Do I Need Travel Insurance and what does it cover?

My day job was to advise people on their insurance requirements and one question I get asked often is “Do I need travel insurance?” and my answer is always an emphatic YES!

Travel Insurance like any other insurance is a necessity. Insurance for us is like a safety net for high-flying Trapeze artists at the circus. They most probably won’t miss their grip and fall to their death but they damn glad that net is there in case it happens. Better to have it and not use it, then need it and not have it is what I always say.

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What does it cover

  1. Accidents & Injury
  2. Trip Cancellation, interruption, and delays
  3. Canceled Flights
  4. Illness
  5. Lost Baggage
  6. Medical Emergencies & Repatriation
  7. Stolen Personal Belongings
  8. Natural Disasters
  9. Money Trouble with Agency Travels
  10. Death

Not all travel insurance policies are the same.

All insurance policies have specific benefits and exclusions so it’s common sense, imperative, and necessary to take the time to read the policy wording carefully. These vary depending on which country you are from, so please take the time and always contact the insurance company if you are unsure about anything.

Consumer Advocate has done an in-depth review of some of the best travel insurers and it’s definitely worth a read.

When to buy Travel Insurance

You can buy insurance up until the day you leave for a trip. Most policies take 24-48 hours to activate. They don’t start immediately! I recommend buying right after you book your flights or hotel rooms.

Even though you can wait until you leave, it’s best to get your travel insurance as soon as possible. Every day you wait, there’s a chance something could happen and you definitely cannot get travel insurance after something has gone wrong. You can’t buy car insurance after your crash your car, right? 🙁

Dont wait to get insurance. I’ve seen it happen too often. The second you know you are going somewhere and have the dates, buy travel insurance!

How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?

The highest recommended travel insurance is by far World Nomads. It’s the preferred insurance of Lonely Planet.

Most travel insurance companies require you to be in your home country to purchase, renew or extend your plan. With World Nomads you can buy cover online, even if you’ve already left home as well as extend your plan if your trip goes on longer than planned. With their 24 hour assistance on hand for help and advice on medical emergencies, as well as the ability to claim online while traveling, they offer the utmost flexibility. It’s designed for people who are always on the move, making it the nomad’s travel insurance. The plans they offer, cover all the essentials while keeping their prices competitive.

World Nomads provides insurance for travelers from over 140 countries and policy quotes depend on your country of residence, your age and where you’ll be traveling, so the cover provided and costs incurred will be different for each individual.

Fill in your details below to get a free quote. 

Tips for Making Travel Insurance Claims

  • Always Read the Fine Print – I know its boring, I know it is long but you know it is important.
  • Document Everything – Documentation is a must. Without documentation, your claim will not be reimbursed. Always best to keep the originals with you and a scanned copy for safekeeping.
  • Photograph Everything – Adds to the documentation and helps support your claim.

Why Buying Travel Insurance is a Must

While nobody wants to think about all the things that can go wrong when planning a trip, sometimes these things do happen. Travel insurance is the kind of thing you’ll only notice you don’t have when you really need it, so it’s definitely a good idea to take out coverage for these worst-case scenarios.

Get smart and get travel insurance.

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9 thoughts on “Do I Need Travel Insurance and what does it cover?”

  1. I love the analogy of having a safety net, we are rest assured that in case anything happen, we have an insurance plan that will serve as a safety net during the journey, and the insurance calculator on the website makes it very interesting to know exactly how much we will need to insure ourselves during traveling, from the home country to our destination.

  2. My wife and I had a bad experience this year traveling because we didn’t opt for the travel insurance. We use to fly all the time before 9/11. We loved the fact of getting on an airplane, and in an hour and a half, we would be sitting on the beach. Since 9/11 we didn’t fly anymore until this past June. 

    My son and his family and we decided to fly to St. Augustine. We had prepaid for everything months in advance. All we had to do was show up at the airport, and soon we would be at the beach. 

    The day came, and we left for the airport two hours ahead of departure. Well, to make a long story short. On our way to the airport, a semi-trailer jacked knifed and closed the interstate. Panicking my wife called the airport and the person on the line expresses we had an hour to board our plane. 

    The taxi dropped us off, and we beelined to the counter. And when we arrived at the ticket counter was vacant. Not a soul around, another phone call to the airline and her words, we are sorry, did you have any travel insurance? NO!! 

    I ended up losing all the money I had spent on the original trip. Also, my son made it and was en route to Florida, and if we still wanted to enjoy our vacation with our grandchildren, I had to pay for the plane tickets all over again. 



    • exactly Kevin! what you pay for is hardly anything compared to what you get in return. In case of an emergency travel insurance is the best investment when it comes to a holiday.

  3. We recently almost ran into a problem with this. We had planned a trip to California to see my ailing grandmother and the whole thing came together quite quickly. We did not purchase travel insurance and the flight out got canceled because of bad storms. Unfortunately, we would not get another chance to go out.

     Fortunately, the airlines understood our extenuating circumstances and gave us a refund, however, there was some doubt for a little bit. Lesson learned!

    • Hi Steve,

      You were fortunate…most airlines tend to be very by the book especially when it comes to refunds! I always say travel insurance is more important than your hotel rooms or flight tickets! never leave home without it!!!

  4. Hi Tarun – Very informative site, thank you.  My kids – all in their 20’s and 30’s really need this information as most will also be traveling with little ones.  I’m going to forward this as soon as I sign off here.  

    The insurance piece was also very useful as you tend to get conflicting info from various sites.

    Thank Again – Mike

  5. It’s always great to book a holiday, but so easy to forget to purchase travel insurance at the same time. You think bad things will never happen, but our luggage was lost when we went to Paris. It was great to know we had travel insurance to help us cover the costs of purchasing necessary items while we waited for our bags to show up. 

    • exactly Fiona! rather have the safety net and not use it, then need it and not have it! thats what i always say!

      hope you get your everytime you go on holiday Fiona?


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