Over a period of probably 30 years, I made several trips to Europe, one trip to Russia, two to China, and I don’t know how many times I’ve flown from here to the U.S. mainland. In all that time, I never once thought seriously about buying travel insurance.
But that changed once I turned 70, and had a couple of minor health scares. It just didn’t make sense to go galavanting off without travel insurance. What if something serious happens, especially if I’m traveling abroad and alone? A traffic accident or a stroke or something out of the blue that could involve emergency treatment or hospitalization, and even the need for what is referred to as a “medical evacuation” . . . having to transport my sorry ass all the way back to Hawaii from some small town in France, for instance. That could easily run to several hundred thousand dollars.
A travel insurance policy with the right coverage and sold by a reputable company will pay all those expenses at a cost of a few hundred dollars. You can buy insurance for one specific trip, but if you’re going to be traveling several times during the year, it seems better to buy an annual policy. Surprisingly, one annual policy is a lot less than two or three policies covering specific trips.
There are a couple of web sites that do a good job of comparing benefits and costs for policies offered by a number of different companies. One of those is Squaremouth.com, which lets you compare coverages and costs for policies offered by the top four or five companies. It can be confusing when trying to compare the benefits and the exclusions and the costs, so take your time and carefully read the fine print.
Finally, here’s another very helpful link. It’s a web site prepared by the U.S. State Department and it has a lot of helpful travel information including current warnings and travel advisories.
OK, then . . . Bon voyage!