Travel suppliers try to up-sell you to take a trip cancellation plan when you book travel with them. If you are like most travelers you are not sure if this is a good idea or not. The answer depends on your personal needs. A person who is going to spend 6 months to a year abroad has a totally different insurance need than a person making a single short vacation trip.
It is a good idea to plan for the unexpected and this is the reason for your travel agent suggesting the purchase of travel insurance. (Of course, they get paid for it just like they do for booking the trip). Again there is nothing wrong with their suggestion or your purchase of trip cancellation insurance. I personally have purchased it at times and at other times have not. When my wife had been ill and we had a 3 week trip planned for a visit to China a few years back, I felt it was a necessity to get travel insurance. At the time of the trip she was fine and we did not need to use the trip cancellation insurance, but we were glad we had it. Whether you need or buy the insurance is a matter of personal preference and how important to you the completion of your planned trip is.
Travel insurance serves many purposes and should be designed to meet your individual needs. Insurance plans are most commonly gotten by travelers going on single trips like cruises, tours, flights, etc. For this purpose, a traveler usually gets a Package Plan which covers trip cancellation, baggage, medical, dental, emergency evacuation, baggage delay, accidental death coverage, and often additional items. But there are other additional types of travel plans you might wish to consider.
- Travel Medical Plans – Similar to the package plans but cover cover travel up to a year in length
- Flight Accident Plans – Flight accident plans, usually for a single trip
- Multi-Trip Medical Plans – Covers multiple trips, with individual trips having length restrictions
- Medical Evacuation Plans – Provide emergency medical evacuation to an appropriate care facility
- Business Package Plans – For individual business travelers and small companies with traveling employees
- Major Medical Travel Plans – For travelers going abroad for at least 6 months who need more permanent insurance
- Accidental Death Plans – Usually written for a specific trip
Each type of insurance may be underwritten by various insurance companies. You can research the types individually, looking up each insurance company who offers a particular type (not the best use of your time when preparing for a trip), or you can use a service which offers comparative plans from several insurers.
An example of such a service is InsureMyTrip.Com. At the time of writing this article, they represented 18 different companies from which you could get comparative quotes. You can get quotes and actually purchase the different types of travel insurance from this site or you can use it to gather further information. The worst that can happen is that you become more educated on travel insurance.
Good luck on your travels and may the wind always be at your back.