Travel Insurance – Why you need it

Travel Insurance – why spend the money?

Couple in front of the New York Skyline protected their investment with travel insurance.

This couple protected their investment with travel insurance.

Just ask anyone who lost their money because they had to cancel a trip or cut a trip short due to their illness or an illness in their immediate family. You can purchase travel insurance to cover trip cancellation, interruption and medical. Or a policy that covers everything but cancellation. The largest percentage of the policy cost is for the cancellation, as that loss is the greatest risk.

The cost will be the same whether you buy it when you reserve your trip or if you wait until the supplier cancellation penalties begin. If you have any ongoing medical issues, however, you will get the most benefit by purchasing travel insurance during the period in which the company waives their preexisting condition clause. This period is usually the first two or three weeks following the initial deposit or payment for your travel.


Why people decline travel insurance

Some people decline to purchase travel insurance because they choose to “self-insure.” This means that they understand that they may lose their money if they cancel, but they can withstand the loss. In that case, we recommend that they purchase the medical portion of the coverage. Most US medical insurance policies do not cover medical costs incurred outside the United States.

Other people who don’t buy travel insurance think they are young and nothing will happen to them. They say they are going on the trip no matter what happens, so they don’t need the insurance.

Examples of cancellations with and without travel insurance

We once had a client who became seriously ill and had to be air lifted home from Lisbon. The cost was $110,000.00. Travelex covered $100,000 of that charge. These clients had never purchased travel insurance in the past, but for some unknown reason decided to cover this trip. They were beyond happy that they did. This was the only time we’ve seen a claim of this type, but the insurance was there when they needed it.

This year we had a family cancel two trips. Both were without insurance and in full penalty, so both were a total financial loss. The first cancellation was due to the illness of a close family member and they didn’t want to travel “just in case”. The second was because of a fall. It happened a few days before the trip. The woman was at home in her kitchen, fell, and broke her hip. Both of these instances would have been covered by travel insurance, as it not only covers you, the traveler, but family members as well.

Think about why you would cancel a trip

We ask clients to think about their family members – if one were to get sick or be injured in an accident, would you still go on the trip? If the answer is no, you need insurance. This is especially true for young families, as young kids can have accidents or get sick. So even if the entire family isn’t traveling, parents don’t want to leave if their children are not well.

Include the cost of insurance when planning your trip

Kids inspecting a hugh crab caught while on their Alaska cruise.

Family inspecting a crab caught in Alaska. They purchased travel insurance for their cruise.

These days travel costs are high – whether it is a week-long family vacation or a trip around the world. So, protect your investment. When you are planning for the trip, just as if you would include air, and hotels, add the cost of insurance to the list.

Your travel advisor will explain the various travel insurance options available to you and can connect you directly to the insurance companies for the details. Most cruise lines and tour companies offer travel insurance. And there are third party insurance companies like Allianz and Travelex. We check all options and compare the price and coverage, so you can select the insurance that best meets your needs.

For more information about travel insurance, talk to your Coastline Travel Advisor or email

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Marion Hager