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Destinations Where Travel Insurance is a Must

Where Travel Insurance is a Must
Allianz - Where Travel Insurance is a Must

Because we help so many travelers — 35 million people chose Allianz Worldwide Partners to protect their travels in 2017 — we’ve seen just about every kind of travel disaster you can imagine. That’s why we recommend travel insurance for every trip, whether it’s a short getaway to the Bahamas or a lavish family vacation on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

However, we understand that not everyone will insure every single trip. Are you wondering, “Do I really need travel insurance for my vacation?” Here are six types of trips for which travel insurance is a must.

And remember, there’s a travel insurance plan to fit every budget. Get a quote today for your next trip.

Travel insurance is a must for… any international cruise.

While most cruise ships do have onboard infirmaries staffed by at least one doctor and two nurses, they are not equipped to treat major medical emergencies. According to CruiseCritic, shipboard medical staff can perform minor surgeries, life support procedures and emergency cardiovascular care; they also can “stabilize seriously ill patients, perform reasonable diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, and help evacuate seriously sick or injured patients.”

The key word is “evacuate.” If you suffer a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, stroke or serious injury, you’ll be evacuated — most likely by helicopter — to the nearest hospital. Guess who’s paying the bill for that medical evacuation? If you don’t have travel insurance with emergency medical transportation benefits, you’ll get hit with a bill that may be in the five figures — and can even top $100,000 in some parts of the world.

If you suffer an illness or injury that can be treated on board, the cruise line will send you a bill for the care you receive. You’ll have to pay out of pocket for these expenses as well — unless you have travel insurance with emergency medical benefits, and your condition is considered a covered illness or injury.

Travel insurance is a must for… wilderness destinations.

There’s no better remedy for the stress of modern life than spending time in unspoiled nature. However, travel insurance is a must for trips to wild areas. You might think, “I’m an experienced backcountry camper — why do I need travel insurance?” Imagine you’re somewhere in the middle of Denali National Park’s 6 million acres when you suffer a serious injury in a fall. Even if you’re able to contact emergency services for help, the nearest hospital is several hours from the park entrance.3 Travel insurance with emergency medical transportation benefits may be a lifesaver, if you need a medical evacuation for a covered illness or injury.

If you love adventure travel, make sure you understand the exclusions listed in your travel insurance plan. You won’t be covered for losses that result from participating in extreme, high-risk sports like:

• skydiving, hang gliding or parachuting
• bungee jumping
• caving
• extreme skiing, heli-skiing or skiing outside marked trails
• body contact sports, such as boxing and full-contact karate
• mountain climbing or any other high-altitude activities
• scuba diving below 120 feet (40 meters), or without a dive master
• flying (or learning to fly) an aircraft

You’re also not covered for losses that that result from participating in or training for any professional or amateur sporting competition. So if your idea of a good time is competing in the Barkley Marathons, the annual, 100-mile run in the mountains of Tennessee that’s known as “the most brutal race on earth” — well, travel insurance can’t help you if you get hurt.

Travel insurance is a must for… remote island destinations.

The coral atolls of Tonga. The forested San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State. The secret Ssese Islands in Uganda’s Lake Victoria. The rugged Orkneys north of Scotland, where seals and otters frolic.4 A trip to a far-away island can be magical — but travel insurance is essential. A serious medical emergency will require medical evacuation via helicopter, which can be a crushing expense if you don’t have travel insurance with emergency medical benefits.

Travel insurance is a must for… expensive dream vacations.

When you’re planning a vacation that’s a big splurge — we’re talking about something that’s been on your travel bucket list for a decade, or a multigenerational trip — travel insurance is absolutely a must. That’s because you need trip cancellation/trip interruption benefits to protect your travel investment. Ask yourself: “Could I easily afford to lose the money I’ve spent on this trip, if a last-minute emergency forces me to cancel?” If the answer is no, buy travel insurance. 

Travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits can reimburse your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason. Covered reasons vary according to the plan you purchase, but may include things like: the serious covered illness or injury of the insured traveler, a family member or traveling companion; the 24-hour cessation of services by your airline, cruise line or other carrier due to a strike, natural disaster, bad weather or FAA-mandated shutdown; or a terrorist event at your destination within 30 days of the day you're scheduled to arrive.

Travel insurance is a must for… coastal destinations during hurricane season.

While the Atlantic hurricane season officially lasts from June 1 through November 30, its peak is from August through October. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, that’s when 87 percent of minor hurricanes and 96 percent of major hurricanes occur. If you’re planning a vacation in that time frame to a destination known to be at risk of getting hit by a hurricane, such as the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Gulf Coast, Florida or the Caribbean, then you absolutely should protect your trip with travel insurance.

If your trip is cancelled or cut short by severe weather, travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance can reimburse you for lost, prepaid trip expenses, plus the extra cost of traveling home early. If your journey home is delayed, travel insurance can reimburse you for the cost of a hotel room, meals or other essentials. Read your plan documents for the full details of what’s covered. Just be aware that if you wait to buy travel insurance until after a storm is named, your plan won't provide coverage for storm-related losses. To be safe, buy travel insurance right after you book your trip.

Travel insurance is a must for… countries that require it for entry.

A few countries actually require visitors to prove they have emergency medical travel insurance as a condition of entry. The Czech Republic, for instance, requires tourists to carry proof of a valid medical insurance policy contracted for payment of all costs for hospitalization and medical treatment. Cuba also requires visitors to have medical insurance — your domestic health insurance is not accepted. It’s always wise to check the U.S. Department of State’s page for the country you’re visiting so you know what’s required.

While Antarctica is a continent, not a country, most visitors are required to carry travel insurance by tour operators — especially insurance with emergency medical transportation benefits, which can pay for a pricy evacuation in case of a medical crisis.

Wondering if you need travel insurance for your planned destination? Our interactive map shows current travel rules and restrictions for each destination, including COVID-19 testing, vaccination policies, and necessary travel documents.

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