The answer can depend for you and your family Two prime concerns on any trip or vacation are safety and comfort. A lot can go wrong once you’re on your way, from loss of property to serious personal injury. It may seem the common sense move to add travel insurance to your list of expenses, yet for many Americans it’s not something they feel they need to pack. Is this a wise decision with ever-increasing numbers of us travelling internationally? Diligence and awareness can contribute both to discerning whether you need some form of travel insurance and just exactly what incidents it covers.

Trip cancellation insurance

The unexpected can result in a trip not getting off the ground. Some typical reasons you may have to cancel (or return early) could be:

• Work reasons

• Health complications (unexpected or pre-existing)

• Injury or death

• Missed departure or connections

• Job loss

• Problems with your vacation provider

There are other factors which may or may not be covered.Some trip cancellation policies will allow you to recoup the full cost of your vacation, while others will refund the unused portion of the trip should you have already started. The Insurance Information Institute places the cost of this form of insurance in the region of five to seven percent of your total vacation cost.The Institute also recommends that when it comes to protecting your luggage against loss or damage to check with your airline first: they may already offer coverage in this regard.

Dependent on the cost of your travel arrangements you should weigh up if taking out insurance against cancellation would be worth the price of the plan. If cancellation is a financial loss you could bear then the added cost of insurance may not be worth your investment.

The second type of insurance: leaving the country

The argument in favor of purchasing travel insurance becomes stronger when considering international destinations. For many Americans travelling around the United States, their existing medical coverage should offer protection against any ill health or accidents. When in a different country, the rules and methods of care can vary greatly and American health insurance can be a foreign concept.

How domestic insurance may cover you internationally

It’s best to assume that your American medical care policy won’t protect you abroad. This way you can ask questions of your health insurance provider and see where you may need to supplement for safety. There is the Medigapplan: an extension to help provide assistance if you are ill or injured in a foreign country. It is of course recommended that you make sure just how much (and where) a Medigap policy will cover you before you go.

Travel health insurance abroad

Any injuries, hospital visits and accidents you may undergo on a foreign trip will be covered by this form of insurance. You may be careful enough to avoid injury, but accidents are impossible to predict as are the many reasons you may find yourself in a doctor’s office or in hospital. Foreign diseases are a genuine risk for any traveler and can affect even the most diligent.

The fine print of a policy will determine exactly what kind of care you’ll receive. It’s not a given that you will be taken to a care facility of any particular standard or reputation, nor that they will speak English when you get there. It’s in determining factors like these that consulting with an insurance specialist will pay off.

Emergency evacuation

If you’re planning a particularly active style of vacation like rock climbing, wind surfing, hiking or biking then insurance with this kind of protection is a wise decision. Such exploratory and higher risk trips may take you to out of the way or remote areas where you’re more likely to come to physical harm than if you were spending your vacation by the pool. It’s important to note that emergency evacuation is separate from other insurance and must be purchased on its own. If you choose to pass on it, you could be looking at evacuation costs of up to a quarter of a million dollars.

Typically, most holiday makers are in a city or within workable distance of one should any medical emergency arise. If you’re on a cliff face, a deserted path or in a cave in the middle of nowhere, you may need to be airlifted to the nearest medical facility or even transported all the way back home. This can be extremely costly so consider if it may be a possible danger on your trip and cover yourself accordingly.

Discover if you’re already covered

It’s possible the credit card you used to pay for your trip is already helping with insurance. Depending on your credit provider you may be automatically covered in the event of lost luggage or up to $100,000 full trip insurance. Check out this chartfor personal and business cards to see what you may have available and what restrictions may apply.

Your existing homeowner’s or even auto insurance may also offer certain types of protection while travelling. These are typically to guard against loss of your property, collisions and certain levels of accident. Again, this is dependent both on policy and personal provider so look into this and see what’s on offer.


To make an effective decision on whether you need travel insurance you need to be informed. The terms of any existing policies, your personal health and family situation and the conditions present in foreign countries will all contribute toward your choice. Ask yourself how expensive your trip is and how much you stand to lose if anything goes wrong. A great resource for foreknowledge is the Department of State’s Travel to High-Risk Areasinformation page. Be realistic when it comes to all possible risks and decide what’s best for your comfort and safety.

In the end, even if it is never cashed in, insurance never fails to provide peace of mind. For many policy holders that’s worth the extra cost.

Avante Insurance is a South Florida family owned and operated insurance agency providing an array of insurance services to meet customers’ individual needs. If you’re preparing to take a trip, you can call us at 305-648-7070, request an insurance quoteor contact uswith any questions or comments.