So you are in the planning stage of your next trip.  You even completed your travel check list.  Before you click ‘Pay Now’, think about your insurance needs during travel.  Insurance is not an exciting topic to think about when it comes to travel, but is something you should consider.  When thinking about your insurance coverage during travel, check out the list below:

1.  Health Insurance
Check with your health insurance provider to determine if they provide coverage while traveling outside of your home country.  I found out that my provider will cover an emergency occurrence at 80%, at in-network rates.  For a non emergency occurrence, it covers 60%, at out-of-network rates.  If you have coverage, don’t forget to put your insurance card or photocopy in your wallet.

2.  Travel Insurance from an Insurance Company
Do you need it?  The choice is yours and is optional.  It depends on whether or not you want to assume the risk.  If an incident occurs, do you want to bear the full financial responsibility or do you want to transfer the risk (or some of it) to another party?  If you decide that you want coverage, make sure you purchase from a reputable insurance company.  Look at your current rental, home owner, auto, or life insurance provider.  You already have an established relationship with them and may get a discount for adding additional coverage.  

After researching, look at a policy that covers your minimum needs at least.  To provide a quote, the company will need your travel destination, dates, traveler ages, place of residence, and total trip cost.  Most providers have at least 2 tiers.  Those tiers should address the following:

  • trip cancellation – reimbursement for a covered reason
  • trip interruption – reimbursement if you must cut the trip short and return home, due to a covered reason
  • emergency medical transportation – provide transportation to a hospital
  • baggage loss – reimbursement for loss
  • baggage delay – reimbursement for purchase of essential items due to baggage delay
  • travel delay – reimbursement for a trip delayed for a specific duration, for a covered reason

A covered reason is a valid reason listed in the insurance policy, for which coverage exists.  If filing a claim under a reason that is not on the list, the company may exclude from coverage.  It may also call out a specific exclusion list.  Keep in mind that covered reasons may differ from company to company.

View the details of the above categories such as the maximum reimbursement and delay durations.  A time constraint may exist on how soon you have to purchase the coverage in relation to booking the trip, i.e. within 7 or 14 days of booking the airfare.


3.  Travel Insurance from Your Credit Card
If you will book your travel with a credit card, it may offer travel protection.
  Generally, it may cover baggage and car rental, but certainly can include more.  For car rental, it probably covers liability and damage.  In that case, there is no need to purchase the expensive supplemental insurance from the car rental company.  You should verify if this coverage also remains outside your home country, if renting a car abroad.

Read the terms and conditions online or speak to representative to find out coverage specifics.  It probably won’t be as extensive as an actual policy from an insurance company, but it’s free coverage.  Take note that coverage also differs from card to card.


Your insurance needs are personal to your travel.  Whether or not you purchase any is totally up to you.  Weigh the pros and cons of acquiring, as well as the cost and coverage between companies.  Make your decision then book your next getaway!