Should you get it? Should you not? Is it really worth the money? That’s what I’m always debating before a trip. I figured I’m not the only one, so I gathered some information for you all.
I purchase travel insurance for every trip I do abroad. Traveling in the U.S., I don’t, but there are still options to purchase domestic insurance for trips if I desired. So far I haven’t had to use my travel insurance, but I have gotten sick on several trips abroad from unclean food or water (I’m a foodie who’s always trying fresh local meals), so there’s always the chance I could need to use it. It’s nice to have coverage if necessary.
Unfortunately, the company I’ve purchased insurance from over the past few years, is now not offered to Florida residents. So before my trip to Colombia, I was scrambling to figure out a new company to purchase from. That’s how I came across the following information.
I’m thankful I decided to purchase travel insurance. I became seriously ill in Medellin, Colombia during the first few days of my trip. I eventually went to a doctor but because of language barriers and the fact that I was feeling better, I decided against admitting myself (I probably should have gone, but that’s another story for another day). The hospital admittance fee would have been around $300 (which surprised me for Colombia) but I would have had that covered by the insurance company I used, Travelex. However, if I had urgently needed to go, I would have had peace of mind knowing that my insurance would cover my hospital fees.
Obviously every traveler’s circumstances are different – some people have more health issues on a trip, some have bad experiences with one customer service representative. I always look at customer reviews with a grain of salt…someone could have just been having a bad day and everything went wrong. That being said, I found this roundup of the best and worst travel insurance companies to be quite thorough and informative, especially because author Christopher Elliott writes about customer service for Forbes.
Another website with additional reviews on travel insurance companies can be found here. You’ll notice that different insurance companies appeal to different travelers. If you’re young and traveling solo, one company may offer more “adventure travel” coverage (say, bungee jumping, rafting, etc.) than another country. Think of the activities you will probably be participating in, and check if accidents are covered. The last thing you want to find out is that your excursion isn’t covered in the travel insurance plan you paid to benefit you! Research is extremely important. Call up customer service from several companies to compare benefits.
Calculate Your Trip Cost
Some travel insurances companies ask you to calculate your trip cost. Does that mean your flight and everything you already paid for pre-trip? Or estimates of costs you’ll incur while only your trip? Should you estimate higher or lower? This article explains some of that process and how to figure out your calculations.
Outweigh the Costs Between Different Travel Insurance Companies
You may ultimately decide against travel insurance – it’s all personal preference! It does cost money and you may not even need it. That’s the bargain. However, if you consider costs outside of travel insurance, chances are, you’ll be saving money in the long run. Some people have regular health insurance that may cover travel. I’ve even heard some credit card holders can get trip insurance through their bank, though it may not cover health costs, just baggage loss/plane delays etc. Ask questions and talk to other travelers, your doctors and friends for more advice! Compare policy plans between companies, one may offer more benefits for a cheaper cost.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still learning about travel insurance and that much of it didn’t make sense to me for awhile! Thankfully, I found the above articles before my recent trip to Colombia. There’s still much to discover about the benefits, policies and fine print, and personal factors do weigh into which plan and insurance company will most benefit you, but hopefully you found some insight here.
Do you use travel insurance or have tips for people looking to get travel insurance? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!