Travel Insurance — How Much Do You Need?

shutterstock_126628478You’ve already decided that you need travel insurance for your next big trip. You’ve also identified comparison sites that offer the best overall value in terms of savings, service, and other criteria. But, you’re still left with that gnawing question: just how much travel insurance do you really need?

In the entire travel insurance selection and purchase process, this may be the most vexing question of all. Should you get medical evacuation coverage for $100,000 or for $200,000? Or is $200,000 way too much? Should you get coverage for full reimbursement if your cruise is cancelled? Or would partial reimbursement be sufficient? Should you get insurance that covers you if your boss cancels your vacation at the last minute? Should you consider other issues you haven’t even thought about?

The short answer to all of these questions is: “It depends.” But, like most short answers, this usually isn’t very helpful.

Weighing cost/coverage trade-offs carefully and thoughtfully can take a little time. In the end, though, it can be very illuminating. And, after you work through the process once or twice, everything really does get easier and faster.

As you go through this process, here are 4 tips I’ve found to be extremely helpful when I’ve bought insurance for myself or worked with clients:

  1. Consider your overall trip cost. There are all kinds of ways to see Europe, for example. You can be a student who sleeps in youth hostels and gets around the continent on a Eurail pass. Or you can be a well-to-do couple doing everything “first cabin” from expensive hotels to first-class airline tickets. Obviously, the student doesn’t need top-of-the-line insurance. But it might make real sense for the couple, who could lose thousands of dollars if they need to cancel or interrupt their trip at the last minute.
  2. Consider your destination. This can dramatically affect the amount of certain kinds of coverage you need such as medical and emergency evacuation. The cost of being evacuated from a country in Asia, for example, can be as much as $200,000 more than the cost of an evacuation from Mexico. The cost and quality of medical care can vary widely in different parts of the world, too.
  3. Check out the cost differences between different kinds of plans. At, for example, we’ve organized plans according to “Good,” “Better,” and “Best” coverage from 5 different nationally known insurance carriers. This, in effect, gives shoppers on our site 15 different choices. Not only can they compare economy and premium plans but they can also compare similar plans from several different insurers. The more you compare, the better you understand what’s important to you and the risks you want to be sure to cover.
  4. Read plans carefully so you know exactly what you are (and are not) buying. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” But, coverage better suited to your specific personal travel needs and preferences is in the details too. Typical travel insurance policies contain 4 types of trip protection: trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay and missed connection. The level of coverage in each category can vary widely.

No one wants to buy too much insurance. At the same time, however, no one wants to learn—in the middle of a crisis—that they don’t have enough coverage. Doing the research can help you save and travel with a great deal more confidence.

If you would like to learn more about any of these subjects—even if you’ve already purchased travel insurance from someone else—feel free to call us at 1-877-219-8169 or email us at We’re always happy to help people better understand their travel insurance options so they can get the most for their money and feel confident that the coverage they have is right for them.

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