What is Travel Accident Insurance?

When going on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is having an accident or injury ruin your fun — not to mention the costs that go along with it.

That’s why there’s Travel Accident Insurance, which covers expenses for you and your family correlated with vacation-related death or dismemberment, such as if you lost a limb, your eyesight, etc. And, no matter how you’re traveling — whether you’re the driver or passenger in a car, commercial aircraft, bus, etc. — travel accident insurance has you covered.

When going on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is having an accident or injury ruin your fun — not to mention the costs that go along with it.“The cost is generally five to seven percent of the price of the vacation, so a $5,000 trip would cost roughly $250 to $350 to insure,” the Insurance Information Institute notes.

Some people think this type of insurance is worth getting, while others aren’t so sure. You can decide for yourself with a little help from various experts’ two cents:

Why you should consider

“You never know” – “It is impossible to predict accidents and even sometimes hard to prevent them, especially if you are not at fault. Having travel accident insurance ensures you are always protected no matter where you are. Lots of plans are extremely affordable and worth the cost in the long run,” says Samantha Feuss, owner of Have Sippy Will Travel.

“If you’re taking risks, get it” – “The question you need to ask is ’Will my vacation have higher than normal risk?’ Are you booking a trip to South Africa to explore the wildlife and tour the bush? That’s a little more dangerous than a quiet trip to a beach resort,” authors note on www.TheKrazyCouponLady.com. “Be smart about your travel situation and think about the risks involved in your excursions. The few extra dollars you pay for travel insurance might be worth it if you plan on doing some risky adventures.”

“Accidents happen more often than you think” – Mutual of Omaha, a company that sells accident insurance, notes that there were 10 million disabling injuries in the United States last year. Even more shocking, accidental injuries cost people in the United States approximately $9.2 billion in medical expenses alone last year.

Why it’s not worth it

“It makes no sense” – “Most people arrive at their destinations safely, and very few get into terrible accidents. And what does it matter how you die, by the way? Why would your family need more life insurance just because you died in an accident rather than from an illness?” says personal finance blogger Neal Frankle. “Rather than throw your money away on these policies, have an extra-large, fresh-squeezed orange juice at the bar while you are waiting for your flight. You’ll live longer.”

“It should be free” – “Given that this insurance is [often] given away as a freebie, I don’t see why consumers should pay for it at all,” says Richard Mason, a director of price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com. “In terms of insurance policies, I would put it right at the back of the queue – it’s absolutely useless.”

“It doesn’t cover much” – “If you get sick, that’s not an accident, so you’re not covered. If the accident is caused by your bad heart, you’re not covered. If you fall over on the beach once you’ve reached your destination, you’re not covered,” says Brian Brown of Defaqto, a financial research company. “In all honesty the cover is usually so pathetic it isn’t worth thinking of.”

With all that being said, getting travel accident insurance is a personal choice. It’s not for everyone, but it may be for some people. First, find out if you’re covered for accident insurance under your existing policies — you shouldn’t have to pay for it twice. Then, discuss among your travel partners if it may be worth it to get travel accident insurance. If you’re traveling with many people, then splitting the cost of the accident insurance may not be such a burden, and having peace of mind never hurt.

If you’re having trouble deciding, ask yourself a few questions: are you traveling to a place where you’ll be participating in aggressive activities, such as a tackle sport? Are you worried about the plane crashing? Are you traveling with accident-prone children who may be easily injured? These are all things to consider while you mull over your decision. You may also consider speaking with a travel agent as well.


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