Travel can be awfully expensive. When you’re planning a trip, the costs add up quickly. So, should you add another $25-$150 for trip insurance to that already large travel bill? A few years ago, I would have said a firm no. However, I have seen and experienced enough that I’ve changed my stance on that.
So many things can affect travel plans. I’ve seen countless friends cancel travel plans at the last minute due to illness in the family or their own illness. I myself nearly had to cancel a trip because of a surprise, late season snowstorm.
Travel insurance often covers many things in addition to last-minute cancellation. I plunked down $125 for insurance on my last trip. It not only covered me if the trip was cancelled but it also provided extra protection for lost luggage, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and extra life insurance. That $125 investment brought me great peace of mind.
Just like with many other travel options, buying insurance is subjective. Consider the following factors:
- How much is this trip costing you? If something goes wrong, can you afford to lose the money you’ve already invested?
- How is your health? Is there any potential that you might encounter health problems when traveling far from home? Does your health insurance cover you once you leave your homeland? Some do not.
- Do you have loved ones whose health could cause you to cancel or interrupt a trip?
- How dangerous is your trip? Will you be enjoying quiet days in museums or will you be skiing in the Alps?
- Are any of your deposits non-refundable?
- Do you want the peace of mind that insurance can bring?
I have to admit to making a somewhat costly mistake recently. We were supposed to travel to the U.K. in early October and spend two weeks driving about England, Wales and Scotland. The cost was relatively low. The risk was low. I thought about insuring at least my airline ticket but just never got around to doing it.
Two days before departure, I go the devastating call that my son was diagnosed with a brain tumor and would be having surgery to remove it in just a few days. Of course, the trip was instantly cancelled.
The airline charged a change fee and said that we could use the tickets later if we booked by January and travelled by March. That’s just not going to work for me. My son has brain cancer. I’m not going anywhere for a while. I will be by his side as much as possible.
What did we lose? The cost of the airline tickets, airport transfers and deposits on hotels. I lost about $1500 out of pocket. I should have at least insured the plane ticket. It definitely would have been to my financial benefit to do that. I could have given that recouped money to my son to help with his expenses.
While the loss of $1500 is the least of my concerns right now, I do consider it a lesson learned. From now on, I will always buy the insurance.
On a side note, there is a Go Fund Me page set up to help my son and his wife with their overwhelming expenses as they go through this tough time. If you would like to help (and every dollar does help) you can do so by going to: https://www.gofundme.com/nik-schreiner-vs-brain-tumor.