health is international about

Trip Insurance – Why Bother?

Do I buy Trip Insurance or Travel Medical?

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “Should I buy Trip Insurance or travel medical insurance?”  Right now it is booking season for all of those amazing trips you are going to take over the summer.  Some of us will by tickets to a far off land, or maybe just across the country to spend time with relatives. Others will purchase a package tour of a lifetime such as a cruise, or perhaps a safari, or maybe you’re even sending your kids off on their own with a school group or exchange program.

The budget traveler

If you’re a budget traveler, you will probably not buy trip insurance.  You bought a simple airline ticket to go on a trip.  If something happens and you can’t go, you’re going to have to pay the penalty for changing the ticket. And believe me, that’s been happening to a lot of people lately! You need to know that these change penalties can be far more expensive than the cost of trip insurance. Trip insurance is usually about 4-7% of the cost of the ticket. So an $800 ticket would run you about $36 for trip insurance. But the cost to change that ticket on most airlines other than Southwest is around $100-150.00. (I learned this amazing fact about Southwest while researching for this blogpost). At this price it seems like trip cancellation insurance is a no-brainer.  It’s affordable, will reimburse the cost of your ticket, and you can rebook your trip when you’re ready to enjoy it.  But I understand, many of you are stubborn, or you rarely get sick and can’t imagine a reason why you wouldn’t be able to go. So you see it as a waste of money.  I understand completely — I can’t say that I have bought trip insurance very often either in the past. However, as I get older I realize the benefits outweigh the cost. If you still don’t think it’s worth it, then at least get some travel medical insurance.

Booking a big trip

During the summer, many families book a big trip — maybe even the trip of a lifetime.  I know our family recently went to Hawaii for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  We had 3 families, three separate condos, tickets to Hawaii from San Diego and Denver, and it was Christmas.  My sister, always the planner, booked the condos a year in advance. The plane tickets were purchased by June, since we knew Christmas flights to Hawaii fill up quickly.  It was possible that things wouldn’t go smoothly. My mother has a lot of back trouble, and my father, while in excellent health, IS nearly 80.  At that age — well at any age — things can happen.  People fall, get into car accidents, and get sick. Who knew what could potentially jeopardize our trip and the investment we made into all the arrangements?  Luckily for our family, everyone remained healthy and we all had a great time. That trip was probably cheap compared with a Disney vacation for a family flying across the country. And the cost mere peanuts compared to a safari in Africa or a cruise on a luxury cruise liner.  The bottom line is, trip insurance protects your investment. Either you have the trip of a lifetime just as you planned, or you get to rebook and go another time without losing your entire vacation fund.

How are trip policies different?

All trip insurance policies protect you against not being able to go on your trip, interruption or cancellation of your trip, delays, loss of luggage, and usually offer medical insurance, evacuation insurance and repatriation (that’s getting you back in the country, especially if you are dead).  The difference in the policies, from economy up to elite, is how much they cover, the size of the benefit and the allowable reasons for cancellation.  Some policies cover cancellation if something happens to you, while other policies will allow you to cancel for any reason.  Even the most basic policies should cover a weather emergency or a terrorist attack. But read the fine print and know what your getting, or call one of the amazing agents at


Share this post

Work with a human