N. Wall


travel insurance

Why do I need travel insurance?

I must confess that I have traveled for years without travel insurance.  I knew it was a gamble, but I thought, “Why do I need travel insurance?” and “Is travel insurance worth it?.  Then came the day that I had to make changes to my plans.  I had an emergency come up and I had to change my flights.  If I had purchased travel insurance, it would have saved me hundreds of dollars.  I also started hearing more and more stories from friends and friends of friends about the time the airline lost their luggage, or the two-day unexpected layover due to weather, or the friend that was injured while in a foreign country and needed medical help, the list goes on and on.  If they had travel insurance, it would have really paid off for them.

Is travel insurance really worth it?

I know it can be expensive on top of the already expensive trip you just planned.  What happens though if something goes wrong with those plans?  What happens when you need medical help?  What happens when you miss your connecting flights due to delays on your first flight?  What happens when your luggage is lost?  Travel insurance can cover all of those unexpected costs.  I guess one simple question you can ask yourself when trying to determine if travel insurance is really worth it is “If I had to cancel this trip can I afford to lose the money I have already paid out?”  If you are talking about a $300.00 airfare, then maybe not.  If you are talking about a $3,000 vacation package, then insurance may be a good idea.

How much does travel insurance cost?

Now that you have a better understanding of why you need travel insurance the next question is probably “How much does it cost?” followed by “Where can I get travel insurance?”   Lucky for you I did some of the hard work for you.  Below is a list of companies that offer travel insurance and rates. Remember that each trip is unique, and the insurance needed for your trip may be quite different than the policy I want for my trip.

Read the fine print

Research your coverage carefully and make sure you are covered for the things that are important to you.  This is meant as a comparison guide for you to use as a start off point.  I have provided links for each company I am reviewing, contact them for your free quote and to see what options each offer. Make sure to consider both what is covered and what is NOT covered.  For instance, you have trip cancellation insurance on your trip.  What is a covered reason for that cancellation?  Make sure to read the fine print on that.  One policy may be offering coverage for medical emergency cancellation only, while another carrier may offer coverage for any reason.  Know what you’re buying before you purchase.

Speaking of fine print

Reading over some of the fine print on my recent insurance purchase I thought I would share with you a few reasons that the insurance company can deny your claim.

  • You must get a Dr. note within 72 hours of the trip if you want to cancel for an illness. If you submit a claim without seeing a Dr. first they can deny your claim.
  • Keep all of your invoices and documentation. It’s not enough to send a credit card receipt or a single invoice. You need to thoroughly document all of your trip costs, your reason for cancellation and any refunds you may have received.  They can deny you if you do not have copies of all invoices.
  • Not purchasing early enough. You should purchase the insurance as soon as you book the trip.  If you purchase the insurance a few days prior to your trip and then a storm or weather condition happens and causes you to cancel the insurance company can deny the claim on the grounds that you should have known about this prior to your purchase.
  • Giving up to soon. Most insurance companies will want you to allow the airlines 24 hours to find you alternate travel to your destination on a canceled or delayed flight.  If your flight is canceled or delayed and you immediately give up on the trip without first allowing the airlines to look for alternate connections, you can be denied.
  • Change of plans. Read your terms and conditions carefully.  Your insurance will not cover you for a simple change of plan or getting in a fight with your travel companion.  Most insurance policies will cover you for a death of a loved one but check into what they consider a “loved one”.  It may only be close relatives.  They will also cover if you file for a legal separation or divorce but not for a break-up that is not legally documented and binding.

Where do I buy travel insurance?

Airlines or Booking sites

I’m sure you have seen the question when purchasing airline tickets online if you want to add travel insurance.  Airlines offer pretty cheap coverage for your flights, but what are they really offering to cover?  You will see a general statement like this one: Reimburses your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses if you need to cancel your trip due to a covered reason.

“Covered reason” are the keywords here.  Make sure you know what those covered reasons are before purchasing.

I filled out the option for insurance through Delta Airlines.  They offer insurance that is underwritten by Allianz Global.  The problem was that I could not read any of the fine print until I paid for the plan.  Below is a picture of what my quote was for and what it included, however, I could not open any of the covered items to read what was actually being covered.

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Why I like it:

This site compares policies from multiple companies.  They lay everything out for you, you can compare one policy to another, so you can see exactly what the best offer really is.  You can also click to get more details on each area of your coverage.  As you can see from my screenshots below each company has different restrictions for what they will cover if you have to cancel your trip.  Consumer Affairs reports that this company has a 97% positive feedback from customers, who said they would refer their services to a friend.  Below I ran a quote on a $3000.00 trip for 2 people.

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travel insurance .com page

why you need travel insurance

why you need travel insurance

why do I need travel insurance

why do I need travel insurance

Allianz Travel Insurance

Get a Free 10-Day Look with Allianz Travel Insurance, the world leader in travel insurance. Make sure you’re covered!

Why I like it:

This company offers you multiple plans for your trip.  You can elect to get premium coverage, which even includes reimbursement of your airline miles, or you can select a mid-range coverage, or basic.  This is great for people that want some coverage but also want to watch their spending.  Allianz also received a 5-star rating from Consumer Affairs.  I used the same $3,000 trip for 2 people here.

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travel insurance

Travel Protection by Nationwide

Why I like it:

They offer a 10 day “free look” with every policy.  This means you can cancel for free within 10 days of your purchase for any reason, as long as you have not departed for your trip yet.  They will also cover pre-existing medical conditions if you buy your plan within 14 days of purchasing (or putting a deposit down) on your trip.  Many plans will not cover pre-existing medical conditions so look into that with whatever plan you are thinking about purchasing.  They also offer a “cancel for any reason” plan that will reimburse you 60% of your trip cost if you cancel for a reason outside of the 100% covered reasons.

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travel insurance

travel protection


Things to Know before you buy

What do they mean by “travel delay”?

Travel delay is referring to a change in the departure time of your flight.  If you were scheduled to leave at 9 am but due to mechanical issues or other unforeseen reasons your flight is delayed until the evening or next day travel delay insurance will cover your meals and hotel if needed.  It should also cover your cab rides and even reimburse you for a lost night at your destination hotel.  Always check your selected plan for what they will cover under this heading.

What do they mean by “Trip Interruption”?

This could mean that your trip was cut short by an emergency back home, or even an illness or injury.  It might also mean that your trip must be extended for some reason, like severe weather at your return destination or canceled flights.  Again, read your fine print to see what your policy considers a valid reason for a trip interruption.  Most policies will ask that you alert them within 72 hours of changes to your trip in order for this coverage to be viable.  Trip interruption insurance can pay for the cost of your airline ticket home and reimburse you for any prepaid costs at the hotel you had to leave early.  If the interruption is causing you to extend a stay, then it may cover your additional night’s stay and additional costs to your airline tickets.

What do they mean by “trip cancellation”?

This coverage is for any unexpected and covered reasons that happen before your trip that cause you to not be able to travel.  This coverage will reimburse you for any nonrefundable portions of your trip.  The 72-hour rule applies here too, make sure you alert your insurance provider right away or they may deny your claim.

Finding the right coverage can be a huge pain.  I know my head is swimming from information overload just writing this.  It is so important to know what you are buying before you purchase.  Make sure to read the details and familiarize yourself with your policy before you leave for your trip.  Hopefully, you will never need to use it, but if something unexpected does occur you want to know what is expected so that your claim is not denied later on down the road.

I hope this has helped you and if it has please remembered to share this post.  If you have any questions or if you found this article helpful I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Disclaimer:  This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information. The information on this page is also subject to the disclaimers of this website. Transparency is important, and that is why we want to make clear to our readers that this blog may contain affiliate links. This means we earn a small commission on items sold through this site. There is NO additional cost to you on any of these items.

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Travel enthusiast, mother, dog owner. I am passionate about the world around me and discovering new places to visit.

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  1. Kathy D

    October 4, 2018 at 6:52am

    We once got stuck in Florida for an extra week because of a hurricane. I wish we had trip insurance then.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      N. Wall

      October 4, 2018 at 5:34pm

      I know, right? Why is always the trips we did not buy insurance for that have the most problems? Glad you made it home safe and maybe bookmark this post for your next vacation. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. jane

    October 4, 2018 at 7:18am

    very cleared and detailed. insurance can be expensive, but you just never know what happens.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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