Travel Insurance? Should I buy It?



I often get asked whether travel insurance is needed especially on bus trips.  My answer is that the insurance is so cheap why would you not want to buy the insurance.  Most bus trip insurance ranges from $59 to $89 dollars and covers you up to about a thousand dollars.

I recently had a couple who had paid the bus company a little over a thousand dollars per person to go on a trip to Canada.  Yes it is one of the more expensive trips.  They had declined to buy the insurance I am sure thinking they were in good health.

Two days before the trip the wife came down with a severe case of the flu. They could not go.  So they lost their two thousand dollars.  The insurance would have cost less than two hundred dollars for both of them.

One time my wife and I was going to China on a Chamber or Commerce tour.  I rarely get sick so I did not think it was necessary to cover the cost of the trip which was quite good at only three thousand dollars for both of us.  I think the Chinese government may have been paying some of the cost.  Anyway the day before we left I became so dizzy I could not sit up.  The doctors told me if I went to China I would end up in a hospital over there and that might not be too good.  So I lost the three thousand dollars.

Most bus companies will give your money back and the insurance company will even refund your money back if you cancel several weeks before the trip.

So my advice is to wait and buy the insuance at the time of final payment so you don’t have to make an investment too far out.


The short answer is yes you always need to purchase insurance when you plan to go over seas.

The cost of the insurance will be about ten percent of the total cost of your trip.  So if you trip cost around five thousand dollars you can expect to pay around five hundred dollars for the insurance.  The cost of the insurance also depends on your age. So the younger you are the less you will pay verses someone who is a senior will end up paying more.

Make sure you include the airfare, hotel, tours and any item where you will not be able to get a refund if you have to cancel your trip.

Also remember you will not be getting back your premenium.

If you have some ailments you may want to buy insurance as soon as you book your trip.  Most companies, if you do this, will let you include any preexisting ailment in the policy.  If you try and buy the same policy at a later date it will probably be excluded.

If you plan on taking a cruise you can either buy the insurance from the cruise company or you can go out on the open market and get quotes.  Many times the quote from the cruise company may be a little higher so it is a good policy to always check.

When traveling and you have a problem overseas make sure you have the number from the insurance company with you and call them.  Explain the situation and they will provide guidance on what you should do.

One thing I have learned over the years is that you always want to keep your receipts if you buy a replacement item. Without the receipt you will not reimbursed.

If you luggage is delayed and you policy says you can be reimbursed up to $300.00 for clothes.  You actually have to go out and buy the clothes and show the receipt.  One time a friend of mine ask for the $300.00 but he just borrowed some clothes from a friend until his suitcase arrived.  His claim was denied because he did not buy any clothes.

Also it is a good idea to check with your credit card company and see if they provide any insurance as well. So do but many do