Travel Insurance... Is it Worth It?

Many timeshare companies use travel insurance as a closing tool or as an additional benefit to members. Is it worth it? We looked at travel insurance companies and reviews of travel insurance in an attempt to find an answer.

What is Travel Insurance?

For those of you confused or unsure about travel insurance as many of us are, here's a brief review. Your insurance payments for your car, home, and business are ongoing.   With travel insurance it's more likely you make one payment for one trip. Travel insurance can help to give you peace of mind.  At its best, it will cover the financial risks of traveling, from annoying events such as missed flights or lost luggage, to more serious events like medical emergencies, evacuations or even terrorism. Travel insurance policies just like your other insurance policies vary in what they cover, and in how much they pay out.  For small costs, you might have to pay out-of-pocket and get reimbursed. For larger costs like medical expenses, the insurer might step in and pay directly.

The two main types of travel insurance are: Domestic--usually doesn't cover medical expenses and is less expensive. International--usually does cover medical expenses and is more expensive.

To Buy or Not to Buy

First Check Your Options

Do you really need all or just a portion of the travel insurance offerings? Be sure to check your existing insurance coverage. You might already have travel coverage included with your health, life or car insurance. Check your credit cards too, especially those including airline mileage plus. Your credit card company may offer some sort of travel insurance if you book the trip with your card.  Your credit cards and existing insurance may provide as much travel insurance as you need without purchasing any more.

Four Types of Travel Insurance Worth Considering  

1. Medical
Your current health insurance may only offer partial coverage or no coverage when traveling abroad. This is true for Medicare participants and those covered by national health services.  Even though we don't like to think about accidents or illness happening during travel, they can and do happen.  Having a known health issue, traveling in isolated countries known for limited or substandard medical facilities, or participating in the riskier adventure type travel (mountain climbing, scuba diving, extreme biking and hiking), are just a few of the reasons to consider medical insurance. Even the food and water in certain areas can cause illness and a need for medical assistance.

2. Emergency Evacuation
In almost all cases your medical coverage does not cover you for an emergency evacuation. You may need this emergency evacuation insurance particularly if you're headed to an isolated area with limited medical service, and/or your trip involves a risky activity like mountain climbing. You want to make sure you have enough coverage to pay for an evacuation (which can be costly) to an area where you'll receive appropriate medical care.

3. Travel Protection
You may not want to get this coverage if you are on a $ 69 flight from LA to Las Vegas, but you sure want to get it if you've booked a once-in-a-lifetime, $10,000 Safari. A standard trip-cancellation or interruption insurance offers all or partial reimbursement for prepaid reservations if your trip is cancelled, interrupted, or delayed for an acceptable reason such as: You miss a flight, or need an emergency flight for a reason outside your control (car accident, inclement weather). Your tour company goes out of business and can't provide the trip that was promised.

4. Baggage Protection
Most comprehensive insurance packages cover luggage that is lost, delayed or damaged, but it puts a strict cap on reimbursement for expensive items like jewelry, electronics, and photography equipment. If you check your bag for a flight, it's covered by the airline, but the airline may also have restrictions on expensive items. Your homeowner insurance may cover baggage also. But, if you have to check your expensive items, consider the baggage insurance. It will cover the deductibles and items excluded from your other policies.

Travel Insurers

Travel insurers abound, and it’s up to each individual to do their research and decide if their particular circumstances warrant the cost of travel insurance. You could start with ( or (, travel insurance search sites where you can examine and compare the options of various insurance companies. Some of the more popular and better known travel insurance companies include: CSA Travel, Travel Guard, Travelex, World Nomads and Travel Insured. Tour companies and cruise lines offer travel insurance for their packages often at lower prices than outside insurers. The problem is, if the tour or cruise company happens to go out of business, there may not be money to cover your claim. Check them all out AND be sure to read the fine print!

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