If you are thinking that the only important decision to make when you are planning your trip is where you would like to go and where you are going to stay then you must think again! The other most important decision for your travel plans is whether travel insurance is necessary. More often than not buying travel insurance is a very good decision because this will cover part of your trip that will definitely be non-refundable. Here are my answers if you are asking “is a travel insurance necessary?”
When Should you Buy A Travel Insurance?
Let’s make it clear. There is no law that actually requires you to buy travel cover or travel insurance. However, if you can afford to buy a trip, then you should not consider the expense of insurance as the extra stretch that you cannot make. If you have been planning a nice trip for a long time, it is most likely going to be your saving plan for a couple of months if not a year or more. Then surely, the very last thing you will want is to blow away a couple of thousand quid because of an unforeseen event.
Here are some important tips to consider on your question – is a travel insurance necessary?
Buy Your Travel Insurance as Soon as you Book your Trip
- If you want to feel safe and make sure that you have full coverage from your insurance, then ideally you should buy your insurance not later than two weeks after you have booked your trip. If you are going to do a last-minute decision before your trip the insurance provider may refuse you as it gives the idea that you are trying to play the system.
- Insurance providers may require you to give them at least 72 hours notice prior to cancelling a trip. Which means that if you leave-taking out a travel insurance policy to the last minute, you may not qualify for a refund.
- We are presently living in the time of CoronaVirus or Covid-19 as it is also known – which is proving to be a pandemic. We have lived through SARS another pandemic which crippled the world of tourism and cost billions in travel losses. Therefore, you do not want to have a headline or breaking news to jeopardize your possibility of buying travel cover. The same could be said for hurricanes which could become imminent if you are flying to susceptible areas.
Notwithstanding the fact that you can buy insurance down to the last minute before traveling, you do not want to compromise yourself by leaving it to the last minute. The considerations above are enough to answer your question “is a travel insurance necessary?”
Remember – it is the early bird that catches the worm and this is especially true when it comes to taking out a travel insurance.
You Increase the Benefits of Credit Card Protection
Today most major credit cards will offer you complimentary protection for your trips. The extent of protection varies from one provider to another and the extent alters on whichever type of card you have. You must bear in mind that you will have needed to buy your trip with that particular card in order to have the “free” coverage you may be seeking for non-refundable travel buys. Such payouts would be related to delayed flights, loss of luggage (mostly only to the extent of $250) and some even offer car rental collision waiver protection.
So again you may be wondering if travel insurance is necessary after all! Here are some other reasons why you should always consider taking out travel insurance
- Hospital Emergencies – accidents or sudden health failure
- Conditions that you may already have which will lead to complications – like high blood pressure
- Terrorism Attacks that can leave you stranded (I got caught in a Coup in Bangkok in 2014)
- Sports that can go wrong (Safaris or Rafting for starters)
- Extreme Sport – a definite requirement where standard policies will not cover you.
Always expect the unexpected! When you are traveling you are vulnerable because there is no-one you will know to help you out. If you are a female flying solo it is quintessential that you take all the necessary cover and leave with your mind at rest.
You should also have a look at my SAFETY TIPS FOR FEMALES FLYING SOLO!
It is always very important to check exactly what and the extent of benefits you will be getting from your credit card provider. Make sure that you are not under the impression that you have cover for something that you actually don’t!
Is Travel Insurance Necessary? – Yes, Travel Insurance Gives you More Flexibility!
The reimbursement policies of travel insurance will allow for more flexibility than those of travel providers.
Consider a situation where you are traveling with a friend or a spouse who suddenly gets sick. The travel provider will surely reimburse your other half but will certainly not reimburse you. And you would definitely not want to travel without your travel buddy.
If you take out good travel insurance here is a list of reasons why you could cancel at the drop of a hat
- Cancel for any reason that you did not envisage
- Work demands that put pressure on your time and make it impossible to travel
- Someone in your family gets sick
- You go through a relationship breakdown
- The Travel Provider that you have booked with goes belly up
You will want to make sure when you are taking out a travel policy that these circumstances are actually covered. So you may want to ask upfront about such eventualities. I find that World Nomads has one of the most flexible cancellation policy and they actually cover almost every country in the world.
Again, I cannot help pointing at the extenuating circumstances that we are currently living in. I know that thousands of people have been caught out outside their country and not being able to return (China for example where most flights have been cancelled to and from). Others like in Italy have had plans to travel and have had to cancel. This is again due to Covid-19. If you were planning a trip to China or Italy at this time, you will definitely not be asking, is a travel insurance necessary.
Reasons when a Travel Insurance is Not Necessary
Yes, there are circumstances when travelling insurance is superfluous. These are when a trip is short and cheap. If you are traveling for a day or two on business – then it is likely that your credit card insurance will suffice for any cover you need. Separate travel insurance, in this case, is an unnecessary expense.
You should always weigh up the cost of the non-refundable part of your expenses vis-a-vis the premium of your travel insurance. If you are only spending on the cost of a hotel for a night and a short-distance flight – you can probably just rely on the cover provided by your credit card protection.
The same applies to car insurance. If the cover is provided automatically when you take out the lease agreement – there is no point in having a double cover.
Is a Travel Insurance Necessary? Conclusion
Although we never anticipate something going wrong during our trips, a travel insurance is a blessing when you need it. We all hate losing money that we have paid, but we hate it even more if we have not planned for a tragic eventuality and this hits us. The reasons for which we may need to have a cover could be stuff that we never even thought of. It could be unforeseen medical expenses, disastrous weather, political turbulence and so many others.
An expensive trip is a hard-earned trip. Alongside doing your homework to plan your trip – allocate some extra time for research into the benefits you get with your credit cards and see which areas leave you exposed and in need of a travel insurance which is necessary.