More People Are Looking Into Travel Insurance. Should You?

by Maurie Backman | Published on Oct. 9, 2021

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A woman smiling in an airport with her suitcase and passport.

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Planning a trip? Here's what you need to know about travel insurance.

After spending the summer of 2020 cooped up at home, many Americans hit the road or took to the skies this past summer to make up for lost travel time. And given that many countries have opened their doors to U.S. travelers (or at least those who meet certain requirements), now may seem like a good time to visit someplace new. The summer travel boom has passed, and with kids back at school, those who aren't tethered to an academic schedule may enjoy fewer crowds.

If you're going to travel soon, it pays to consider a trip insurance policy. And if you purchase one, you'll probably be in good company. Over the past year, Google searches for travel insurance soared 233%, according to airfare comparison site Next Vacay. And whether you're traveling domestically or abroad, it's worthwhile to see what protection a travel insurance plan can offer you.

Why you need travel insurance

Travel insurance is good to have any time you take a trip. You never know when a flight might get delayed, a hotel booking might fall through, or an injury might occur. Having a travel insurance plan can protect you when all sorts of things go awry.

During the pandemic, though, it's even more important to have travel insurance. The travel landscape keeps evolving as COVID-19 outbreaks ebb and flow. And having a policy in place will give you more flexibility to work around restrictions. For example, many travel insurance policies allow you to cancel your itinerary for any reason and get the bulk of your money back. That's a good option to have during a pandemic.

Imagine that you book a flight one month ahead of your trip date. You feel secure traveling to that region, but in the course of that month, it becomes a hotbed for COVID-19 infections. You may want to cancel your plans, but the airline may not give you your money back. But if you have a travel insurance policy that lets you cancel for any reason, you're better protected.

Do you need travel insurance if you have a good credit card?

A lot of travel reward credit cards offer some level of protection for travelers. But even if you have one of these cards, it can be helpful to purchase outside coverage.

A separate travel insurance policy may give you a lot more flexibility to cancel your plans. And also, if you get injured or need medical care overseas and your health insurance won't cover it, a travel policy could pick up the tab for your bills, sparing you from thousands of dollars in debt. Your credit card may not offer the same level of coverage for medical issues.

No matter your destination, if you're traveling soon, look into trip insurance. While that may read as yet another expense to factor into your travel budget, it could save you a significant amount of money in the course of your next adventure.

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