Do You Need Travel Insurance?
The most important thing you can do when considering travel insurance is to know your own needs. For short, inexpensive trips, travel insurance is rarely a necessity. However, for long trips, expensive or international trips, and any trip that could be sidelined by an illness or by inclimate weather, you will want to be insured.
It is always a good idea to get basic travel health insurance when you plan to be abroad for some time. You may need an emergency trip to the dentist, or perhaps you could get sick or injured and end up in the hospital. In any case travel health insurance will cover these things, though it does not pay for things like theft, cancelled tours, or airline bankruptcy. Always plan for the worst – if you lose a three hundred dollar flight you might be able to let it go, but how about a three thousand dollar cruise?
And international travel insurance is almost always a good thing. Foreign countries may not have the kind of medical treatment that you could get at home, so be prepared for this. You are also at greater risk to be taken advantage of in a foreign locale, since things like language barriers and exchange rates can be hard to keep track of. International travel insurance can also be surprisingly affordable, especially if your health is the only thing you really want to safeguard.
Frequent travelers might want to get a year-round insurance policy in order to save money, just make sure that you aren’t paying for services that your regular insurance already covers. Reading the fine print on both policies will prevent you from paying for benefits you already have, as well as clarifying those “special circumstances” in which you aren’t covered at all.
Finally, don’t rely on your travel agent to pick your policy for you. They’re experts in travel, not insurance. Call a travel insurance agency to find out what kind of policy would be best for you.