No one should travel without comprehensive medical insurance. Full stop. That’s just asking for trouble.
And unless you’d be happy to lose the entire cost of your vacation, you should get also trip insurance. If you insure your house or you insure your car, you should insure your trip. It’s not much more complicated than that.
Trip insurance is not just coverage against your having to cancel your whole trip ahead of time. It’s protection against financial loss in case you lose the first few days (because of a snow storm on the east coast) and with them your Eiffel-tower view suite, your Opera tickets and your private guided tour (all non-refundable – ouch). It’s coverage against extra expenses in case you arrive in Dubrovnik with no luggage. It’s coverage against total disaster when some ass flies a drone over Gatwick two days before Christmas, and your once-in-a-lifetime safari leaves without you.
In short, it’s coverage for when something happens that’s entirely out of your control and out of ours, but which can cost you dear.
We’re not in the business of scare-mongering, but unless you personally control the weather, volcanic eruptions, global geopolitics and French air traffic control, then you should have a very, very good reason before you decide not to be insured.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance protects you against unforeseen problems and issues relating to your trip. There are four main types of travel insurance coverage: Cancellation & Interruption, Emergency Medical, Baggage & Personal Effects, Flight & Accident. While each type can be obtained separately, it’s usually best to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance package, which includes most or all types of coverage.
How does Cancellation & Interruption coverage work?
Cancellation & Interruption insurance protects you against the loss of nonrefundable amounts if you need to cancel your trip prior to departure, or costs incurred if you must interrupt your trip, for an allowable reason such as flight cancellation or serious illness of a family member. If you do not have this coverage, cancelling or interrupting a trip can cost you thousands of dollars.
What does Emergency Medical cover me for?
If you are injured or become ill while on your trip, Emergency Medical covers you for emergency medical transportation and medical treatment, as well as subsistence expenses (i.e. hotel, meals, taxis).
What is Baggage & Personal Effects for?
This insurance provides coverage if your bags or personal effects are lost, damaged or delayed.
What is Flight & Accident coverage?
This insurance pays a benefit in the event of death or dismemberment resulting from a flight or travel accident while on trip.
What does it cost?
A comprehensive travel insurance package typically costs 10-12% of the price of your trip. The cost of insurance is determined primarily by your age, length of the trip and cost of the trip.
Doesn’t my credit card or health plan cover me?
Some credit cards and health plans offer a degree of travel insurance coverage, but very few offer comprehensive coverage against trip cancellation & interruption.
Is there anything else I should know?
Packages including cancellation insurance should ideally be purchased as soon as possible after confirming your trip, to ensure no complications should you need to cancel down the road. Medical only packages can be purchased any time up to the date of departure. For families travelling with children 17 and under, family packages are available. Travel insurance policies can be complex and difficult to understand. If you have further questions, please call us or contact a travel insurance specialist.
Do I really need travel insurance?
It’s impossible know in advance. But we can say for certain that you are widely exposed if you do not have travel insurance. Cancelling or interrupting a trip, or dealing with major hospital bills can be very costly. If you end up not needing travel insurance, you’ll probably forget about the cost anyway. If you do need it, you’ll be immensely grateful.