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Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

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Traveling can be an amazing experience, provided you are adequately prepared for the adventures to come. One has to make sure to pack extra clothing, spending money, and have a plan ready once they arrive at their destination. Even with all the preparations in order, could there be something else missing?

Whenever a person travels the last thing on their mind is any sort of insurance, despite travel agencies offering packages left and right.

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And while at times, travel insurance may be a sound investment, there are other situations when you can go without. We’re here to help you figure out the best times to buy and the best times to go without it.

When you don’t Need It

1. Skip It: US Travel

If you’re a citizen traveling within the United States, travel insurance is something you could probably avoid purchasing. As most people only plan a few weeks in advance, there’s almost no need for local travel insurance. For a trip lasting about four days, ValuePenguin puts the estimate at $576 per person.

And if you’ve got medical insurance, you are likely covered for any emergencies that arise when traveling within the continental US.

2. Skip It: When Your Card Offers It

Many special cards issued in the United States often come with travel insurance as an added perk. So you’ll want to check with your financial institution before making an impulse buy.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is a favorite among international travelers. If your travels are ever cancelled or cut short due to unforeseen illnesses or extreme weather, the card offers a reimbursement of up to $10,000 per person.

You’re also covered if you’ve already signed up for a Citi Prestige or Citi Thank You Premier cards, which offer protection for baggage and trip cancellations.

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3. Skip It: For Flights

The travel insurance offered for flights is often costs more than its worth, even for basic policies. Remember that if your flight is ever cancelled, as a passenger you are entitled to a seat on the next available flight free of charge.

Your insurance policy and the company that hold it will have no effect on how soon you’ll be re-booked either.

In some situations, if you experience significant delays in addition to a cancelled flight, you may be entitled to a little compensation.

If you check with AirHelp, they can determine if you have a right to compensation and will work on your behalf to secure said compensation. Be aware that they will take 25 percent of any compensation won.

4. Skip It: Just For Flexibility

Some of us have the mindset “I’ll grab this just in case” when walking through the aisles of a grocery store. Many people mistakenly think the same of travel insurance. “Some people make that mistake; they think of it as kind of a cancellation policy,” says one expert.

You are better off saving that money and looking for a reservation with free cancellation up till the day you’re scheduled to be there.
When You Need It

Now that we’ve discussed when it is not important, let’s take a look at when it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance.

1. Buy It: For International Trips

International trips are generally more expensive because Americans like to stay longer. On average, those trips last around 12 days and can cost up to $3,000 per person.

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To come close to getting the best deal, many book their trips as early as five months in advance.

This is when travel insurance is a great idea. Editor of Oyster.com, Maria Teresa Hart says, “Personally, if I were paying for 70 percent to 80 percent of my trip upfront, I’d consider trip insurance.

2. Buy It: For Medical Reasons

You never know what can happen on an international trip, so buying trip insurance for medical reason is something to seriously consider.
Whether you’re exploring the white sand beaches of Phuket, Thailand or walking the trails to Machu Pichu, the cost of emergency evacuation can add up, sometimes costing more than $50,000 depending on location and medical condition.

3. Buy It: For Cruises

The massive upfront cost, the international travel, and the chances of things going wrong are reason enough to buy travel insurance for a cruise. Because there isn’t much a difference between the insurance offered by cruise lines and outside agencies, feel free to go with either.

Check the fine print of your travel insurance policy and double-check what situations are covered.

If you’re a bit of a daredevil, you can always go cruising during hurricane season. Just make sure you buy travel insurance then.

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