We see one question asked frequently by those shopping for travel insurance: Is buying travel insurance worth it?
For those who have never purchased a travel insurance plan before and for those who have never experienced a travel mishap, it is an understandable question.
While most travel professionals will recommend buying travel insurance for every trip, most travelers do not experience a claimable event while on their trip. So why do they recommend it?
The best way to demonstrate the value of having travel insurance for all of your trips is through real customer stories from people who had severe travel emergencies. Even though most travelers will not need to file a claim, travel insurance helps you
to be prepared for the unexpected (just like any other kind of insurance you buy: auto, homeowners, etc.).
These stories are based on real Arch RoamRight travelers and their travel experiences:
Diabetic Complications on an Antarctic Cruise
A traveler in his seventies was on a once-in-a-lifetime Antarctic cruise when he experienced high blood sugar, seizures, and an inability to walk or stand – all major complications from diabetes.
The traveler had to be airlifted to a small U.S. research hospital in Antarctica with a 6-bed hospital. While there, insured’s condition was determined to be acute, severe, and life-threatening, however the small Antarctic hospital was unable
to provide adequate care.
Once stabilized, an urgent aircraft medical evacuation to Australia had to be ordered to get him the care he needed. The insured was treated in Australia and, once deemed medically fit to fly, was transported to his home state to finish his recovery.
Emergency medical evacuations in remote areas can end up being costly. The insured paid $72* for his travel insurance policy. The total amount covered by his policy ended up being more than $215,000.
Hip Fracture in Remote Kenya
While touring remote Kenya, a traveler in his seventies suffered a fall, breaking his hip and leaving him unable to walk.
Because he was in a remote area of Kenya, finding adequate medical care was a challenge. Initially, the traveler was taken to a regional hospital where it was deemed he would require surgery to repair the fracture. However, since the local hospital
did not have the appropriate facilities or expertise needed to complete the surgery, the insured needed to be moved to a hospital that could support the surgery as well as the post-surgery recovery.
The traveler’s condition was monitored locally for several days until he was deemed stable to fly. He was relocated to Nairobi, Kenya, where he received a nurse escort who accompanied him on a return flight to his home state. Once home, the traveler
received the necessary surgery and treatment.
This traveler purchased a travel insurance plan for $153*. The total claimed amount covered by travel insurance was more than $36,000.
Epic Bike Crash in Rural Peru
In Peru, a traveler in her fifties was biking in a remote area when a wrong turn in rough terrain left her with significant injuries, including several broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
When the traveler was taken to a local hospital, it was quickly discovered that the hospital was not equipped to handle such a severe case and a potentially long term traveler. Therefore, once she was deemed stable, the insured had to be evacuated
to a regional hospital with better treatment capabilities.
The total cost of the claim, including local stabilization, regional treatment and require transport via air ambulance exceeded $110,000. The travel insurance policy cost the traveler $495*.
*Coverage costs vary based on age, trip length, and benefits selected. Based on a true story. Some details have been changed for privacy.
While the location of these real life stories may seem extreme for some travelers, it’s easy to see that complications from medical problems can happen anywhere – not just Antarctica. An accidental fall can happen just as easily in the United States as
it can in Kenya, and a bike crash can happen anywhere. Paying for treatment of these injuries and arranging medical evacuations to the insured’s home would likely have cost substantially more than any of the insureds paid for their travel insurance
There are a number of travel insurance coverages that are important to know as you compare plans and look for the one that best fits your needs. Keep in mind, that as travel plans may change, so may your coverage needs. A road trip to a nearby city may
warrant different coverage than an international adventure trip.
The benefits and features outlined below are only a small sample of the features you can find in a travel insurance plan, and they vary from plan to plan. You can read our post “What is Travel Insurance”
to learn more about other types of coverages that are included in many travel insurance plans. You can click on each listing for a more detailed description of each travel insurance feature, including exclusions and limits.
Travel insurance also has other benefits, such as coverage for lost or delayed luggage, missed connections, accidental death and dismemberment, and rental cars. So even if a traveler doesn’t expect to experience a major medical emergency (and who does?),
you still may be affected by a lessor, yet still inconvenient, situation.
How Travel Insurance Works with a Death in the Family: Unfortunate circumstances can affect
travel plans, requiring travelers to return home unexpectedly or to cancel a trip altogether. Find out how travel insurance can help.
Top 10 Travel Insurance Plan Questions Answered: We see a lot of common questions from our customers
about travel insurance, so we decided to take the ten most commonly asked questions and provide answers.
RoamRight's Marketing Communications Specialist, Victoria Zidwick, has worked in the travel insurance industry for more than five years. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has a handful of international travel experiences.Victoria's travel experiences have changed in recent years, as her family grows and she is learning the ins and outs of traveling with children. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn or follow her onTwitter or Google Plus.
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