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Why Should You Buy Travel Insurance When You Go Away?

Apr 3, 2008
Are you someone who likes to travel? If you are, you are certainly not alone. The travel industry is booming with people wanting to see the world and that presents a wonderful question: Should I buy travel insurance when I go away?

This is a good question because many feel it is necessary and many feel that it is not. However, it is certainly a misconception that nothing can go wrong on a trip. Although you may be one of those who have yet to experience serious trouble while on a trip doesn't mean that it won't happen. That is why travel insurance exists. It has a tendency to make things a little less painful if something does go wrong.

Let's say that your flight has been canceled, what does travel insurance usually cover?

* Termination of employment
* Weather conditions
* Terrorist acts
* Injury, sickness, or death
* Travel delay
* Trip cancellation
* Medical protection
* Baggage protection
* 24-hour emergency assistance

Some of these things may not necessarily be considered a disaster, but could still result in lost money. The cost of travel insurance, depending on age and the amount of coverage desired, is approximately 5% to 8% of the trip cost, which can actually save money if any of these events occur. A lot of money is invested in trips, so this is a small cost to pay for peace of mind and for protection in case one of the above events in the list does occur.

However, different policies offer different types of coverage and there are various exclusions within the policies. Such exclusions include changing your mind about a trip and not going. Travel insurance only covers you when something happens outside of your control that prevents you from making the trip. Not being able to afford the trip doesn't count. It is when you make a good faith effort to make the trip and something occurs that prevents that from happening that the coverage kicks in.

As far as exclusions, there are a few things to consider such as:

In the case of an injury while on a trip, the "Medical evacuation" section of the policies means that you will be air lifted out of an area with poor medical care and taken back to the states to receive medical attention. These instances are quite rare, but they do happen. However, a Medical evacuation may be denied if a pre-existing condition is involved, if there is a hospital closer that can administer proper medical attention, and an examination may be required to determine the seriousness of the condition and whether or not it requires a medical evacuation. If the situation is bad enough, then you will be evacuated to receive medical attention granted that none of the exclusions apply.

Even if medical plans you currently have cover you when you're traveling, many medical and other insurance plans will not cover you if you travel abroad. However, it is important to shop around for policies to see what their exclusions are and if their exclusions could knowingly affect you if a situation did arise.

Nevertheless, 5% to 8% of the trip cost is a small price to pay for security and for the protection of money invested in a trip that may not happen due to circumstances outside of your control. It is also good to know that if you were to become sick or injured on a trip, you have some kind of coverage that will take care of you, which gives you one less thing to worry about while you are far from home.
About the Author
If you're planning a trip out of town, it's a good idea to invest in some travel insurance before you leave. This will help keep you protected in case an emergency situation occurs.
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