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Travel Insurance - Do You Buy It?


1000+ Posts
I've booked a Panama Canal Cruise for next February, and I have to decide whether to add the travel insurance. The cost for the 'cancel any time up to the day of cruising and medical evacuation included' coverage is $179 per person. They have a cheaper option ($139 pp) but it's more limited, and if I'm in for a penny, I may as well be in for a pound, right?

We've never done trip insurance before, but as we get older, and as travel gets more complicated, I'm seriously considering it this time. We're flying out on SWA, so I'm not too worried about the airline going out of business like Norwegian Air, and we're flying to San Diego the day before the cruise, but still, things can happen. The cruise line is Holland America, so again, not too concerned about them going under, but who knows what else might happen. And should one of us suffer some sort of medical emergency, those arrangements could be costly. Both of us are healthy and fit, but again, you just never know.

What about you - do you buy travel insurance, and if so, have you found it to be as useful as you'd hoped when you had to make a claim?


New Member
Depends on how expensive the trip is, but I've bought for the last few trips where I had a lot of non-refundable costs. Worked out when I had to cancel Sicily last year. Not so much for my health as my parents (and last year Matt's mom). I've also bought a MedJet emergency evacuation annual policy after my brother had a near-fatal accident last year. The cost to get his wife home was several thousand dollars, and they were just in Florida! Policy is really very cheap, and worth the peace of mind.


1000+ Posts
Some companies insist you have insurance and want details of your own policy if you don't buy into theirs.

I've ALWAYS had insurance (except for short UK breaks). It's a fraction of the cost of the holiday and gives complete peace of mind. Just think what it might cost if you hadn't got it?

On the rare times we've needed to contact them on holiday the company we use have been really helpful. We've only needed to make a claim once when we had to cancel a holiday on health grounds. A letter from the doctor and it was quickly resolved and our deposit repaid.

Read the small print carefully and make sure you are covered for everything you need to be. Also make sure you are completely upfront about any medical problems. If you don't declare them they may not pay out if you make a claim.


100+ Posts
Most of our trips are short (distance) and don't involve a lot of upfront costs. I've never bothered with specific travel insurance. But I have insured our upcoming Italy group trip because we had to pay a lot of upfront costs and none of them are refundable or changeable.

Also had my mind made up by breaking my ankle while on a trivial walk in Ireland. I was staying with friends, so everything got sorted for me to get home without significant extra expense other than a couple of taxis, but it made me think. Particularly the fact that I was in the back of beyond 80 miles from the airport with a hire car, and couldn't drive ... could have been expensive if my friend hadn't driven me.

Linda Yoder

10+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
We usually buy the emergency medical and medical evac policy but not the trip insurance. The one and only time I didn't buy the medivac policy I needed it! I ended up so sick in Rome I thought I was going to die. My doctor from home (after talking to us on the phone for an hour) decided I had meningitis, thankfully the non contagious kind. I should have gone to the hospital but thankfully we had a business class seat already scheduled the next day so I just slept the whole way home. The trick was I had to board and act like I was fine or they would not have let me on. That was quite difficult when I felt like I had a house on top of my head! My doctor picked us up at the airport when we got home. That was our lesson- never travel without emergency medivac again.

Linda Yoder

10+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
I didn't even realize you could buy just the medical part!
We started buying it years ago after having dinner with a fellow ST who had gotten MRSA or C. Diff while staying in Siena and ended up in intensive care for a couple weeks in Italy. The insurance not only paid for everything including her husbands hotel bills but sent them home Business class. She was so week she couldn't have made in coach. It sold us.


10+ Posts
Just heard yesterday that an acquaintance is using a new Chase credit card for travel that includes travel insurance. Just googled this...”Earn 50,000 Bonus Points with Chase Sapphire®. Global Entry Credit. TSA PRE✓® Credit. No blackout dates. Lounge Access. 3x Pts on Travel & Dining. Pts Worth 50% More. $300 Travel Credit. 1:1 Points Transfer. Travel Protection. Services: Auto Rental Coverage, Trip Cancellation, Travel Assistance, Extended Warranty” Will do more research


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