Travel Insurance Pros and Cons, Why You May Not Need Travel Insurance and Why You May Want it Anyway?
When planning a trip, one of the decisions you will need to make is whether to buy travel insurance. While some travelers would never leave home without it, know travel insurance pros and cons before you buy.
Cons of Travel Insurance
May Be Unnecessary. Travel insurance may be unnecessary if you already have adequate coverage from other sources. For example, many credit cards provide holders with travel assistance and travel protection benefits, such as coverage for lost, stolen, damaged or delayed bags; travel accidents; and trip interruption and/or cancellation. Also, your health insurance policy may cover health emergencies while traveling, your auto insurance policy may cover you when you rent a car, and your homeowners’ policy may cover theft. Before purchasing travel insurance, check with your credit card company for the specific coverage provided by your card and with your health, auto and homeowners’ insurance companies to find out what coverage your policies provide when you are away from home. Once you find out what coverage you already have, you may conclude that the additional benefits provided by travel insurance are not worth the cost.
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Travel Insurance Coverage Limitations. Travel insurance coverage has limitations. For example, it will not help you if bad weather puts a damper on your vacation; it won’t pay out if you change your mind and decide not to take the trip; it won’t cover health problems related to preexisting conditions; and it typically doesn’t cover you in a war zone. Also, while travel insurance may cover trip cancellation for designated medical or family emergencies, it probably will have limitations on coverage related to departure delays and delays en route to your destination. If you are considering travel insurance, read the fine print so that you understand your policy’s specific limitations. In some cases, you may be able to pay more to fill gaps in the travel insurance coverage.
Pros of Travel Insurance
Peace of Mind. For many travelers, peace of mind is the principal reason to purchase travel insurance. A vacation generally is a big-ticket, emotion-packed purchase. Therefore, the security of knowing that, if you must cancel or interrupt your trip due to a medical or family emergency, you will be reimbursed so that you can afford to reschedule in the future may be reason enough to purchase travel insurance.
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Incremental Coverage. Travel insurance may provide additional coverage beyond what is available from other sources. For example, it may boost the reimbursement rate for lost, delayed, damaged or stolen bags over airline limits. Also, it may provide health coverage when traveling overseas (which may not be covered by a domestic health insurance policy), possibly including the cost of emergency evacuation home, which can be critical in the event of a medical emergency while abroad.
Whether or not to purchase travel insurance is an individual decision and may depend in part on the cost, length and nature of travel. However, one of the keys to making the best decision is to know what coverage you already have and to be sure that your travel insurance policy fills any coverage gaps before you buy.