Should I Get Travel Insurance?

Here's why you should get traveler's insurance before heading abroad.  

Man with a crutch and a suitcase, travel insurance, illus. by Ron Chan, image

It might make sense to get travel insurance, just in case.

Nobody really needs traveler’s insurance—until something goes wrong. And if you’re heading overseas, a lot of things can fall apart, often in hugely expensive ways, says Heather Hunter, a spokesperson for the AAA national office.

The scenarios are easy to imagine: Eat some bad shrimp in Honduras. Twist a knee on Kilimanjaro. Lose a filling in Thailand. In such instances, you’ll be glad you have medical insurance that covers international care.

But that’s not all. If you’ve booked a pricey tour or cruise and your boss suddenly cancels your vacation time, optional trip-interruption insurance can save you a lot of money.

No insurance package is right for everyone—you have to consider your existing coverage and the risks you’re willing to take—so Hunter suggests seeking professional advice. “A travel counselor can help you find the right insurance to go along with the right vacation,” she says.

Illustration by Ron Chan

This article was first published in July 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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