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Why you should get travel insurance, according to experts


When something disrupts your trip, the last thing you want to worry about is how to afford to get things back on track.

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Even the best-laid travel plans can go awry, as anyone who’s done their fair share of travel can try to. When something happens to disrupt your trip, the last thing you want to worry about is how to afford to get things back on track.

Travel insurance can save the day — and save you thousands of dollars — in these situations. From lost luggage to additional lodging and food costs, it covers a host of setbacks that could happen when you travel.

Yet many travelers forgo it, thinking they don’t need it or it’s not worth the cost. To learn why this could be a bad idea, we spoke to several travel experts.

Begin exploring your travel insurance options here to learn more.

Why you should get travel insurance, according to the pros

Experts recommend travel insurance for a number of reasons. Here are three of the big ones.

Anything could happen

There’s a lot you can’t control when you travel. From illness and injury to flight delays and cancellations, any number of things could derail your trip, costing you money you’ve already spent and potentially leading to new expenses.

“There are many factors that can disrupt travel, from extreme weather and worker strikes to illness, political instability and unforeseen family emergencies,” said Joe Cronin, President of International Citizens Insurance. “For example, last summer, heat waves across Europe snarled travel and canceled events and the crash of Southwest Airlines’ computer system left thousands of people stranded at airports.”

Travel agent and full-time traveler Veronica Hanson agrees. “People are accustomed to not getting travel insurance because historically they haven’t needed it,” Hanson previously told CBS News. “Their own experiences have taught them over the years that insurance is a waste of money. If something goes wrong, companies usually step up and make it right for the customer. These days are a whole different story. Infrequent travelers might not realize the chaos of the airline industry these days.”

It can save you thousands of dollars

Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, a trip can be expensive. If something interrupts your plan, you stand to lose a lot of money.

“I often receive please for help from consumers who have been blindsided by the loss of thousands of dollars invested failed in dream vacations that they protect by purchasing travel insurance,” Michelle Couch-Friedman, travel ombudsman and the founder of Consumer Rescue, previously told CBS News.

flight delays alone have been all over the news in recent months, and they’ve cost passengers dearly. When you’ve sunk a good deal of money into a trip, you owe it to yourself to safeguard that money from losses.

“COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of being prepared for unexpected events that may disrupt travel plans, and it’s vital to have a plan in place to deal with these situations,” says Brandon Frady, licensed insurance agent with Clearsurance. “Long haul travel especially is a high-ticket spend, and it is imperative to protect your investment.”

Find out how much travel insurance coverage you can get now.

Your health insurance may not cover you abroad

Don’t assume your health insurance policy will protect you if you get it sick or injured in a foreign country. That’s a common travel insurance myth. Many policies don’t cover medical expenses incurred abroad, and those that do consider these out-of-network costs, making them prohibitively expensive.

Travel agent Hans Mast of Golden Rule Travel shares one such story.

“I had one client (who fortunately purchased travel insurance!) who was on a safari in Zambia and fell from a height of about 8 feet and seriously injured her back,” Mast said. “The hospital in Zambia was NOT satisfactory. The insurance paid for her $10K private chartered air ambulance flight to fly her from Livingstone to Johannesburg, where there was a top-notch hospital that treated her for several weeks and then flew her business class back to her home in Canada.

“They covered all of her medical bills and other accommodations in Johannesburg for her husband. They also paid for a nurse to accompany her back to Canada. I haven’t seen the total bill for all that, but it was HUGE.”

The bottom line

If you’ve been wavering over whether or not to buy travel insurance, the consensus among many experts is: Do it. You never know what could happen, and when it comes to your money, it’s better to be safe than sorry is often a wise policy.

To find the best travel insurance for your trip, consider how much coverage you need and take the time to compare different providers and plans. You can get started by entering your trip details here now.

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