“Hey, You know how when you’re buying a plane ticket online there’s always that step in the check-out process asking you if you want to protect your trip? To be honest, have you ever even considered clicking on “yes, protect my trip” when given the option?
If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Only 7% of people regularly purchase travel insurance when going on a trip. And while a quick weekend jaunt to visit your parents a state or two away probably doesn’t warrant the added expense of a travel insurance policy, your expensive once-in-a-lifetime trip to some remote corner of the world probably does.
Because a lot can happen when you leave the safety of your home and hit the open road. From lost luggage to broken arms, to flight delays, travel is full of risks. Simply put, insurance acts as a hedge against risks and travel insurance is no exception. When considering whether or not to purchase travel insurance, the question you need to be asking yourself is “how much risk am I willing to accept?”
If the answer is “quite a lot, actually,” then travel insurance isn’t for you. If you can afford to have a trip cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances or can pay for emergency medical care in another country, good for you. But if losing out on a $5,000 trip or even a $500 trip is too much of a financial burden for you, the cost of travel insurance (typically 4-10% of the full cost of the trip) is probably a good idea.
However, for the most part, travel insurance doesn’t cover every eventuality. Most policies will cover a range of events, and often only to a certain dollar amount. If, for instance, you purchase insurance that covers medical–but not dental–emergencies, the tooth you chipped biting into an unpitted date on the Nile Delta will not be covered. Similarly, if you lose $1,000 worth of luggage, but are only insured up to $500, well… you know where this is going.
Because so many crazy things can go wrong out there, travel insurance comes in a wide range of options. It’s worth looking into them to know what works before for you.
In a perfect world, there’d be no need for insurance of any kind, but unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. Ultimately, travel insurance is a lot like an umbrella–it may be annoying to carry one around with you when it doesn’t end up raining, but you sure are happy to have one when it unexpectedly does. Travel insurance is recommended to make sure if something does happen, you are protected.