For some, travel insurance isn’t even a consideration when planning a vacation. Heck, a lot of people probably don’t even know there is such a thing. But the reality is that travel insurance plays an important role in certain scenarios. 

Here’s everything you need to know about travel insurance when planning a trip. 

Woman sticking her head out of car window on highway during roadtrip through mountains.

Why Do I Need Travel Insurance?

This isn’t just a rhetorical question. It’s worthwhile to ask yourself; unless your idea of a good time is needlessly spending money. 

Travel insurance does a few things for you. The scope of your coverage depends on what type of insurance you choose. There are two general kinds: basic or comprehensive coverage. 

Basic Travel Insurance Coverage

A basic plan is going to insure you for things like lost luggage, missed connecting flights, or even if you’re unable to go on your trip due to illness. It’s important to note, you need to read the terms and conditions carefully when getting any kind of travel insurance. You might need to prove that you’re sick with a doctor’s note.

Comprehensive Travel Insurance Coverage

More comprehensive plans are going to cover all the aforementioned things, plus medical expenses if you get sick or injured while on vacation. There are some plans that have your back for things like disaster evacuations. Like with the basic plan, you want to know exactly what is and isn’t taken care of if you opt for this type of travel insurance.  

When Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Maybe you still don’t want to get travel insurance. You’d rather take a calculated risk than add any additional costs to your trip. You barely get sick, anyway. And what’re the chances of you needing to get evacuated? Pretty slim. Well…

Travel insurance isn’t always a choice.

When traveling internationally, you might be required to have travel insurance in order to enter the country. Before you get too outraged by this and yell about your rights being violated, consider the reasoning. Those countries don’t want to be responsible for paying your hospital bills if you get sick and then skedaddle a few days later. 

Two traveler s

A lot of commonly traveled nations require tourists to get insurance, such as Sweden, Turkey, Austria, Denmark, Finland, and many more. It’s not a bad idea to get medical coverage when leaving the country regardless of whether it’s a requirement. Without it, you could end up having to pay out of pocket, which will be far more expensive. 

It’s also a good idea to get travel insurance if you’re going on a cruise, since you’ll typically be leaving the country. Oftentimes, you can purchase this through the cruise company, which might make things a bit easier on your end. 

You probably don’t need to worry about travel insurance if you’re not leaving the country, as costs and risks will be much lower. The exception to this rule would be if the cost of your travel plans is an amount you can’t afford to lose. Ultimately, travel insurance is mostly for when you’re heading abroad, and should pretty much always be purchased in this circumstance. 

How Much Is Travel Insurance?

This is the question you’ve likely been dreading since the start of the article. How much are you going to have to pay for travel insurance? There are a few variables that can affect the cost:

The age of the traveler plays a role in pricing.

People end up having to pay more for medical insurance as they age. The reasoning here is that old people are more likely to have health issues than young ones. 

Solo traveler looks at Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

How many people are going on the trip will affect the price of insurance.

Typically, you’re going to get one policy to cover everyone in your group. A single traveler presents a much lower risk than a family of eight. There are simply more people who might have something go wrong. 

How much did you pay for your trip?

That’s going to play a big part in the calculus of all this. The more you’re getting insured, the more you’ll have to pay in order to insure it. 

Are you getting basic or comprehensive coverage?

Obviously, if you’re getting additional coverage, it’s going to incur extra costs. 

The length of your trip can sometimes also factor in the cost of insurance.

There’s a greater chance of something going wrong in a larger window of time. 

Generally, travel insurance is going to cost somewhere between four and 10 percent of the trip’s total cost. Make sure you don’t delay too much in getting your travel insurance squared away. Waiting too long can dramatically increase the price. 

While this insurance adds a lot of extra cost to an already large expense, in some cases, it can be worth it to keep yourself, your family, and your travel investment all safe.

Whether you opt for travel insurance or not, a day room is a nice backup plan.

Image Credits:

Featured Image “My life is going on in Cappadocia” by Mesut Kaya via Unsplash

“The Way to the Cabin” by Averie Woodard via Unsplash

“Agra, India” by Ibrahim Rifath via Unsplash

“Kanyakumari, India” by Rathish Gandhi via Unsplash

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Andy Holsteen

Andy Holsteen writes all sorts of things—both for work and pleasure. He loves traveling to new places, and hopes to see Berlin and Santiago in the not-so-distant future.