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 have bought a simple airline ticket to go on a trip.  If something happens that prevents you from going, you will likely pay the penalty for getting the ticket changed.  Keep in mind that even these 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 800.00 ticket would run you about 36.00, the cost to change that ticket on any airline 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 at a time when you can go on your trip and enjoy.  But I understand, many of you are stubborn or you rarely get sick and can’t forsee 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, but as I get older I realize the benefits outweigh the cost.  But then at least get some travel medical insurance.

Booking a big trip

During the the summer many families book a big trip, a trip so big, it might just be a 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 time.  My sister, always the planner, booked the condos a year in advance, the plane tickets were already purchased by June, as Christmas time books up for flights to Hawaii.  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, at any age, things can happen,  People fall, get into car accidents, who knows what might happen that 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. This trip was probably relatively cheap compared with a Disney vacation for a family flying across the country. And peanuts compared to a safari in Africa or a cruise on a luxury cruise liner.  The bottom line is that trip insurance protects your investment, either you have the trip of a lifetime, or you get to rebook and go another time.

How are trip policies different?

All trip insurance policies protect you against not being able to go on your trip, your trip being interrupted or cancelled, delays, loss of luggage and usually 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, what the size of the benefit is and also what are the reasons that you can cancel.  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


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