A Complete Guide to Buying Travel Insurance

Posted: Monday, August 1, 2022

So, you're 3 months away from your Galapagos Islands trip. You've only had this adventure booked for 9 months but have been dreaming about it for a lifetime. Motivated by your excitement, you managed to have every detail squared away months in advance. Except, you're still missing one crucial piece: Travel Insurance.

Maybe it slipped your mind when you first booked your getaway, or you casually pushed it to the back burner because, deep down, you were still trying to convince yourself, "Eh, do I really need travel insurance?"

A Complete Guide to Buying Travel Insurance

Now you’re approaching crunch time.

Did you miss the boat? Figuratively, we mean. (Hopefully, not literally if you're actually traveling by boat all the way to the Galapagos Islands! 🤭)

In short, you're likely not too late. In most cases, you can purchase travel insurance up to the day before your departure date, although, by that point, the amount of coverage available will vary by company; and could depend on when you made your first trip payment for airfare, tours, or lodging. In general, though, purchasing travel insurance is not as simple as choosing the first plan that pops up in a quick Google search. If you're just beginning your search for travel insurance, finding the right plan for you could take time, making buying travel insurance within a week before you depart less than ideal.

AGC strongly recommends travel insurance. We have seen too many women disappointed over losing money while also dealing with something difficult - usually an illness, accident, or the illness of someone close to them. 

A Complete Guide to Buying Travel Insurance

As the trendy saying of our time goes, “now more than ever” is an excellent time to add a layer of security to your bucket list adventures early in your trip planning process. Realistically, as soon as you start booking flights, outfitters, and other amenities, it's time to bring travel insurance into the picture. Traveling in an age of uncertainty brings a lot of unpredictable plays to the table. If you're a few days out from your trip, unexpectedly catch COVID-19, and have to cancel your travel plans, saying goodbye to your trip of a lifetime will be 100x harder when a lot of your hard-earned money goes along with it. 

On the flip side, we know it isn’t cheap, and if you don’t ever need it, it feels like a waste of money—just like health, auto, or any other kind of insurance. It’s a gamble—one you only win if something terrible happens in your life. The first question you need to ask is whether the prospect of losing money will bring on unwarranted anxiety for your upcoming travels. If it will, then the peace of mind that comes with having insurance will be worth it. But if you’re comfortable with that risk, and if the likelihood is small, then maybe insurance isn’t necessary. 

A Complete Guide to Buying Travel Insurance

Still not sure which route to take?

Take a look at this quick checklist to help you better determine whether you should seriously consider getting trip insurance, especially coverage that includes trip cancellation and interruption:

  • You have a health condition that could prevent you from going

  • You have (an) elderly parent(s)

  • You have children with health conditions

  • You live in an area that is prone to severe, unpredictable weather

  • One or more of the above is true for your travel companion


So how do you choose travel insurance that’s right for you? While every policy has its nuances, every traveler does, too. There are lots of options out there when it comes to travel insurance. Often, what is the best policy for Traveler A, is not necessarily best for Traveler B. Choosing the right insurance often comes down to the cost-to-loss ratio (i.e. how much you invest upfront vs how much you recover in the case of a claim). It’s helpful to compare policies side by side to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. For example, we like to use this site that compares policies using the following parameters:

  • Gender

  • State of Residence

  • Age

  • Trip Price (all expenses)

  • Trip Destination


Remember, not all plans are created equal. Here’s a quick breakdown of policy coverages to keep an eye out for with the coronavirus at play:

  • Trip Cancellation: coverage if traveler, traveling companion, family member, or business partner is diagnosed with coronavirus and unable to travel

  • Trip Interruption: coverage if the traveler or traveling companion is diagnosed with coronavirus while on their trip. Includes reimbursement for unused, non-refundable trip costs and expenses for their return home or to rejoin the trip

  • Trip Delay: coverage for additional meals and hotel expenses if the traveler is quarantined by a physician while on their trip and delayed by it prevented from reaching their destination

  • Emergency & Medical Evacuation: treated the same as any other illness - coverage for emergency medical and evacuation benefits if traveler contracts coronavirus while on their trip

As with any policy, read the fine print (maybe you could win $10,000 like this woman did)! The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. 

A Complete Guide to Buying Travel Insurance

Post Departure Benefits

Another option is to buy trip insurance that does not include trip cancellation/interruption, which is the most expensive part of travel insurance. Sometimes referred to as ‘Post Departure Benefits,’ this coverage includes everything else that might occur once you have left on your trip—trip delay, emergency evacuation, baggage loss or delay, medical benefits—for much less ($35-$70 depending on your age). We always buy this level for an AGC team member joining a trip. You can obtain the price of this on most travel insurance websites by putting in $1 as the trip cost. Post-departure benefits will also cover expenses with some insurance providers due to a required coronavirus quarantine.

A few other things you should know about insurance:

  • Suppose you need to buy trip insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions (yours or your family’s) that may cause you to cancel. In that case, you usually have to buy it within the specific time frame of putting your deposit down (and not all policies cover pre-existing conditions, so make sure that the one you buy does). Otherwise, you may want to wait until the balance for your trip is due, as the cancellation fee may cost less than the trip insurance.

  • If a tour company cancels the trip you bought insurance for, you may be entitled to a refund of the insurance fees–check with the insurance company.

  • If you want to ensure your plane fare is covered, you can add that to your insurance for an additional cost by calling the insurance company. Be aware, however, that the insurance policy will likely only reimburse you for the airline change fee, not the entire ticket. Whether or not that is helpful depends on the likelihood you will use that airline for another trip within the following year.

  • If you have trip insurance and need to cancel the trip due to illness or injury, go to a doctor as soon as possible. Of course, you don’t want to drag yourself out of bed when you are unwell, but the insurance company will not take your word that you were sick - you will need proof from a medical facility.

  • Travel insurance may not cover situations you think it should, so make sure you have a copy of your policy and bring it with you on your trip.

Travel insurance gives you the luxury to book your next trip with some peace of mind. Don’t let the 'what ifs' hold you back from your next adventure! Get your insurance quote now!

A Complete Guide to Buying Travel Insurance

Travelex Insurance Services

For your convenience, we offer travel protection through Travelex Insurance Services. We have partnered with Travelex to offer affordable plans to our participants for several years. Travelex has recently expanded its plan options to include coronavirus coverage, much like any other illness, making it a great option for domestic and international travels with AGC.

Disclaimer: Adventures in Good Company does not require travel insurance but recommends it. However, some of our partners require participants to be insured, mostly on international trips. These details will be explicitly covered in the Pre-trip documents for that specific departure.

For more information on the available plans or enrollments, go to www.travelexinsurance.com or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference the location number: 06-0331.