Travel Insurance: Yay or Nay?

tiTravel insurance is usually the first thing to get dropped by the budget conscious traveler. As someone who has spent the night in multiple train stations, airports, and once in the middle of a roundabout in Haifa (long story) in order to save money, I’m definitely wary of purchasing anything I don’t absolutely need. But experiencing an injury, losing your baggage, missing a flight, or having your RFID blocking passport case stolen can quickly turn even the most luxurious vacation into a nightmare. Travel insurance won’t transform any of these problems into laughable travel adventures, but they will greatly lessen the bureaucratic hassle and ease the financial burden of an unexpected stay in a hospital or missing your flight because of a train strike (coughFrancecough).

Read on for a list of reasons you should seriously consider adding travel insurance to your list of things to pack.

mfMissed Flights

It happens to the best of us. Maybe you drank too much and overslept, maybe you got hopelessly lost on the way to the airport, or maybe you were the victim of a late bus or a train strike. Whatever the reason, missing a flight can and does happen to even the most prepared and responsible traveler. With travel insurance, you’ll still experience the frustration of missing your flight, but you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get on the next one.

Hospital Stay
I wouldn’t say that I’m accident prone, but I’ve seen the interior of a fair number of international hospitals. Depending on your plan, domestic health insurance will cover you to a point, but travel insurance is the way to go. Whether you need help finding an English-speaking physician or you hurt yourself while falling off a camel in Jordan (not covered under most domestic health insurance plans), finding care is your priority and paying for your medical bills while overseas should be the least of your worries.

Lost Luggage
I don’t own that many belongings so losing luggage put a pretty serious dent in my tally of worldly possessions. Most airlines will refund you the value of the items you lost, but it takes time and you’ll need to provide receipts. With travel insurance, you’ll be able to get money

Lost Passport or Wallet
Being without your wallet for even a few hours in a foreign country can be exceptionally stressful. Most travel insurance plans will advance you the money as soon as possible to ensure that a lost or stolen wallet doesn’t end your vacation right then and there. And while an RFID protector like the RFIDtec 100 or RFIDsafe 50 can protect you from digital thieves, only you can protect you from yourself and an absent mind.

Trip Cancellation
Whether something personal interferes with your travel plans or a natural disaster makes your vacation impossible, travel insurance will provide you the financial flexibility to cancel or reschedule your trip.

Emergency Evacuation
For graduation, my parents got me emergency travel insurance. For someone who spends a fair amount of time in volatile areas, it was the perfect gift. It covered emergency evacuation, kidnapping, and war-related injuries. If you’re that kind of traveler, this is a must-have.

By Nikki Hodgson