First let me say that the best time to think about this question is at the same time you are planing your trip as it should never be an afterthought. There are certain circumstances where travel insurance should always be considered and there are certain situations where travel insurance would probably be overkill. So how do you figure out if travel insurance is right for you? Do you know the financial risk of your investment? I love lists so let’s make a list of questions you need to have answered before you can rule travel insurance in or out.
How much are you going to spend on this vacation? You obviously first have to figure out if your vacation expenses will be worth the expense of travel insurance. Total up cost of flight, hotel reservations or any advance bookings where a deposit will be paid.
How far in advance do you need to cancel reservations to get a 100 percent refund of what you have already paid in? It is days before you are set to leave and something has come up preventing you from taking that vacation you have already paid for, can you get all your money back? A portion of it back? Can the flight be changed? Can you get a refund on all advance purchases of attraction tickets, greens fees, hotel room, cruise ship booking, etc…?
What does your credit card cover? Most major credit cards have some form of travel protection if you book your vacation on that card. Read the fine print of what your card covers and what hoops you have to jump through to file a claim. Make sure you understand the exclusions and by all means call them and ask questions if there is something you feel you don’t fully understand.
What will your current medical insurance policy cover if you or a family member gets sick or injured while on vacation? Check your policy thoroughly to see if you will be covered while traveling. Will it cover a medical emergency, hospitalization a medical evacuation? If you are not sure then call your insurance company and ask questions and be specific on your destination. Some companies will not cover you if traveling out of the country or on a cruise. Another medical insurance question you need to consider is how much is your deductible and could you afford to pay it while on vacation?
There are other risk factors to consider that can change your vacation plans such as weather conditions, loss of a job, or the financial stability of airlines, hotels and tour groups that you have paid.
Once you have answered all these questions then you can determine the risk factor. If you are satisfied that you can afford the risk of losing what is non refundable and that your existing medical coverage is adequate and if you already have protection with your credit card company, then you probably do not need travel insurance. On the other hand if you are uncomfortable with the answers to these questions then perhaps you do need to consider getting a travel insurance quote.
The appropriate time to buy travel insurance is as soon as you pay out your first deposit on your vacation. Basic travel insurance costs can be anywhere from 4 to 10 percent of your non refundable advance vacation payments and not all travel insurance companies are the same. Some companies offer add on coverage for specific conditions so you need to be prepared by knowing how much coverage you need and buy only what you need. Whatever company you choose it is important to know what you are paying for and what is excluded. Ask questions.
If you have decided that you are interested in getting a quote then I am going to recommend a company that I have done some research on but before I do, I am going to tell you two things. First, If you chose this company and purchase through my site I do earn a small commission. Second, I will never risk my credibility or the credibility of my blog recommending anything that I myself have not researched or believe in. I also urge you to do your own research and always make sure you ask questions so you fully understand what you are buying and what coverage you have.
Travelex is underwritten by Berkhire Hathaway and Trans America Liability insurance and is rated superior by A.M. Best and they are also a member of the Travel Insurance Association. They have basic travel insurance plans as well as coverage packages that can be added to offer more peace of mind for specific situations. Their website is easy to navigate and the information is laid out in simple easy to understand terms. Other benefits included with their plans are pre-planning travel assistance, concierge services and they also provide a toll free number to call for assistance if a medical emergency should arise while on vacation as well as lost baggage assistance.
Again, before purchasing do your due diligence to make sure that your risk is enough to require a travel protection policy and if the decision is made to purchase a plan then be sure to ask questions so you know exactly what coverage you have.