Home News Travel I’ve never found travel insurance to be worth the money, so I do 3 things to protect my trip instead

I’ve never found travel insurance to be worth the money, so I do 3 things to protect my trip instead

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I’ve never found travel insurance to be worth the money, so I do 3 things to protect my trip instead

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  • There are too many things that matter to me that travel insurance surprisingly doesn’t cover.
  • The cost of travel insurance is often higher than just booking hotels and airlines with flexible policies.
  • When I book travel with my credit card, I get reimbursed if anything goes wrong with my trip.

One of my biggest concerns when I travel is how much money I can save along the way. Not only do I spend quality time researching discounted airfare and hotel accommodations, but I like to make sure I’m getting the best deals available, even if that means waiting until the last minute to book my trip.

But over the years, I’ve found myself in different situations, from getting the flu the day before a trip to being at home because of a hurricane, that made me decide to opt in and pay extra for travel insurance. After doing it a few times and spending anywhere from $75 to $125 to cover different aspects of a trip, I decided it’s something I’ll never do again.

Here are the reasons why I’m done with travel insurance.

1. Cancellation coverage is limited

The first few times I purchased travel insurance, I didn’t read the fine print. I thought travel insurance covered more than it did. But it turns out, most basic trip cancellation travel insurance policies don’t cover the things I often have to cancel my trips for, like a change of plans or the common cold. Usually, reasons such as a death of a family member, jury duty, or a sudden job loss are the standard reasons covered.

If you do want to have more universal coverage, you’ll end up paying more, and sometimes only get back just a portion of what you paid for the trip, especially if you cancel within 48 hours of your departure.

2. I travel so much that it gets expensive

As someone who takes up to a dozen trips every year, getting travel insurance per trip adds up. The average cost of travel insurance is anywhere between 4% to 8% of the cost of your trip. If a vacation is going to cost me $2,500, I might have to pay an additional $300 for the insurance.

If I were to opt-in for travel insurance for all of my trips, or even half of them, I’d be paying a few thousand dollars a year for this protection. It’s a cost that doesn’t seem worth it to me.

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3. There are too many things it doesn’t cover

When I was recently considering getting travel insurance for a week-long trip to Montana, I started reading the details of different policies only to notice just how many loopholes there are.

While it might seem like these insurance plans are covering you for anything, at any time, some have fine print that exclude certain occurrences and activities. For example, one plan I looked at said it wouldn’t cover a sprained ankle on a walk or hike.

It made me think just how much of a headache it would be to have to file a claim only for it to be rejected because of a loophole I didn’t know about or recognize when signing up for the policy.

How do I protect my trip without travel insurance?

1. I get protection through my credit card

Instead of spending an extra couple of hundred dollars on travel insurance, I decided to maximize the offerings that are already provided to me through my credit card.

If I purchase a trip using my travel credit card (Insider reviews the best travel rewards credit cards), I’m offered up to $1,500 in reimbursements for non-refundable trip expenses if the trip is canceled for unforeseen circumstances. Before purchasing additional travel insurance, look into what your credit cards offer first.

2. I find friendly hotel cancellation policies

When searching for hotel deals, I will only book accommodations that allow me to cancel as close to the travel date as possible, usually within 48 or 24 hours of a stay.

While this might knock some potential low-price hotel deals off the table for consideration, I find that refundable deals are only $25 to $50 more for the night, which is worth paying for the option to cancel close to the arrival date.

3. I book flexible airline tickets

One of my biggest non-negotiables when traveling is my airfare. When I’m taking a vacation or even traveling for work, I want to be able to change the time or date of my flight. Most travel insurance policies won’t let you make those changes unless there’s an emergency. So instead of paying the fees for that, I only book flexible airline tickets that allow for any-time cancellation (and either refund you the money or deposit the airfare into your account as a travel credit) or let me make last-minute changes to the date or time of the flight.

While these tickets have cost me $50 to $75 more each way than a standard non-refundable ticket would, if I know there’s a chance I’m going to make a change, having the flexibility is worth the cost of paying for it.

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