for the connecting flight. This is due to no fault of your own. With travel insurance, you can take the next connecting flight available for free.

You Get Sick or Injured on Vacation

Adventure traveling is very popular among the campers, hikers, and younger generations. They want to jump out of planes, swim with sharks, and sleep under the stars.

But, these adventurous trips have more risks of sickness and injury.

If you’re planning to do physical activity, consider getting travel insurance. It’ll cover the cost of seeing a doctor in a foreign country. If emergency services get called, you won’t get charged for the ambulance bill.

You Lose Your Passport

Losing your passport abroad can be stressful and challenging. Replacing it in a foreign country can get expensive.

With travel insurance, you’re covered for replacement and shipping costs. Your insurance company may also be able to guide you through the process. In some cases, they can help speed up the process so you have a replacement passport sooner.  

Your Luggage Gets Lost

If you’re going somewhere for a relaxing holiday, lost luggage isn’t a huge disaster. But, if you’re going to a wedding or a business conference, you need your things.

Luggage sometimes gets lost when flights get delayed or you have a connecting flight. The reasons for lost luggage range from disorganization to showing up late.

Your travel insurance can reimburse you for the cost of your belongings. This will allow you to buy a new outfit for the wedding or suit for the business meeting. The insurance company can also help you recover your bags faster.

When and Where to Buy Travel Insurance

There are some vacation and travel plans that don’t require insurance. Many credit card companies offer travel coverage. Check to see if yours does so you don’t have to buy it again.

For domestic travel, like a road trip, you don’t need flight-related coverage. There’s less chance of your luggage getting lost or your passport stolen.

If you’re going on a cruise, the cruise line will likely offer travel insurance. It doesn’t matter too much which insurance company you buy it from. Ensure that they’re a reliable company with a strong reputation.

For international and adventure travel, you likely need some level of insurance. There are many places you can buy it from.

Check if your bank sells travel insurance or the company you buy other insurance from, like auto and property insurance.

For the best rates, use an insurance price comparing tool. Learn more about how these tools can ensure you get the best deal on your travel insurance.    

Interested in Learning More Travel Tips?

Getting the right insurance for your vacation is key to protecting yourself. No one anticipates getting sick or having their flight canceled.

Now that you know the answer to, “what is travel insurance?”, you can decide for yourself if you need it. What kind of risks does your vacation pose, and are you prepared?

Travel insurance is just one way of making sure your trip goes smoothly. Learn more travel tips, guides, and how-tos for making this the best and safest vacation ever.    


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