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Is Travel Insurance Worthwhile?

Toothbrush? Check. Clothing for hot, cold, or rainy weather? Check. Medications? Check. You’ve packed all the travel essentials you can think of, and you’re ready to hit the road or take to the friendly skies. But as you’re heading out the door, suddenly a bunch of ‘what-ifs’ enter your mind, and you find yourself less relaxed and more reluctant to go.

Two words: travel insurance. It can bring you peace of mind when you’re heading out to parts unknown, planning a business trip, or finally realizing the vacation of your dreams. But because travel insurance can be expensive, you’ll want to carefully consider whether or not you actually need—or want—it.

Photo: Maridav/Shutterstock

Cancellation or Interruption of Travel Plans

You won’t be hearing “Bon voyage!” too soon. Your trip has been canceled, and it could be for any number of reasons, either personal or professional. But the bottom line is, you won’t be going even though you’ve already paid for your flight and possibly a lot more.

Typically, trip cancellation or interruption insurance reimburses you for travel expenses if a trip is canceled. If you’ve taken out this type of insurance, you might also be reimbursed for the cost of return tickets home if your trip is interrupted.

Accidental Death

Travel is often about exploration, exhilaration, and wonderful experiences, but in rare instances, it can bring about the unthinkable: an unforeseen tragedy that results in death.

Traveling, especially to certain parts of the world, can sometimes be unsafe. An accidental death insurance policy pays out benefits to a designated beneficiary should the unthinkable occur when you’re away from home.

Emergency Medical Care

You’ve already got health insurance or Medicare, so you’re good, right? Truth is, if you’re sick or injured while traveling outside the U.S., your health insurance policy might not cover any treatments or medication you receive outside of the country.

Consider getting emergency medical insurance if you’re concerned about the high cost of unexpected medical bills that could make traveling anxiety-provoking instead of relaxing.

Delayed or Lost Luggage

You’ve arrived safely at your destination, but you’re completely aggravated before you even unpack because, well, your luggage is someplace you’re not. So you head to the local drugstore, mall, or boutique to buy clothing or personal items to hold you over in the meantime.

The only bright side: you took out luggage insurance, which most likely will reimburse you for any money spent replacing medication, clothing, toiletries, and the like. So go ahead—pack away your worries. You’re covered.


Now that you know what you’re getting yourself into with travel insurance benefits, the decision is up to you. Peace of mind is nice, but just like insurance in blackjack, it doesn’t usually pay off.

So if you’re willing to invest in a ‘peace-of-mind’ expense, then it’s worth every penny. But if you’re not losing sleep over potential worrisome outcomes, then there’s nothing to see here, and you’re free to move right along!