I don’t believe in extended warranties. I bought a couple when I was young and naïve. When it came time to collect of course, the particular product repair was not covered. I’ve never bought a policy since.
I took the skepticism earned over these lessons learned and applied it to travel insurance. It seemed a waste of money for a trip I had no intention of missing.
Rhonda thought differently, and as often is the case, she was right. 2014 was the year I became a believer. If travel insurance were hockey we scored a hat trick (3 goals) in 2014.
Due to a family illness, I had to fly back from Fiji with only hours’ notice. Can you imagine what a last minute flight from Fiji costs? I’d tell you, but I don’t know because the travel insurance company took care of all the details starting with a ride to the airport.
Our 2nd incident involved flying Rhonda back from the East Coast for a family funeral.
In July 2014 we were in Alaska, and Rhonda became very ill. She needed emergency surgery. We spent 6 days in an Anchorage hospital. Travel insurance paid for our missed vacation, our health insurance deductible, and my expenses staying in Anchorage to care for her. In the end they flew us home first class, and hired a limo to drive us home from the Omaha airport.
I believe in travel insurance. I hope to never use it again, and am optimistic that I won’t. In 2014 had we not had it, we would not only have had the disappointment of vacations ended early, but expenses and lost costs of over $30,000.
I believe in travel insurance. If you want to gamble, go to Vegas. For all our other destinations we recommend travel insurance.
Know Before You Go
Medical costs abroad can be extremely expensive. Does your insurance apply overseas, including medical evacuation, payment to overseas hospital or doctor, or reimbursement to you later? Medicare/Medicaid does not cover healthcare costs outside the US. Payment overseas also typically needs to be paid at time of service.
I originally wrote this article in 2015. I’d like to say I was wrong and Travel Insurance was a waste of money. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it used by travelers several times over the past several years. Most recently, Rhonda was lucky to have it in Costa Rica when she experienced another medical issue. It’s better to buy the insurance, and be happy you didn’t have to use it, then pass on it, and wish you had it. Take it from me a travel insurance skeptic and frequent traveler.