Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

Is travel insurance worth it? I can count on one hand the times I’ve bought it.  Thinking it made no difference, I have always checked no when I purchased an airplane ticket.  Recently, with relatives getting older and possibly needing to head back for a funeral, I have purchased it – just in case. 

There are several ways one can get travel insurance.  It is offered to purchase when you book a flight through the airline.  You can buy it separately through the internet from companies like Allianz, World Nomad, and Travelex.  You may also get travel insurance by purchasing your airline ticket with certain credit cards.

Travel insurance can protect you in the following ways:

  • Medical emergencies, a sudden illness or an injury while on vacation
  • Cancellation coverage for a sudden emergency such as a death or severe illness in your family or yourself
  • Coverage for necessities if your baggage is delayed or lost
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Lost or stolen possessions
  • Emergency assistance available 24 hours

As I said, I haven’t bought travel insurance very often but I am rethinking that.  I have three personal stories that have happened in the past year to members of my family where it was very worth it to have travel insurance.

 

My Story

Last fall, when I went to Greece, I made it to Athens but my luggage did not. Unwisely, I hadn’t packed extra clothing in my carry on.  When we realized my luggage had not made it, I filled out the forms at Turkish Airlines and received an emergency care kit.  I ended up wearing that cute (not) underwear that was provided in the emergency care kit for three nights while I washed my regular underwear.  I borrowed clothes from my daughters and have pictures of me looking pretty rough! haha.

I then remembered I had purchased insurance through Allianz and checked on the coverage.  They would reimburse me for up to $500 on items I needed if my bag was lost for 24 hours. Once I hit that 24-hour mark I went shopping.  I bought sandals, tennis shoes, a bathing suit, cover-up, makeup, and clothes.

My bag finally made it to Athens but by then we had moved on to Santorini. Three days later we were reunited and although it was a pain, I did get a free shopping spree.

I had to send in receipts but Allianz paid me without an issue. Suggestion: travel with some extras if you are checking bags – just in case.  And then, if you’ve bought an insurance policy, go shopping after 24 hours.

 

Alex’s Story

Alex had her stroller damaged by the airline.  She spoke with the airline when she arrived at her destination and learned that they didn’t cover strollers. The airline did provide her with a paper that she then used to file a claim with her credit card. Soon she received a check in the mail for $300 all because she had used her Chase Sapphire Preferred to pay the taxes on her flight.

 

My Sister’s Story

The most impressive story is my sister Julie’s.  She has elderly in-laws so bought the insurance policy that is offered when you buy your fights, just in case.  She was going to Cabo with her husband for their 40th wedding anniversary.

Feeling younger than her years, she decided to go ATV riding.  Well, it was a short ride and she ended up in an ambulance to a local hospital. She had x-rays done and was diagnosed with a bad wrist fracture.  It was a very expensive visit costing $2,500 for the ambulance and $3,800 for the emergency room! Many insurances don’t cover visits out of the country.  Her’s didn’t.

Luckily, she checked the insurance she had bought through the airline and it covered all her expenses.  She had a check from them in three weeks and she only paid $27 for the insurance! Unfortunately, she did have to have surgery when she got home but she considers herself lucky she didn’t have a big bill for her care in Mexico to pay too.  She tells everyone to get travel insurance!

 

travel insurance helped this women in pay for her hospital stay in Mexico

 

So, is travel insurance worth it? Should you get it? Definitely, yes if you have friends or family who is aged or has health issues, or you expect to be doing some daring activities while on your trip. 

 

How To Get Free Travel Insurance

Many credit cards come with free travel insurance! If you don’t plan on purchasing travel insurance, at the very least, use a credit card that has a good travel insurance policy attached to it to purchase your flights. Every time. Here are some cards that come with great free travel coverage:

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve Credit Cards

  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Lost or damaged luggage
  • Trip interruption
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Delayed baggage
  • Emergency medical and dental (Sapphire Reserve)
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Roadside assistance

 

Citi Prestige Credit Card 

  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Trip delay
  • Baggage delay
  • Lost baggage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Medical evacuation

 

Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card

  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Baggage delay coverage
  • Lost baggage reimbursement
  • Common carrier travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Roadside assistance

 

American Express Platinum Credit Card

  • Coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage
  • Car rental loss and damage protection
  • Premium roadside assistance
  • Travel accident insurance

 

Be sure and look at the credit cards you currently have.  Familiarize yourself with the coverage your credit card offers and any limitations.  If you want more coverage, consider getting another card and enjoy some bonus points after meeting the minimum spend.  And, be sure and use the card that gives you the most insurance coverage to pay for your travel expenses.

 

Bottom Line

I may not have used travel insurance much in the past but I have changed my ways. I believe travel insurance is worth it! World Nomad, Allianz, and Travelex are all great companies to purchase a low-cost insurance policy that will cover you in emergencies. If you do nothing else, at the very least, get a credit card with great travel insurance benefits.

 

 

 

Ambulance

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