When we pack our suitcases and embark on an adventure, anything can happen. That’s the fun of it! But for times when “anything can happen” means lost baggage, missed flights or health emergencies, there’s travel insurance.

Travel insurance policies were designed to cover risks associated with all types of travel — from weekend getaways to once-in-a-lifetime vacations. Different policies cover different issues when you travel abroad. You can get coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, lost or damaged baggage, flight insurance, medical care or evacuation due to natural disasters. You can purchase policies individually, or you can buy packages with broader protection.

With so many options, you may find yourself wondering if you need travel insurance. As you plan your next vacation, consider these 5 factors when deciding if buying travel insurance is worth it.

1. Existing Coverage

Several credit card companies offer some form of travel protection against issues like lost luggage and travel cancellation. Determine what coverage you already have that may cover you abroad before purchasing additional protection. 

2. The Trip’s Overall Expense

Comprehensive travel insurance premiums average 4 to 10 percent of the total cost of the trip. On a $5,000 cruise, for example, travel insurance could cost between $250 and $350. For last-minute domestic travel with few pre-paid costs or for inexpensive trips (where insurance costs would exceed the cost of the trip), travel insurance might not be worth the investment. When traveling abroad, emergency medical and evacuation coverage is essential.

3. The Cost of Coverage

You compare prices and coverage for other insurance policies, right? Travel insurance should be no different. Check with travel agents, insurance agents and online booking sites, then compare policies and prices before purchasing travel insurance. 

4. The Fine Print

When deciding if travel insurance is worth it, you need to understand the terms and conditions. Make sure the policy covers the full cost of nonrefundable trip arrangements and understand any exclusions. For instance, some policies don’t cover medical emergencies related to pre-existing conditions. Others may not cover injuries related to adventure sports or travel to certain destinations.

5. How Often You Travel

If you travel a lot, consider annual coverage. Annual plans are best for travelers who take multiple global trips, and prices are based on estimated number of trips, average length of travel and coverage options. Several companies offer annual travel insurance that provides worldwide coverage for 12 months.

These plans are more economical than stand-alone policies — and more convenient than purchasing new policies for each trip — but there are limitations. For example, most annual plans offer limited coverage for trip cancellation and interruption.

Travel insurance can provide essential protection in cases of accident and emergency, but it’s not needed for all travel. Knowing when you need a policy — and what to look for — can give you peace of mind on your next trip. If you do purchase travel insurance, keep written confirmation of the policy (including receipt) accessible and a print copy with you. 

Find Out if You Need Travel Insurance

Your local Farm Bureau agent can help you figure out if travel insurance is worth it for your trip so you can focus on the fun.