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Does Travel Insurance Ever Make Sense?

Regular readers know that I am a minimalist when it comes to add-on protections like warranties. In recent years, however, I have been opting for travel insurance on my international trips. I have never had a claim until my recent trip to Ecuador (my laptop and cell phone were stolen while I was riding a coach bus). I have to admit I was surprised at what happened when I submitted my claim - watch videos below.


One important aspect of buying travel insurance is to be sure and understand your coverage. The site I personally use is The ability to shop various types and levels of coverage and see side-by-side comparisons is extremely useful. There is no one-size-fits-all approach you can take to travel insurance (also, I would not buy your coverage as an add-on when booking your flight or hotel, since you want a policy to cover the entire trip). The travel insurance I used on this trip and that did pay me was TravelGuard.

While trip cancellation due to illness has been a bedrock feature of travel insurance, there are many more benefit options available. Coverage for driving a vehicle, medical care, emergency medical transport, and theft protection, are a few examples. I can't emphasize enough, however, how important it is for you to thoroughly review the policy you are considering. There are 'loopholes' such as pre-existing medical conditions, the definition of immediate family member, what precise circumstances qualify for reimbursement for the cancellation of a trip, and more.

I am using travel insurance for all of my international travel, but would also consider it for a more expensive domestic trip as well. Have you had a good or bad experience with travel insurance? Share your experience below and we can start a conversation.

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James L. Paris 
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