You’re about to purchase airfare online. You’re almost done booking the ticket when you’re confronted with the question: Do you want to add travel insurance to your purchase?
As many of us prepare for the travel season, we’ll be forced to decide if we want to bite the financial bullet on extra protection. But is travel insurance worth it? What does it include anyway?
Here are some tips to help you decide:
1. Know what’s covered
When traveling, you can get insurance from a variety of sources, including the airline, cruise carrier or an independent agency. Travel insurance typically includes the following areas:
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption for natural disasters and illness.
- Baggage and personal items in case your bags are lost or stolen.
- Emergency medical insurance (mostly used for trips abroad)
- Accidental death or dismemberment if you or a loved-one dies or sustains a very serious injury. As with your car or medical insurance, travel coverage will reimburse you for your losses while away.
2. Consider the circumstances
Before you add insurance to your travel budget, consider whether or not you’ll realistically need it. If, for example, you’re flying nonstop from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the odds are low that you’ll lose your bag or encounter flight-cancelling weather.
However, if you’re flying through an area known for seasonal storms, have to make multiple connections, or are going abroad, you may want to consider protecting yourself.
3. Check your credit card benefits
Some credit cards offer travel insurance as a benefit, which means you may be able to skip the extra costs altogether (although the annual fee you already pay makes up the difference). While the list of credit card companies that offer this kind of protection is relatively small, it’s worth checking out. Hanscom Federal Credit Union's Platinum Credit Card, which does not have an annual fee, includes travel assistance as well as travel accident and baggage delay benefits. These are included at no extra cost. Learn more here.
4. Check your budget
Finally, weigh the costs against what you can actually afford. If the price tag on insurance is just too high, the cost of losing a bag or missing a flight — while frustrating — may not be worth the extra cash. Of course, you can’t control severe weather, but with the right preparation, you can increase your chances of a smooth, pleasantly predictable trip.
Others are reading: