The financial benefits of travel insurance for your next trip
Consider the following scenarios:
You’re at the beach somewhere warm, sunny, and exotic. You’re just there for a few short days—one of those special last-minute internet deals. You go out a little farther from the shore. Suddenly, you hear a menacing sound, some sort of low-pitched stringed instrument going “Da-dum…da-dum…[faster] da-dum da-dum da-dum—” No, it’s not Jaws, just your imagination. But in your sudden panic, you flail a little going back into shore, and your foot comes down into the sand hard. You feel a sharp pain. You stepped on a fishhook and it looks like a deep puncture wound. At first, you think that you can just limp back to your hotel, clean out your wound, and resume your activities in tropical paradise. But then you remember you haven’t had a tetanus shot in years. Since you were only going to be away for a few days, you didn’t get any travel insurance. Several hours and several hundred dollars later (assuming there’s even a hospital in your island paradise), you’re back on the beach, just in time to leave.
Or, you’re traveling from Portland, Oregon to New York with a connection in Chicago. Your connection time is long enough that you’re confident you’ll make it. It’s a business trip, and your suit is in your checked luggage. But your plane is delayed leaving Portland. Upon arriving in Chicago, you sprint to make your connection, because your meeting starts a couple of hours after you get to New York and you can’t be late. You make it, but your luggage doesn’t. The airline delivers it to your hotel…after you’ve flown back to Portland. Later, the hotel claims they don’t have it. Somewhere, someone is enjoying your favorite suit.
Or, you’re getting married in a few weeks, and you book a 3-week honeymoon in Tahiti. You both wanted the best of everything for this once-in-a-lifetime romantic getaway. You booked a resort that offers daily massage, snorkeling and scuba diving. Your honeymoon costs more than your wedding, and you can’t wait. Sadly, on the night of the wedding, your father has a heart attack and winds up in critical condition at the hospital. At first, the doctors aren’t sure if he’ll make it or not. He does recover and is able to go home after bypass surgery, but you’ve stayed by his side the whole time, and your honeymoon will have to be postponed.
In any of these situations, travel insurance would have saved you anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Whether you need medical care, luggage replacement, or trip cancellation insurance, travel insurance is typically only a few dollars per day of your trip (with additional fees for especially risky activities). Some trip cancellation insurance allows only specific reasons for cancellation, so check ahead of time—it might be a good idea to get the kind that allows you to cancel for any reason. It’s a smart financial decision to pay a few dollars up front rather than risk losing a serious chunk of your savings in addition to your honeymoon, your favorite suit, or your precious time on the beach.