Why You Need Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is one of those things that people don’t like to think about or talk about but it sure is important to have it when you need it. I always use travel insurance when I travel abroad and have several personal examples of friends and family saving tens of thousands of dollars because they had travel insurance when they needed it. That said, here is why you need travel insurance.
If you’re planning an expensive trip where you stand to lose a lot of money if your trip is cancelled due to sudden or unforeseen circumstances you’ll need to get travel insurance. I have seen it time and time again, sadly.
Life happens and when it does, you should be covered so you don’t end up paying for your trip of a lifetime even though you can’t go anymore. I’ve never had to personally cancel a trip beforehand but I once was in Papua New Guinea and I had a death in the family.
I had to cancel the rest of my trip to get back to New York. Unfortunately, I did not have travel insurance and ended up having to pay out of pocket about $5500 for a ticket home for the funeral. Eating that money plus the cancelled portion of the trip made the circumstances even worse for me. I’ve had travel insurance every trip since.
Another reason for travel insurance when you travel abroad is in case you get sick or injured. Most US health insurance plans won’t cover your medical costs abroad and you will most likely be required to pay medical costs up front in other countries.
Travel insurance can make this easier or even doable at all by reimbursing you for your medical bills abroad and can even work with the hospital to pay your costs up front for you. This is invaluable.
My grandmother once broke her femur in Thailand on a cruise. She was stuck in the hospital for nearly a week before she was transported home in a private medical plane all the way from Bangkok to Connecticut. This would have cost her $50,000+ had she not had travel insurance, which covered nearly all her costs.
Travel insurance can also be useful in dealing with things like a lost passport, luggage or simply dealing with where to go for medical care. It’s nice to have someone who’s on your side.
passport, Allianz
When things go wrong when you travel, especially if you’re a novice traveler, you may not know what to do or where to go. Having travel assistance is such a key asset to have in your corner to make your life easier and less stressful when things happen. It’s just another reason why you need travel insurance.
When considering travel insurance, consider going with the industry leader, Allianz Global Assistance. As a global company with offices in 34 countries, they have the resources to help you whenever you need them, wherever you may be. And they’re available 24/7/365. Visit Allianztravelinsurance.com to learn more.
Allianz logo
Disclaimer: I have partnered with and receive financial compensation from Allianz Global Assistance. However, everything written in this post was written by me; is my own personal experience, and recommendations. They have not been influenced in any way.

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  1. My boss had a heart attack in Bratislava and his total bill for 7 days in the hospital and a room at the adjoining hotel for his wife for the week was about $3500. His dr in the US said he got great care there, and he’d recommend all his patients have heart attacks in Bratislava since it’s so much cheaper than having one in the US! My boss would have ended up paying about $5k (his deductible) if it had happened at home, so in the end, it worked out okay for him.

  2. My grandma also broke her leg traveling on safari in Africa. It was a complete disaster and she ended up in a random hospital in Tanzania somewhere. Her travel insurance covered something like 99% of expenses and literally saved her $100k. Yes I use travel insurance and think anyone who doesn’t is stupid.

  3. Totally agree about travel insurance – but would add to make sure you read the fine print about what is covered and what is not! Also, buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your trip. When I was getting ready to go to Mali and Burkina Faso this fall, I delayed on buying insurance (no reason, I just got busy). By the time I did, Ebola had hit Mali and Burkina had a military coup. Suddenly the things I would be most likely to need insurance for (medical evacuation if I got Ebola or delays or other issues due to unrest after the coup) wouldn’t be covered because they were foreseeable. I also learned that most standard plans don’t cover losses due to political unrest anyway. My advice would be if you are going to any volatile parts of the world to immediately purchase travel insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason, just to be on the absolute safe side.

    • Katie, couldn’t agree more and yes definitely know what’s covered and what’s not but anytime you go to a volatile region as you and I happen to do somewhat frequently-get insurance, it’s a must have and really no reason not to. Peace of mind is a nice thing…on my recent Antarctica/South Pole trip I had $500,000 in coverage and never even thought about it-best way to be when you travel-it’s there if you need it but you hope to never need it.

  4. Travel Insurance should simply be mandatory when you purchase tickets. Makes no sense not to use it. You’ve paid thousands for a great trip and why risk losing it if something happens. Not worth it-just get it.

    I’ve actually used Allianz before and they were very good at least in theory. I called them up before buying and the operator explained to me about the policy and what it covered. I never had to use it, thankfully, so never saw them in real action but I guess I’m happy about that because my trip was amazing!

    • Great comment Taylor and thanks. Yes I totally agree about mandatory insurance-it’s just not worth the risk for a small percentage of the cost of your trip. What if you get hurt? I’ve seen it happen before…

  5. Don’t leave home without it! I had to file a claim for a hospitalization in Colombia-what a pain but otherwise I would’ve been out like ten grand. I’ve never tried Allianz but will give them a shot next time. Thanks for a great post, Lee.

  6. U open my eyes how important that travel insurance

  7. u are right travel insurance is important

  8. Travel Insurance is a non negotiable. You never know when you might need to be helicoptered out of the Himalaya region, down to a safe altitude to then spend 5 days in a Nepalese hospital, due to the effects high altitude combined with sub zero temperatures have on the body. Care was great, people are super friendly and helpful. Lifesavers, literally. Without insurance, looking at >20K AUD ! Thank you CoverMore !!

  9. Good tips! i am thinking now travel insurance is very important for who want a good tour in low cost! Our life is too short but we can make it very happy and most enjoyable to tour nice places in the world! Thanks for your good post and some alive photos!

  10. Definitely can’t afford to go traveling with travel insurance. A must have! Good article. Thanks,

  11. Thanks Lee. This Is really an eye opener. Do you any statistic of travelers who globe trot without travel insurance? Your examples plus those of the other commenters make it sound real and have come to believe that it is a must have.
    Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. Though our personal safety lies in our hand when we are on the road, travel insurance can be of tremendous help should the ugly happen.

    Let me ask you this: Is getting travel insurance for say a 2-week trip that expensive? If not, why don’t most travelers go for it. I agree with Taylor’s view that they should be mandatory. Thanks anyway!

  12. I really appreciated what you had to say and I am glad that your grandmother was able to be taken care of. I wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation like that without travel insurance. My grandmother had an issue with her teeth that had to be taken care of while on a cruise as well. Her dental insurance wouldn’t cover it but, the travel insurance helped a bit.

  13. That’s a good point that travel insurance would come in handy if you had to cancel your trip. I knew that you could get your money back for the trip, but I hadn’t realized some kinds of that insurance can pay for medical problems when you’re abroad. That would be nice. It’s just a good idea to make sure that you’re covered in case of an emergency.

  14. Thanks for the advice about traveler’s insurance. I’m sorry that you had to attend a funeral service. The passing of a loved on is never convenient. Thanks for letting me know that traveler’s insurance can help pay for unexpected costs like a funeral.

  15. I am planning on going on a trip, and the organization that I’m going through is requiring me to get traveler’s insurance, so I appreciate all of the insight you give about this. That being said, I didn’t know that this type of insurance can help you not have to pay so much money out of pocket in case the flight changes. This definitely would be beneficial so that if I decide to stay longer or my flight gets delayed, I won’t be paying tooth and nail. Thank you so much for all of the additional insight; it definitely makes me more willing to purchase this coverage.

  16. that is a good points, i think its necessary to buy a travel insurance before traveling , but to avoid overspending on the travel insurance plan its also important to choose the right plan with acceptable price, so you need to read more and be aware of the plans the been offered in your area plus what features each plan cover and compare the prices to get the most suitable plan for you , also you can use a comparing online tool for that, it can be helpful a lot , I use qompanion.my in Malaysia , i am sure you can find similar tool in your city

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