Updated: May 5, 2019
Today, there’s really no more excuse not to travel. What was once considered an expensive luxury has become affordable to many — thanks to the budget airline industry who made traveling more pocket-friendly for everyone.
And that is great because traveling teaches a person important life lessons that he or she wouldn’t learn otherwise.
When booking a trip, a lot of people mindlessly opt out of getting travel insurance. Many consider it as just an unnecessary expense, and would rather save the extra cash.
But is it really a wise decision to skip getting one, or is travel insurance actually worth buying?
What is travel insurance and what does it cover?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial and medical assistance when things go wrong before, during, and even after your trip.
Most policies provide one or a combination of these types of coverage:
- Financial reimbursement when the trip is cancelled, interrupted, rerouted, or delayed due to illness, bad weather, and other travel inconveniences.
- Cash allowance or financial assistance in case of baggage delay, loss of travel documents or personal money, and loss or damage of baggage and declared personal effects.
- Medical insurance and emergency assistance in case of sickness or injury while traveling; with 24-hour travel assistance to help find doctors, arrange accommodations, or contact family members when such situations occur.
How much does it cost?
The cost varies but it’s generally around 3% to 8% of the total trip. The factors that affect the price are the length of the trip, the destination, and age of the traveler.
From experience, it costs around P300 up to P1000 if you purchase it from the airline while you’re booking your flight.
Is it worth it? When is it wise to buy one?
When a person is a worrier, then getting travel insurance for peace of mind is definitely worth the cost. Otherwise, it helps to ask a number of questions to determine if it’s a wise decision to get one:
- Is the weather bad? Are there peace and order concerns in both my place of origin and my destination?
- How likely is it that I will get sick during the trip? Will I be doing risky activities or be exposed to dangerous situations?
- Do I personally know anyone whom I can ask for help in where I’m going in case something bad happens or an unexpected problem arises during the trip?
- Will I be carrying expensive, irreplaceable, and valuable items in my luggage such as equipment, legal documents, or other precious articles?
How and where should I buy travel insurance?
Some credit card companies and professional organizations provide travel insurance benefits to their members, check with them first before buying one.
Furthermore, travel insurance can be purchased from travel agents, airlines, hotels, tour operators, and directly from insurance companies.
Lastly, for frequent travelers, it might be a better idea to avail of an annual policy.
What is commonly seen as an unnecessary travel expense can become a lifesaver. Accidents can happen, unexpected circumstances can occur, and we can never guarantee that a trip will run smoothly as planned.
When the odds of such uncertainties to occur are at least moderately high, then getting travel insurance certainly becomes a good idea.
How about you? Do you buy insurance when you travel?