Do You Need Travel Insurance?
You may not need travel insurance, if you are already adequately covered by other insurance policies.
Depending on the travel insurance plan, travel insurance usually promises to cover you for cancellation or interruption of your trip, some form of emergency medical care while you are traveling, lost or stolen luggage, and various other troublesome occurrences.
Before you decide on a travel insurance plan, it is wise to investigate the plan carefully and read the fine print. You should closely check any agreements with your travel agent, tour operator, airline, or other companies involved with your travel plans. The agreements may include written guarantees.
If you have a fully refundable airline ticket, you may decide that you would not need trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
On the other hand, it may be worthwhile noting that certain insurance plans can protect you by covering the financial costs in case of the following situations:
- A sudden, serious injury or illness to you, a family member, or a traveling companion.
- Financial default of the airline, cruise line or tour operator.
- Natural disasters or strikes that impede travel services.
- A terrorist incident in a foreign city within 10 days of your scheduled arrival in that particular city.
- The fact that you, a traveling member of your family, or a traveling companion were quarantined, served with a court order or required to serve on a jury.
- A circumstance in which you were directly involved in an accident enroute to departure for your trip.
It is a good idea to check your other insurance policies. For instance, your homeowners or tenants insurance may cover the loss or theft of your luggage.
Certain credit cards may also provide additional travel insurance, if you have used them to purchase the ticket for your trip.
Your health insurance may provide certain coverage, regardless of where you travel. But it is very important to note that some policies only partially cover medical expenses abroad. Moreover, as previously explained in the section on Health Insurance, Medicare/Medicaid will not cover hospital and medical services outside the United States.
Your travel agent should be able to advise you about the right plan for you. Before purchasing travel insurance, review the plan carefully, and be wary of buying coverage that you may already have.
The above information is excerpted from the Consular Affairs Publications.