Travel insurance: Probably the most popular topic of conversation most travel advisors have on a daily basis. The short answer is: Yes, buy the insurance.

Pamela Strauss-Goldman is Wedaways’ travel team leader. She shares the most common questions and explains exactly why you shouldn’t leave home without it!

What is travel insurance and what is it for?

What does travel insurance cover

Travel insurance is a protection-plan you can purchase from a travel advisor that protects you from certain financial risks and losses that can occur just before or while traveling. These losses can be minor, like a suitcase arrival delay, or significant, like last-minute trip cancellation or a medical emergency overseas.

Is travel insurance required? 

No, travel insurance is not required, but strongly suggested. In fact, if you are offered travel insurance from a travel advisor and you decline it, you may be required to sign a waiver declaring your refusal. Some travel advisors refuse to sell travel to clients who will not purchase this protection. This is to protect travel agencies from claims made against them in the event travelers decline insurance and incur costs related to cancellations, delays, medical expenses, etc.

We are young and in good health. Do we really need travel insurance? 

Yes, you really do! Everyone who travels needs travel insurance. Whether it’s a short excursion over the border or a long, multi-destination trip, travel insurance can save you TONS of money and headache in the event there is any sort of mishap.

Won’t my credit card cover my travel insurance needs? 

travel insurance credit card

It’s a misconception that credit cards ensure your travel. Read the fine print! With the exception of car rentals (which you may also be liable for unforeseen, out of pocket expenses), credit cards cover little to nothing. Even the big ones from Citi, Chase, and Amex.

What are the most common travel insurance claims? 

Missed or canceled flight reimbursements, last minute medical emergencies that prevent travelers from departing on their trips, and hospital visits while abroad are very common.

How much does it travel insurance cost?

pennies indicating travel insurance cost

Well, this depends on the destination of travel, cost of your trip,  length of trip, and age of travelers. Pennies actually if you compare it to the risk of going without. Your travel advisor can help with this. Or contact me directly and I will be more than happy to assist:

If I buy travel insurance, will it cover:

  • trip cancellation? Yes, the percentage of reimbursement depends on your coverage.
  • trip interruption? Yes, the percentage of reimbursement depends on your coverage.
  • medical coverage? Yes, the dollar amount depends on your coverage.
  • emergency evacuation? Yes, the dollar amount depends on your coverage.
  • flight cancellations? Yes, the percentage of reimbursement depends on your coverage.
  • missed connections? Yes, the percentage of reimbursement depends on your coverage.

Are there limits on pre-existing conditions?

This depends on the type of coverage you purchase. If you do have pre-existing medical conditions, insurance must be purchased within 21 days of your initial trip deposit.

Is trip cancellation insurance different from travel insurance?

Trip cancellation coverage is included in most insurance policies. You can add on a “cancel for any reason” upgrade to your policy, which allows for exactly that – canceling your trip for any reason for a 100% reimbursement of all trip costs insured.

What is the best case scenario for buying travel/trip cancellation insurance?

Well, the best case scenario is like health insurance – that you never have to rely on it! But, if you do, the best case is that you have full coverage and make sure to account for all expenses when purchasing a policy. Trust your travel advisor to facilitate this purchase, since they can assess the best providers and plans for you!

What is a worst-case scenario when the traveler has no insurance?

trip cancelation

Worst case is you have a medical emergency and have to pay out of pocket for all of the expenses. Think medical evacuation and extended hospital stays and the expenses that can arise. We’re talking more than a few hundred thousand dollars.

So there you have it. The travel insurance truth from a travel advisor that has seen it all. The fact is it is simply unwise to travel without travel insurance. So, as Pamela advises, don’t’ leave home without it!