Why Travel Insurance Should Be On Your Packing List

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Travel insurance has been given a bad reputation in the travel industry. It somehow works its way into the total price of your plane ticket when you’re about to purchase online (and you have to go back and remove it before buying), and even the sound of the word “insurance” makes you think about stressful phone calls, expensive policies and scams.

But travel insurance is something you should always consider before planning an expensive vacation and purchasing it is often much less stressful than most travelers imagine. Travel insurance can actually provide you with peace of mind while traveling, so you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about those dreaded vacation disasters like a fender bender in your rental car, a forecasted hurricane in the Caribbean or over-the-top medical expenses in other countries.

What Is Travel Insurance?

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Travel insurance is often brushed away as an unneeded travel expense, but it is intended to cover the unexpected expenses associated with trip cancellations, medical problems or losses that occur throughout your travels. While travel insurance can be purchased for short, inexpensive trips, it is intended to cover travelers who are investing in more expensive or complex vacations.

The following are seven instances in which “get travel insurance” should be a phrase written on your travel packing list.

#1. If You’re Planning on Spending a Lot

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If you consider that you would insure an expensive package you send in the mail, insuring your expensive travel purchases doesn’t sound so uncanny. Travel insurance is recommended for anyone heading on a “big ticket” trip, which typically means one in which you’re planning to spend $5,000 or more.

#2. If You’re Purchasing a Package Vacation (or Cruise)

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Cruises and package vacation deals used to be more flexible when it came to changing plans, but those relaxed policies have been replaced with much more strict ones. An insurance policy can help you rebook your cruise or change the dates of a package vacation at little or no cost to you.

#3. If You’re an Adventurous Traveler

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Planning on learning to snowboard in New Zealand or cliff jumping in the Caribbean? Medical travel insurance can make medical emergencies less stressful while traveling. It’s important to check your current health coverage to see if you’ll need a supplemental medical travel insurance policy to help with deductibles, costly overnight stays or emergency procedures if an unfortunate accident should occur.

#4. If You’ll Be Leaving the Country

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Leaving the country presents an entirely new set of risks, which are almost always worth the reward. But if a medical emergency does occur when you’re in another country, an upfront payment to a medical facility or medical evacuation can costs thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars. A medical travel insurance policy can assure that these payments are made without you having to dig into your kids’ college fund.

#5. If You’re  a Worrier

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Traveling is undeniably exciting, but it can also present its own set of worries and wonders. To many travelers, the low cost of travel insurance is well worth the peace of mind they enjoy when relaxing on vacation. A travel insurance policy can diminish your concerns about cancelled flights, missing or late baggage, medical emergencies, car rental issues and tons of other common travel-related concerns.

#6. If You’ve Already Booked Tours and Activities

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Having to reschedule one tour may not seem like a very big deal, but if the reschedule date ends up being a day on which you had another activity planned, a domino effect can start, and the costs can get out of control. A typical trip cancellation or interruption policy will help you get refunded for parts of a tour you’re unable to attend or the entire cost of a tour or activity you’ve been forced to skip.

#7. If You’re Carrying Valuable Baggage

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Baggage insurance is covered in most comprehensive travel insurance policies, and even if your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers your baggage, there are a number of perks to having your bags insured. Baggage insurance will cover deductibles and items that are not covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy, saving you from some serious unexpected travel expenses. Keep in mind that some policies put strict caps on costly items like electronics and jewelry, so it’s important to ask your agent to explain the coverage completely before purchasing.

Make All of Your Travel Purchases in One Place

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The prices of travel insurance packages vary based on your health, vacation plans, luggage value, where you’re headed, your current insurance coverage and a number of other factors. For many travelers, insurance is an affordable, and often invaluable, travel accessory.

The plane tickets, tours and travel deals you purchase with Flight Network are often worth protecting with an insurance policy. The good news is that you can purchase your insurance policy with a Flight Network agent when you plan your trip, so you know the coverage you’re getting is affordable and exactly what you need. Travel insurance may not be for everyone, but if you value peace of mind and travel protection, you’ll probably want to put it on your packing list.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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