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

Eighty-five percent of American vacations are domestic. Forty-six 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. However, when it comes to travel, there are two main types—essential and comprehensive travel insurance.

Essential 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 disasters 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 insurance you need, learn about the risks. Some risks don’t apply to each destination. Some stakes 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. In addition, 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 necessary. Some reasons could be dangerous flying conditions or issues with the plane. For example, the destination you’re flying to could have unsuitable landing weather.

In this situation, travel coverage ensures you’re in a hotel until the next available flight. 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. Travel insurance allows you to take the next connecting flight available for free.

You Get Sick or Injured on Vacation

Adventure traveling is very popular among 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 insurance. It’ll cover the cost of seeing a doctor in a foreign country. In addition, you won’t get charged with the ambulance bill if emergency services are called.

You Lose Your Passport

Losing your passport abroad can be stressful and challenging. Moreover, 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. Sometimes, they can help speed up the process so you have a replacement passport sooner.

Your Luggage Gets Lost

Lost luggage isn’t a huge disaster if you’re going somewhere for a relaxing holiday. 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 a suit for the business meeting. The insurance company can also help you recover your bags faster.

When and Where to Buy Travel Insurance

Some vacation and travel plans don’t require insurance. For example, many credit card companies offer travel coverage. Check if yours does, so you don’t have to repurchase it.

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

The cruise line will likely offer travel insurance if you’re going on a cruise. 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 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 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 to make this the best and safest vacation.

Diana Muniz
Diana Muniz

With over 20+ years of experience in a variety of corporate and entrepreneurial environments, Diana has developed a great understanding of Marketing Strategy, Brand Development, Customer Success, Public Relations and Management. Her internal drive for developing others and external brands, has allowed her to work in some of the largest cities in the world including Milan, Paris, NY, Mexico, and the Middle East. This experience has been fundamental to Diana’s success and ability to communicate cross-culturally.