Do I need travel insurance or not? (Pros and Cons)

Travel Insurance

Table of Contents

Do I need travel insurance?

When many Americans think about traveling within or out of the country they mostly think about plane tickets, accommodations, and shopping. While these are essential to add to your budget list, not everyone thinks about adding travel insurance as well.

Most booking websites have health travel insurance plans but how many visitors press the “skip” button and proceed with the booking process, thinking nothing is going to happen to them? While it’s not always necessary, I am going to show you when travel insurance is worth it, what types are available and more importantly why you should get one.

Best travel insurance

Even though the two types of travel medical insurance are more well known, there are plenty of ways in which you can get covered for your travels. You can get one or more, depending on what you think you’re going to need after making the plan for your trip. 

1. Medical Travel Insurance

It works for international travel and it covers business trips, vacations, emigration, work, and study. This type of coverage focuses on emergency medical care, repatriations, or accidents. Many countries offer universal health care which is also given to foreigners, so you can make a bit of research on this topic for the country you want to travel to.

2. Evacuation Coverage Travel Insurance

If you’re planning to travel in an area that’s well known for natural disturbances you should think about purchasing coverage before arriving there. It will cover you for emergency evacuation and medical care, even cover you to return to your country.

3. Comprehensive Travel Insurance

These are the package plans that get offered to travelers most often by booking services and travel companies, and is generally just know as travel insurance. The packages differ in value depending on a person’s needs. They normally include some medical coverage as well, cancellation protection, stolen or lost luggage, and more. It combines multiple insurances into one and it’s customizable. 

It can be used for domestic and international travel and if you’re traveling with children they can get covered as well. If someone that purchased insurance happens to pass away overseas, this will cover the repatriation of the body. Depending on what company you want to use, you might be able to get optional benefits such as pet care, equipment, consulate and embassy services, insurance for renting a car, tourist activities, or special coverages for pre-existing medical conditions. 

4. Annual Travel Insurance

If you enjoy traveling, if you turned it into a personal tradition, or if you simply travel a lot for business, annual travel insurance might be the best one for you. It’s convenient and cost-effective and can be used even if you travel only once a year for a longer period of time. However, there’s a downside to this. Most annual travel insurance plans do not cover trip cancellation or are very limited in this aspect. 

How much does travel insurance costs?

It varies. A travel insurance package will cost up to 10% of the total cost of your trip, depending on the plan and on other factors, such as your age, the number of people traveling with you, destination, duration, time of year, and any other optional benefits you would like to have. If you prefer to have just medical coverage this costs on average $50 for a single trip.

Those who are thinking about an annual travel insurance plan will have to pull around $200 out of pocket but can save thousands of dollars long term. 

How much travel health insurance do I need?

In some circumstances, travel insurance is not a must. For domestic trips that normally cost less and if you’re already medically insured is not a big deal if you skip it. If you’re enrolled in a frequent flier program with a credit card you might want to check if you already have it, as with some cards it’s a default bonus.

However, then you plan to travel internationally, especially if you’re going on a family vacation, we strongly advise on getting some form of travel insurance. You will need to read into recommended insurances for the county you’re visiting and making a list of things for which you want to be covered.

Where to get a travel insurance?

Fortunately, nowadays there are comparison websites for everything, including travel insurance. Even though you can buy travel insurance straight from travel agents and insurance companies, you can use multiple comparisons websites to compare costs and benefits, and maybe find something more suited to your needs.

Now even though there are hundreds of companies some of them stand out by offering competitive prices or a higher number of plans and packages.

What does travel insurance cover?

Let’s look at the top 3 companies that offer travel insurance.

Travelex Insurance Services

This company offers customizable travel plans that suit the needs of you and your family. This is an American company that serves customers worldwide with 4 premade plans: select, basic, domestic travel insurance for the US, and flight insurance.

Any package can be customized and other policies can be added to it. Their most popular plan, which is Travel Select, starts at $28 and if there are any children under 17 traveling with you, they are covered for free. 

Travelex offers coverage for up to 150%, meaning you get high coverage for a low price.

Unfortunately, people with pre-existing conditions are limited and the company doesn’t offer annual travel insurance. 

Allianz Travel Insurance

This customizable travel insurance comes with 5 packages for single trips and 5 packages for annual or multi-trip insurance ranging from basic to prime. All family members can get covered by the chosen plan even if they’re traveling separately.  Even if their plans are a bit pricier than the one above, it ends up being very affordable for those who travel more than five times a year.

The extensive coverage is also worth it, but you should look into the disclaimers for the one you are interested in.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

This travel insurance is mostly aimed towards single travelers or families of two and only offers single trip coverage. What’s great about it is that you can purchase it on the go, even if you’re already in a foreign country and get covered on the spot. Their policies are underwritten by other insurance providers that they partnered with but their “explorer plan” covers one of the highest numbers of adventure sports.

This type of travel insurance is also great for those who work while on the go because it covers digital equipment such as laptops and tablets. 

In conclusion, you do need travel insurance if you travel internationally. It’s worth it especially if you find an affordable plan with high coverage that’s customized for your needs. If you’re looking for other options than the ones offered by the companies above, comparison websites are your best friend.