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Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

Welcome, fellow wanderers, adventure-seekers, and globe-trotters! If you’re anything like me, you probably live for the thrill of exploring new places, tasting exotic cuisines, and immersing yourself in different cultures. But amidst all the excitement of planning your next adventure, there’s one essential thing that often gets overlooked – travel insurance.

Yes, I know, it’s not the most glamorous topic to discuss when you’re dreaming of white sandy beaches or historic cobblestone streets and city breaks. But trust me, understanding the ins and outs of travel insurance could be the smartest decision you make before embarking on your journey.

In this guide to travel insurance, we’re going to unravel the mysteries surrounding this often misunderstood aspect of travel planning. From what it covers to why it’s crucial, we’ll delve into everything you need to know to travel the world with confidence and peace of mind.

So, whether you’re planning a backpacking adventure through Southeast Asia, a romantic getaway to Paris, or a family vacation to Disney World, buckle up and join me on this journey to demystify travel insurance. Your future self will thank you for it!

Ready to dive in? Let’s explore the world of travel insurance together.

What isn’t covered?

It’s essential to carefully read the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy and fully understand the policy wording to know what is and isn’t covered, as exclusions can vary between providers and policies. If you have specific concerns or needs, consider discussing them with your insurance provider to explore options for additional coverage.

In general, the following exclusions should be expected:

Pre existing medical conditions:

Many travel insurance policies exclude coverage for existing medical conditions, unless specified otherwise or with additional coverage purchased. If you need medical treatment whilst on holiday, then ensuring you have a policy with medical cover is vital.

High-risk activities:

Activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping, or racing in motorized vehicles may not be covered under standard travel insurance plans.

Travel to high-risk destinations:

Some policies may exclude coverage for travel to countries or regions with travel advisories or political unrest.

Extreme sports:

Coverage for extreme sports like mountaineering, heli-skiing, or scuba diving beyond certain depths may require additional specialized coverage.

Unapproved travel providers:

Travel insurance may not cover medical costs associated with bookings made through unlicensed or unauthorized travel providers.

Intoxication or illegal activities:

Incidents related to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or engaging in illegal activities, are typically not covered.

Losses due to negligence:

Damage or loss of personal possessions due to negligence, such as leaving items unattended, may not be covered.

Change of mind or cancellations without valid reasons:

Travel insurance typically does not cover cancellations or changes of plans made due to personal preferences or non-emergency reasons.

War or acts of terrorism:

Some policies may exclude coverage for incidents related to war, terrorism, or civil unrest.

What does travel insurance cover for medical expenses?

Travel insurance serves as a safety net for unforeseen medical emergencies while you’re away from home. Whether it’s a sudden illness, injury, or even a medical evacuation, having the right coverage can make all the difference in receiving prompt and quality care without worrying about the financial burden.

From doctor visits and hospital stays to prescription medications and emergency transportation, travel insurance steps in to cover these expenses, ensuring that you can focus on getting the care you need, wherever you are in the world.

Can travel insurance cover me for a medical condition I already have?

We have already mentioned that some travel insurance policies exclude coverage for existing medical conditions, but let’s delve into this a little deeper:

Existing medical conditions are health conditions that exist before you purchase medical cover through a travel insurance policy. These could range from chronic illnesses like diabetes or asthma to more serious conditions such as heart disease or cancer.

If you experience a medical issue related to an existing condition while traveling, such as a flare-up of symptoms or the need for treatment, the expenses may not be covered unless you have specifically purchased additional coverage or a rider that includes coverage emergency medical care for existing conditions.

However, some insurance providers offer options for travelers with existing conditions to obtain coverage. This might involve disclosing your existing conditions during the application process and paying an additional premium to ensure that those conditions are covered. In some cases, coverage for existing conditions may be subject to certain limitations, waiting periods, or exclusions, so it’s essential to review the policy details carefully.

If you have a pre existing medical condition, it’s crucial to be upfront and thorough when disclosing them to your insurance provider. Failing to disclose pre-existing conditions accurately could invalidate your coverage, leaving you vulnerable to significant expenses in the event of a medical emergency while traveling.

Before you buy travel insurance, consider consulting with a travel insurance specialist or your healthcare provider to understand your options and ensure that you have the appropriate coverage for your needs.

Best travel insurance policies

Determining the “best” travel insurance policy can vary depending on individual needs, preferences, and specific travel plans. However, several reputable insurance providers consistently receive positive reviews and offer comprehensive coverage options. Here are some of the top contenders in the market:

World Nomads:

Known for catering to adventurous travelers, World Nomads offers flexible policies with coverage for a wide range of activities, including adventure sports. They also provide their insurance expert 24/7 emergency assistance services.

Allianz Global Assistance:

Allianz is a well-established name in the insurance industry and offers a variety of travel insurance plans, including single-trip, multi-trip, and rental car coverage. They provide extensive coverage options and reliable customer service.

Travelex Insurance Services:

Travelex offers customizable travel insurance plans with options to add coverage for pre-existing conditions, trip cancellations, and more. Their policies cater to various budgets and travel needs.


InsureMyTrip is a comparison website that allows travelers to compare quotes and coverage from multiple insurance providers. This platform helps travelers find the best policy for their specific needs and budget.

AXA Assistance USA:

AXA offers travel insurance plans with comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellations, and emergency assistance services. They provide flexible options for both domestic and international travel.

Generali Global Assistance:

Formerly CSA Travel Protection, Generali offers a range of travel insurance plans with features like coverage for pre-existing conditions, trip interruptions, and baggage loss. They also provide 24/7 emergency assistance services.

Travel Guard:

Travel Guard offers customizable travel insurance plans with options for trip cancellations, for medical treatment, emergencies, and rental car coverage. They provide prompt claims processing and excellent customer support.

Does travel insurance always cover cancellation?

Travel insurance typically offers coverage for trip cancellation under specific circumstances outlined in the policy. However, it’s essential to understand that not all reasons for cancellation may be covered, and coverage can vary between insurance providers and policy types. Here are some common scenarios where trip cancellation cover may apply:

Illness or injury:

If you or a traveling companion become ill or injured before the trip and are unable to travel, travel insurance may cover the non-refundable trip costs, such as flights, accommodations, and tour bookings.

Family emergencies:

Coverage may extend to cancellation due to the death, illness, or injury of a close family member or travel companion.

Natural disasters or unforeseen events:

If your destination is affected by a natural disaster, severe weather, or other unforeseen events (such as terrorist attacks or civil unrest), travel and insurance companies may provide coverage for trip cancellation.

Job-related reasons:

Some policies offer coverage if you need to cancel your trip due to unexpected job loss, job relocation, or being required to work during your scheduled vacation time.

Travel supplier bankruptcy:

If your airline, cruise line, or tour operator goes bankrupt or ceases operations before your trip, travel insurance may cover the costs of cancellation.

When should you buy travel insurance?

Deciding when to purchase travel insurance can significantly impact the level of coverage you receive and your overall peace of mind. Ideally, it’s best to buy insurance as soon as you’ve made any non-refundable payments or deposits towards your trip. This ensures that you’re covered for unforeseen events that could potentially disrupt your travel plans, such as trip cancellations, delays, or interruptions.

Additionally, purchasing travel insurance early may also provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, as some policies require you to buy insurance within a specified time frame after making your initial trip deposit to qualify for this coverage. However, even if you’ve already made travel arrangements, it’s never too late to purchase travel insurance, as coverage can still be valuable for unexpected emergencies that may arise during your trip.

Policy highlights

We’ve already touched on many essential aspects of travel insurance in this blog post, but let’s recap some key policy highlights.

Firstly, trip cancellation coverage offers reimbursement for non-refundable trip expenses if you need to cancel due to covered reasons. Similarly, trip interruption coverage provides reimbursement for unused portions of your trip if it’s cut short due to covered reasons.

Emergency medical coverage ensures you’re protected against unexpected medical expenses while traveling, while baggage and personal belongings coverage offers reimbursement for lost or damaged items.

Additional features like travel delay coverage, missed connection coverage, and rental car damage coverage provide added peace of mind. And for flexibility, consider the optional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage.

Plus, with 24/7 emergency assistance services, you can rest assured knowing help is just a phone call away. These are just some of the policy highlights to consider when selecting the right medical insurance plan for your needs.

It’s important that you always check policy wording carefully, making sure you know what the policy covers, everything from financial protection to cruise cover, emergency medical expenses to hospital bills may be part of specialist cover or extra cover, meaning you may lose money if your insurance policy is not airtight.

Does travel insurance cover trip delays?

Different types of travel insurance typically offers coverage for trip delays under specific circumstances outlined in the policy. If your trip is delayed due to reasons beyond your control, such as severe weather, an airline strike, mechanical issues, or natural disasters, you may be eligible for coverage under your travel insurance policy.

Trip delay coverage typically provides reimbursement for reasonable additional expenses incurred as a result of the delay, such as accommodation, meals, and transportation costs. The coverage usually kicks in after a specified waiting period, which can vary significantly depending on the policy.

If your trip is delayed, it’s crucial to keep all receipts and documentation related to your additional expenses and contact your own insurance company or provider as soon as possible to initiate the claims process.

Does travel insurance cover my baggage and belongings?

Yes, travel insurance typically provides coverage for baggage and personal belongings in the event of loss, theft, or damage during your trip. This coverage helps reimburse you for the value of your belongings, up to the specified limits outlined in your policy.

Baggage and personal belongings coverage typically include items such as clothing, electronics, jewelry, and other personal items that you bring with you on your trip. Coverage may apply whether your belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged while in transit, at your accommodation, or during activities on your trip.

Will travel insurance cover me for sports and other activities?

Some travel insurance policies include coverage for a broad range of recreational activities, such as hiking, snorkeling, golfing, and skiing, among others. However, certain high-risk or extreme activities may not be covered under standard policies and may require additional specialized coverage or riders.

Activities that are commonly excluded from standard travel insurance coverage may include:

Extreme sports:

Activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, or base jumping may be considered high-risk and may require specialized coverage.


Participation in activities involving motorized vehicles, such as racing, jet skiing, or snowmobiling, may be excluded from standard coverage due to the increased risk of injury.

Professional or competitive sports:

Coverage for injuries sustained while participating in professional or competitive sports events may be excluded from standard policies.

Off-piste skiing or snowboarding:

Skiing or snowboarding outside of designated areas or off-piste may not be covered under standard policies due to the increased risk of avalanches and accidents.

If you plan to engage in any sports or activities during your trip, it’s crucial to review the policy documents carefully and confirm whether coverage is provided.

Personal Liability Cover

Personal Liability Cover is an essential component of travel insurance that provides protection in case you are held legally liable for causing injury or property damage to someone else during your trip. While you’re exploring new destinations or engaging in activities abroad, accidents can happen, and if you’re found responsible for causing harm to another person or damaging their property, you could face significant financial consequences.

Personal Liability Cover helps safeguard you against these potential liabilities by covering legal expenses, settlement costs, and compensation payments up to the specified limit of your policy.

Whether it’s accidentally knocking over a valuable artifact in a museum, causing injury to a fellow traveler in a crowded market, or damaging property while participating in recreational activities, having Personal Liability Cover ensures that you’re protected against unexpected financial burdens.

It’s a crucial aspect of travel insurance that provides peace of mind and financial security, allowing you to enjoy your travels worry-free.

So, is travel insurance worth it?

As we wrap up our exploration of travel insurance, one question may linger in your mind: Is travel insurance worth it?

The answer, quite simply, is a resounding yes. While it’s tempting to embark on your journey without considering the need for insurance, the reality is that unforeseen events can disrupt even the most carefully planned trips.

Be it an emergency medical problem, trip cancellations, or lost luggage and unexpected delays, travel insurance serves as your safety net, offering financial protection and peace of mind when you need it most.

It’s the unsung hero of travel, standing ready to shield you from the unexpected and ensure that your adventures are memorable for all the right reasons. So, the next time you’re planning a trip, don’t leave home without it.

Your future self will thank you for the invaluable protection and reassurance that travel insurance provides, so explore your insurance options and safe travels. It’s not worth trying to save money.