Why is travel insurance important?

Situation – medical emergency

You’re excited and having a great time hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. All of a sudden, you slip while going down a rocky trail. In determining whether you’re all right or not, you realize you’ve got a broken ankle, are in pain and know that you’ve got to get medical attention.

How will you get there? How much will the treatment cost? Do you have insurance to cover it? If not, can you afford the cost? If you do have insurance, will it pay the medical facility and doctors directly? If not, do you have the funds to pay them until you can get reimbursed?

Situation – canceling an expensive trip

Your family of five is finally taking the cruise you’ve been waiting three years for. The two-week cruise, which stops at a number of European ports, is costing you $15,000 for the family. You’ve got to pay the entire amount before setting foot on the ship and starting to enjoy yourself. Two days before departure, several family members have come down with a bad case of the flu. You might have to cancel the trip or find someway to join the cruise after everyone recovers in a few days.

If you cancel, will the cruise line refund your payments to date or a portion of them? Can you afford to lose the non-refundable portion? If you try to join the ship after several days, will you have to pay for the transportation to meet it at its next port?

Travel insurance, for the most part, is about protecting yourself against unforeseen events.

You pay an amount of money now, in order to protect yourself from possibly losing or paying a larger amount of money at a later date. How much risk are you willing to assume when you travel to a foreign country. It’s also something that travelers tend to forget about as they prepare for their upcoming trip. They don’t think about the “what ifs” before they depart or “that won’t happen to me” or “I’ll be ok”.