Travel Insurance: Is It Worth the Cost?

Travel can be one of life’s greatest gifts. But how important is it to protect your journey with travel insurance?

Simply put, travel can pose financial risks that you may not be willing to take. Travel insurance can reimburse you for certain pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if the unexpected happens.

A comprehensive travel insurance plan may include coverage for trip cancellation, delays like those due to weather, medical emergencies and even natural disasters.

Beyond this standard package is Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage. It costs more but can cover trip cancellation within two days of your departure, including due to COVID-19 illness.

Shop around

For standard travel insurance, expect to pay 4% to 10% of the overall cost of your trip. CFAR coverage costs about 40% more than standard insurance.

In 2021, the average cost of a plan was $297, or $357 for international travel, according to insurance comparison site Squaremouth. These numbers can be impacted by the length of your trip, your age, and the types of coverage you choose.

To find your best option, use online comparison tools to shop for quotes and read what each policy covers. You can buy from a travel insurance provider, through a travel agent, or from a travel reservation site when you book.

Before you buy

Before you decide to purchase travel insurance, check your existing options. For example, your homeowners or renters policy may cover your be- longings for loss or damage.

Check your health insurance plan too — if you’re traveling within the U.S., chances are it will cover any medical expenses you incur. But your existing health plan, including your Medicare coverage, won’t be valid if you become sick or injured in an international locale.

If you already have a life insurance policy, or an accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) policy, you may not need to purchase additional coverage for your trip. And some credit cards offer built-in travel insurance or rental car coverage.

Reviewing your current coverage limits and deductibles can help you decide if you need travel insurance.

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