While travel insurance can be pricey, buying a policy is the best way to ensure you dont lose money when a trip is canceled or interrupted.
Plans vary from carrier to carrier, but most offer coverage that kicks in if weather, illness or unforeseen events interrupt your travel plans or ruin them in some way.
If youre looking for ways to save on this important coverage, its important to know what to consider as you look for a policy. Its also crucial to know when travel insurance is a smart ideaand when you may not even need a policy in the first place. Consider these tips before you take steps to insure your next trip:
Before you buy certain types of travel insurance, you might want to see if your credit card offers any coverage for free. Many rewards cards offer trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary auto rental coverage and baggage delay coverage (among other types of insurance) as a cardholder perk.
If your card doles out these benefits for free, theres no reason to pay for them. Make sure to read your cards terms and conditions to see what coverage, if any, is offered for free and if levels are adequate for your needs.
While you can typically tack on travel insurance when you purchase airfare, a hotel stay or a travel package of any kind, these add-on policies arent always the best deal. Keep in mind that you can purchase your own travel insurance policy from a company like Allianz Travel Insurance or World Nomads.
Buying your own policy lets you tailor your coverage to your exact needs, and you can make sure youre getting the best price by shopping around.
While you can buy tailored travel insurance policies that cover the intricacies of individual trips, you can also purchase annual travel insurance policies. If you travel a lot, these policies are generally a good deal and a lot less expensive than buying travel insurance for each vacation you take.
Know Which Trips Need to Be Insured
If youre purchasing a trip that is refundablemeaning youll get your money back if you cancelthen you dont need to buy travel insurance in the first place. Keep in mind that some hotel bookings and even flights can be refundable, making the value of travel insurance negligible at best.
Only Buy Coverage You Need
Last but not least, make sure youre only buying travel insurance to cover the components of your trip that need coverage. If youre not renting a car, for example, you wont need auto rental coverage. Further, you dont need costly international travel insurance coverage if youre taking a domestic trip.
By tailoring your travel insurance policy to your needs and taking advantage of free coverage offered through your credit card, you can avoid overpaying for travel insurance and save money on the total cost of your trip.