Alternatives to Travel Insurance
Paying for a trip usually requires a considerable investment of time and money. If something should happen that prevents you from taking your trip, travel insurance can help you recover some or all of the money you’ve spent.
Travel insurance is a bundled product from a private insurance company that covers trips you pay for but don’t take for a variety of reasons. But you may be able to save money by omitting travel insurance if you can take advantage of an alternative type of protection.
Airfare is often one of the biggest expenses of a trip. Some airlines and travel aggregator websites offer flight insurance, which is an added fee that allows you to cancel or change your flight without incurring the rebooking and cancellation fees that would otherwise apply.
Flight insurance is available on a per-ticket basis, which means you’ll need to purchase separate coverage for each person in your travel group.
To avoid the cost of travel insurance, you can simply make your travel arrangements by using refundable bookings. While most airfare is not refundable, hotels often allow free cancellation with 48-hours’ notice.
Other arrangements, such as tours, event tickets and dinner reservations, may also be easy to cancel at no cost with a phone call. Look into the cancellation policy of each item you book for your trip and note the cancellation policies, as well as the cancellation phone numbers, so you can protect yourself as much as possible should you need to call off the trip at the last minute.
The credit card that you use to book a trip may offer reimbursement for canceled travel plans. Not all cards offer this type of protection but many do, especially cards with high credit limits and extensive perks or rewards programs.
If you have multiple credit cards, use the one with the highest insurance limits to book your trip. You can also apply for a new credit card that has a strong insurance program specifically to pay for your trip, keeping your costs together for maximum protection and ease of accounting.
Some standard health insurance policies extend protection if you travel, even outside your healthcare provider’s network or to another country.
Coverage for health-related costs makes up a significant portion of most travel insurance, so if you already have coverage through your individual or employer-sponsored plan, you might end up double paying if you purchase a travel insurance policy.
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