Should you purchase travel insurance?

You’ve booked that vacation you’ve been dreaming about for years, and then you are asked if you want to purchase optional travel insurance. My standard answer used to be “no thanks,” but then my life circumstances changed, and I gave the topic more thought. We booked a trip recently and decided for this trip to pay for the insurance because my father-in-law was ill. He passed away right before the trip so we had the ability to cancel the trip and be reimbursed for the entire trip amount.

Like most insurances, you hope you never have to use it. In the case of travel insurance, it is especially true because it usually means something bad has happened on your trip or before your trip preventing you from going.  Either way, it ruins a vacation. The most common types of travel insurance are medical related and trip cancellation policies.

So when I was asked about travel insurance by a coworker after he booked his honeymoon, my first inclination was to answer no but I paused and thought about recent events and gave him the reasons why he may or may not want to consider it:

  • Health. The overall health of those who are travelling and those loved ones who’s passing would cause you to cancel your vacation. Given recent events, it is worth considering if the types of health risks you might encounter at your vacation destination.
  • Non-refundable. What portion of your travel is non-refundable? The higher the percentage or amount, the more you may want to consider a trip cancellation policy.
  • Existing coverages.  Before you travel, check with your health insurance provider to see what coverage you have based on where you are travelling. Some credit cards may have travel benefits such as medical if you used the card to purchase the travel.

If you do consider this type of insurance, make sure you are getting the coverages you feel will give you the most peace of mind. You don’t have to buy this type of coverage at the time you book your trip so you have the opportunity to shop around to make sure you get the price and coverage combination you need.

UPDATE: Happy to announce that my coworker was married in a beautiful ceremony. He did get the travel insurance and was able to cancel the trip he booked due to travel concerns and getting stuck in a foreign country.



Post author: Jamieson Mackay, CCUFC

The opinions expressed on this page are those of the credit union’s Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors, staff members and other authors and may not reflect the views of the credit union. Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of each article.