Spontaneity can be romantic, especially when it comes to travel, but sometimes it pays to plan ahead. These travelers debate the pros and cons of fishing out extra cash for travel insurance.
Scam or Savior?
According to an online poll, more people opt to skip out on travel insurance than to protect their investment. That said, the margin was slim; of the 239 people polled, 52% said travel insurance wasn’t necessary.
One experienced cruiser chose an annual travel insurance policy to avoid unforeseen medical bills or, worst-case scenario, medical evacuation. They think it’s worth paying a few hundred dollars a year to enjoy peace of mind for their future retirement travel plans rather than risk spending thousands on an emergency.
An Economic Proposition
Another commenter thinks they have saved thousands of dollars by never purchasing travel insurance. They believe that paying out of pocket for one unexpected emergency is cheaper than spending thousands of dollars annually on travel insurance.
Work It Out
A frequent flier says they used to buy travel insurance because they needed the ability to cancel for work reasons. Now, they are more concerned about another FAA outage that could ground all planes.
A Back-Up Plan
A regular cruiser says that the amount they’ve saved by not getting travel insurance could have paid for several additional cruises. They state that since they choose to book with a credit card, most of their purchases are protected anyway, so there’s no need to get double the coverage.
Not Worth the Risk
One traveler stated that they have been buying travel insurance for every trip since the pandemic and have no regrets. They cite an example in which they tested positive for COVID the day before leaving on a 10-day trip to Italy and received a full refund thanks to the insurance policy they purchased.
Pros and Cons
Another commenter says that even though they have an annual medical policy, they weigh the decision to purchase travel insurance for each individual trip. They say medical insurance is the bare minimum since even the best credit card policies have limited medical coverage.
A Hard-Learned Lesson
One travel insurance advocate learned the hard way when a mixture of mechanical issues and storms caused them to miss Christmas with their family, an issue that they’re still fighting with the airline. Because of that, they believe travel insurance is worth the cost for peace of mind alone.
Look to the Experts
Another frequent traveler says that they always book through a travel agent who will help them decide whether or not to get insurance and which plan is best for them. However, they recognize that the decision needs to be made based on each person’s plans and concerns.
Book It on Credit
According to one commenter, most credit cards offer a trip protection feature as long as you book a certain percentage of your travel using the card. They also suggest avoiding booking non-refundable options whenever possible to mitigate the risk.
Not a Perfect Solution
Even though they didn’t have a seamless experience, one traveler highly recommends buying travel insurance. After being robbed, they got an emergency passport and compensation for the items stolen, though not all costs were covered.
Advice From a Canadian
A Canadian traveler says they would never travel to the US without insurance due to the sky-high medical costs. Rates are so high, in fact, that if you disclose that you’re traveling to (or even just through) the US, your travel insurance cost will double.
Is Travel Insurance Worth the Cost?
According to Forbes, travelers in 2022 spent an average of $266 per policy, while the average claim payment was $2,157. Based on these numbers, your out-of-pocket cost for an emergency could be nearly ten times what you would pay for a policy.
Most commenters cited “medical evacuation” as their biggest cost concern when purchasing travel insurance, and they’re right to be concerned. Should you need an emergency medical evacuation, you’re looking at a bill for roughly $20,000 to $200,000 for the transportation, not including the actual treatment.
The Bottom Line
While each traveler needs to evaluate their own needs and concerns, purchasing travel insurance is nearly always a safe option. According to Forbes, travel insurance costs around 5% to 6% of one’s total trip cost, or roughly $228 to insure peace of mind for a $5,000 vacation.
Saving Money on Vacation
If you have a medical emergency and need to withdraw cash from an ATM, you could save dozens, if not hundreds, of dollars in ATM fees by using this free debit card. It works in over 200 countries, including the U.S. when your ATM is out of network.
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