I have other stories that give great examples of why to have travel insurance.
Kate and Jason traveled to Thailand to enjoy a couple of weeks which included a few days in Bangkok and Phuket and are grateful that they took out a comprehensive travel Insurance policy before they left.
Within the first few days of their vacation Kate got ill resulting in the hotel having to call the nearest hospital to reach a doctor. The doctor was required to make an in-house service call as Kate was too sick to leave the hotel. Kate was administered with 3 different types of medications to treat her condition at a cost of over $400.
Within 24 hours Jason became ill and wasn't in a condition to look after Kate, so based on the hotel Manager's recommendations they both visited the nearest hospital which came with some trepidation. Fortunately they called the Travel Insurance 24/7 emergency hotline and were quickly advised what they should do given their circumstances. This included giving advice and providing reassurance on which hospital to go to within close proximity to the hotel.
Upon receiving this information Kate and Jason were given the contact details of a 4 star rated hospital, so after a short ambulance ride, both Jason and Kate were at ease knowing they were going to a private hospital. This required proof of their travel Insurance so they could be admitted into the emergency area immediately.
Kate & Jason avoided approximately A$5,000 in medical expenses.
Another example is Jess, who had a pool accident while abroad. She dove into the pool, not realizing there was no deep end.
Lucky for Jess she had taken out a comprehensive travel insurance policy.
It was a shocking accident and one that required a dedicated air ambulance to bring Jess back to her country for further treatment and surgery.
Jess’ comprehensive travel Insurance policy covered the following expenses:
- Medical expenses, including surgery incurred overseas
- Additional accommodation and travel expenses for a family member to travel to be with her
- Medical repatriation by a dedicated air ambulance to her home country
- Cancellation expenses of original travel itinerary
- Out of pocket expenses for medical treatment and pharmacy costs.
Now if you ask me, should I always take out trip insurance, I would probably say no.
You need to look at the risk and the comfort.
If you are a worrier, it's difficult to put a price tag on peace of mind.
However, check out what you have for coverage already. Some credit cards offer travel coverage if you make the purchase on their card, but it might not cover everything. Also, Check your medical insurance. They might cover you while you travel.
Here is what travel insurance can cover: You pay a higher price for more coverage.
1. Loss of deposits or prepayments. If you prepay a large amount and have to cancel at the last minute, insurance will cover it, esp. if you have cancel for any reason. Usually you have to forfeit deposits if you don't cancel 45 days prior to departure.
2. Extra expenses of returning home before your trip ends. This could be from an accident you were in or a relative at home was in.
3. Medical Expenses. You never know when you could get sick on a trip.
4. Emergency Transport home.
5. Car Coverage
You just never know what could happen. It could be a snow storm, hurricane, flood, accident, or medical emergency. The volcano that erupted in Iceland in 2010 caused a lot of ramifications for travelers. The air was probably covered if the flight was canceled, but how about your hotel.
If you feel tentative about a trip because of business reasons or a friend or pet being sick, you may want to get cancel for any reason insurance. Normally standard insurance doesn't cover expenses for leaving if someone other than a relative is involved.
No matter how well your trip is planned, something could go wrong. For both financial security and sanity of mind, it's important to get yourself travel insurance especially if you travel out side the US.
To answer you question, you may not always need it. If you are 65 and taking a two week trip to India, plan to rent a scooter, eat street food, and sleep in already reserved 5 star hotels, I'd recommend insurance for the investment. If you are 30 and going to London, staying at a friend's apartment, and buy discount tickets to events, I think you could skip the insurance.
Keep in mind the travel insurance company not only covers expenses, they also give you advice of where to go and if you are getting the right diagnosis.
Weigh your options and check your existing coverage to make an educated decision. You may love it as Jess did, saving $125,000 in expenses, or you may leave it if you have medical and credit card coverage that you feel meet your needs. Or you may buy partial insurance such as Medical only insurance. Love it or leave It.