77% of US Travelers Don’t Plan to Buy Travel Insurance. Here’s Why That’s a Mistake

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Travel has gotten expensive these days. And it’s also gotten a lot less pleasant.

There was a point in time when airlines actually seemed to care about offering solid customer service. These days, you’re lucky if you book a ticket and actually manage to get on your flight without a hassle or delay. And forget perks like free in-flight meals — those are a thing of the past for domestic flights.

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But traveling these days doesn’t just mean dealing with aggravation. There’s a host of things that could go wrong in the course of your trips. And that’s why travel insurance is such an important thing to have.

In a recent report by Insuranks, 77% of consumers do not plan to purchase travel insurance for an upcoming trip. And that’s surprising given that 71% of those planning trips are worried about delays and cancellations.

But hassles like those aside, travel insurance could be a huge money-saver for you, despite the cost of putting it in place. And that’s why you should really consider springing for a policy.

Protection from catastrophic costs

It’s one thing for an airline to lose your luggage or delay your flight, thereby forcing you to incur some added costs (like extra lodging for a night or having to buy new clothing while away). But it’s another thing to face thousands of dollars in medical bills if you’re injured abroad or fall ill and your US health insurance doesn’t kick in.

That’s why travel insurance is an essential thing to have these days. Let’s remember that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and is still a global problem. The last thing you want is to get sick abroad and end up having to cover the cost of medical care.

But to be clear, travel insurance is by no means a COVID-era necessity. You never know when a no-name virus might put you in the hospital, or when an injury might require surgery. Travel insurance policies commonly cover you for costs like these, and passing up that coverage could mean bearing the cost of very expensive medical care.

What if your credit card offers protection?

You may have a travel rewards credit card (or another type of credit card) that offers some built-in protection for things like lost baggage and flight delays. But chances are, your credit card won’t offer nearly as much protection as a full-fledged travel insurance policy will — especially when it comes to needing medical care abroad.

That’s why it pays to look at travel insurance if you’re planning a trip. Many of these policies are quite affordable relative to the coverage they offer, and if you build that cost into your budget from the start, you may have an easy time swinging it.

Even if buying travel insurance means having to skimp elsewhere — for example, not upgrading to a better hotel room or suite — it could more than pay for itself if you wind up with medical bills abroad. So if you’re hesitant to shell out $150 for a policy, think about what your finances might look like if you were to get stuck with a $15,000 hospital bill instead.

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