Ask Yourself These 6 Questions Before Skipping Travel Insurance

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I’ve traveled to more than 20 countries, and thankfully I’ve never had a serious emergency (knock on wood). But I’m still glad I purchased travel insurance for some of those trips, just in case.

Trip insurance reimburses you if something bad happens. If the airline loses your luggage, a bout of food poisoning sends you to the doctor, or you break a bone whitewater rafting, travel insurance could pick up the tab.

Your exact coverage depends on the insurance plan, but you’ll be protected in an emergency. Because of this, some people believe travel insurance is necessary every time you travel.

As a budget traveler, I wouldn’t go quite so far. If you’re wondering whether travel insurance is worth it, ask yourself these six questions.

1. How much are you investing in your trip?

If you’re shelling out big bucks for your vacation, you might consider getting trip insurance. That way, you won’t get hit with a major financial loss in case of an emergency. Without an insurance policy, all your deposits could be lost for good.

“I tell my clients the only time you do not get travel insurance is when you can walk away from the amount you spent without being mad about losing the money,” said travel agent Suzanne Haire.

Of course, what constitutes a major expense is different for everyone. If you’re investing thousands of dollars into a vacation, you might want to insure yourself against the worst. But if you’re taking a cheap flight and crashing on a friend’s couch, you might choose to forego a trip insurance plan.

2. How long are you traveling for?

The length of your trip can also help determine whether or not to buy trip insurance. When I traveled for five days to Iceland, I didn’t worry about getting a comprehensive insurance plan. But when I spent five months backpacking around Southeast Asia, I made sure to purchase coverage.

The major reason for this was that my regular health insurance wouldn’t have covered overseas expenses. If you’re also traveling abroad long-term, it’s financially risky to do so without health coverage.

Anyone spending weeks abroad — or even living in another country — should consider getting a travel insurance plan with health benefits. You don’t want to get stuck footing a hospital bill you can’t afford.

3. Do you plan to bike, ski, or jump out of airplanes?

If you’re an adventure junkie, you might opt for some coverage, especially if you’re traveling out of range for your regular health insurance plan.

“When my British boyfriend traveled to Canada on a working holiday he was very glad he had travel insurance, because he fell off a bike and broke both of his wrists,” said Kelly Dunning, travel writer at Global Goose.

“If he had not had travel insurance coverage, his medical treatment would have cost us nearly five thousand Canadian dollars! Fortunately, he was covered and we were reimbursed for the cost.”

No one wants to spend their vacation in a hospital. But if you find yourself there, you’ll be grateful you’re insured.

However, you might not be as concerned if you’re planning to stay on the beaten path. “My rule of thumb is, if we’re going on a trip just to do the usual touristy things like shopping, sightseeing, and eating, then I won’t get it,” said JB Macatulad, travel blogger at Will Fly for Food. “But if we plan on doing anything remotely physical like skiing, bungee jumping, or even going on a city bike tour, then I think it’s a must.”

As much fun as adventure activities are, they also open up a greater risk of injury. Trip insurance can cover hospital visits and treatments. Plus, many plans come with 24-hour medical assistance to help you locate the best services.

4. Does the weather report look grim?

You’re probably not a storm chaser, but you might be traveling to an area where the weather report looks iffy. Travel insurance can provide coverage in case of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or snow storm. Some plans even cover emergency evacuation in extreme circumstances.

“I got stuck in a blizzard during a trip to Iceland and could not continue down the road to my hotel, so I had to book another hotel to have a place to stay,” said writer and traveler Lindsey Danis. “The insurance company I worked with reimbursed us for the last-minute hotel booking, our international phone calls, and our meals while our trip was delayed.”

If you’re worried about inclement-weather, look for a plan with this type of coverage.

5. Do you already have the coverage you need?

Travel insurance companies aren’t the only ones that provide coverage for incidents that happen during vacation. Some health insurance plans offer reimbursement for medical costs incurred while overseas.

Select credit cards also offer protection for trip cancellations, lost bags, and rental car insurance. The Capital One Venture card, for example, offers lost luggage reimbursement, travel assistance, and collision coverage on qualifying rental cars.

Before purchasing trip insurance, check with your domestic insurance plans and credit card companies. You might find you’re already adequately protected.

6. Will you stress out without trip insurance?

Although you can weigh the pros and cons of trip insurance, sometimes the decision comes down to one simple factor: peace of mind. If you’re going to worry without trip insurance, purchasing a plan could be worth it. It will relieve your concerns so you can enjoy your vacation.

“I’ve purchased travel insurance for three trips,” said Danis. “While I’ve only used it one time, it was worth the expense for peace of mind … you never know what could happen.”

Is travel insurance worth it?

The cost of a vacation can add up quickly, and you might not want to add another expense. But a small cost upfront for trip insurance could be worth it, especially if the worst does happen.

If you run into an emergency in another country, you could end up thousands of dollars in debt. What started as a fun vacation could turn into a financial nightmare.

Since there are lots of insurance plans, you can choose the policy with coverage options that meet your needs. If you’re looking to keep costs down, check out these six affordable trip insurance plans for budget travelers.

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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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