Whether planning travel for business or pleasure, there are several decisions to get made. Luxury or Economy? Direct route or stop over? Peak season or off season? It can be a high priced business, and it is natural to find ways to cut many of the costs associated with travel. However, effortlessly economy measures comes a component of risk: the cheaper hotel could be in an area it is not easy to get to, early flight may mean you have to catch a costly taxi towards the airport because or trains options are more limited within the small hours. These are the small risks: balance larger financial risks are non-refundable deposits or emergency changes of plan as a result of family illness, weather events or earthquakes. These risks might be managed with prudent choice of a travel insurance policy.
Consider for example the large earthquake which struck Christchurch, New Zealand next year. As a result many travelers had their travel plans interrupted. The closure of Christchurch Airport impacted customers have been arriving or departing via Christchurch. Adequate holiday insurance would cover reasonable additional travel and accommodation costs incurred due to travel delay brought on by the closure from the airport, including costs associated with any missed connections. The cost to your traveler without travel cover could potentially total several thousand dollars as soon as you take into account changes to search plans and actual loss in physical belongings. Add in any potential injuries and associated costs of medical, and the costs skyrocket further still.
Another factor when exercising your personal risk/benefit ratio are your individual circumstances: should you be leaving an elderly parent both at home and are travelling with young children your circumstances are somewhat different to some 23 years old backpacking solo. Say you’re on cruising vacation in Fiji, whenever you receive news that a family member has had a serious accident. If you have an appropriate policy, your holiday insurance will reimburse you for the costs associated with cancelling your trip as well as your extra expenses to have home quickly. Likewise, should your 6 year old falls off their bike the evening before you leave and requires surgery to re-set a broken bone, holiday insurance will cover the costs associated with cancelling beforehand.
A sensible course of action would be to consult with your insurance agent which, if any, of your existing policies will take care of you while travelling. Your expensive laptop could be covered by all your family members insurance even should you be away from home. Your plastic card may have some travel cover coverage for unexpected events such as your travel company going bankrupt. Your airline may cover lost luggage. You will then be able to work out the location where the gaps within your coverage are and which contingencies you have to plan for when buying your travel insurance.
Ultimately, before deciding if travel cover is really worth it you should work out your personal comfort level while using risks related to travel along with a realistic assessment of your respective ability to meet the costs associated with unexpected events, bearing in mind that if these costs were to include medical evacuation or personal liability, they may be extensive.