Value of Travel Insurance

by Team Dinks on December 3, 2013 · 3 comments

I travel all the time.  I buy plane tickets like other people buy gas.  Thus far I’ve been pretty steadfast in opting out of travel insurance, thinking it isn’t worth the extra tack on in price.  Over the years I can’t say that I haven’t paid my fair share of fees for changes, the price to pay for travel.

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I am now a convert and vow to myself to always opt in for the extra travel insurance!

Some long time readers may know, I’m a bit of a globe trotter.  I was called with less than 18 hours notice to fly to the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan.  In doing so I abandoned plans for James and I to fly out to Lake Tahoe to spend Thanksgiving at our family cabin.  I figured I would suck it up and pay the penalty and rebook tickets in August.  I was already looking forward to the next trip.

Once I caught my breath and arrived in the Philippines I realized that the tickets were as good as worthless.  To change the tickets it would have cost $200 per ticket (per way), meaning $800 in change fees before any potential change in price.  I had booked one way for both of us with 50,000 miles and the other direction for around $650.

Plus there was the rental car that I rented on priceline to save a few bucks.  If I would have reserved via Hertz or the like I wouldn’t have paid in the advance and wouldn’t have been out $185 in addition.

So total lost was $835 plus 50k miles (probably valued at least $400), plus of course a week of vacation with family, which is priceless.  Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled.  Trip insurance would have probably cost me around $60 with the multiple tickets.

Lesson learned.  Hopefully others can benefit as well.

Do you buy travel insurance?  Any tips?

Safe travels,

Miel



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dillon December 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Be careful with travel insurance. Most won’t cover deciding not to go on the trip. I have bought it before and then need to cancel and they would only refund my money if it was a medical emergency, death or something else that I can’t remember…but not just because I couldn’t take the trip anymore.

2 Amy December 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I agree with Dillon–my parents had travel insurance on a trip to Ireland, but when it turned out they couldn’t go–the reason they couldn’t go was not covered, so they lost the money anyway.

3 FF December 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I usually skip it, but we just took a trip overseas and I used travel insurance for the first time. I was only interested in the medical/evacuation part and got a policy specific to those concerns. I figure insurance is for catastrophic stuff, and I’m willing to eat a few hundred bucks if I suffer from some bad timing (although your loss of 800+ would not be very palatable…).

It turns out our medical insurance pretty much covers most of what the medical evacuation insurance covers, but it was worth it to me to pay $100 or so to have an extra (faster) way out of a developing nation if anything happened.

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