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Why you should buy travel insurance

On my last trip to Europe, I ignored my own best advice—I didn’t purchase travel insurance. I figured I was young and healthy and could afford to buy new clothes if my luggage got lost. Besides, for all the times I’ve purchased travel insurance, I’ve never needed to use it.

My cavalier attitude came back to haunt me when I got really sick during the cruise. On my last night in Rome, I had to call a doctor to my hotel room. He diagnosed me with bronchitis, gave me a shot, and slapped me with a $200 bill. He also recommended that I not travel for five days.

I chose instead to fly home, but had I stayed, I would have racked up high bills for extra hotel nights and meals—not to mention phone calls to change my flights and notify my family. With no travel insurance, all of those expenses would be my responsibility.

The reality is even young, healthy people can run into problems on the road. The cost of travel insurance is small compared to paying out of pocket for emergency medical care, extended hotel stays, and new clothing in a foreign country where the dollar is weak. I know I’ll take out insurance the next time I travel abroad. I recommend you do, too.

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