It seems that no matter where you book your travel, someone tries to sell you travel insurance before you go. The question is should you buy it?
For years I have never purchased travel insurance. I know when I am going and if by chance something happens and I can’t then I eat it. The issue for me is that while a lot of things can go wrong prior to any vacation, the chances remain low that something will come up.
Across the travel industry, you can typically get your money back if you have to cancel your hotel the day before within a 24-hour window. Same with rental cars and even most VRBO rentals will refund your money within a 30-day cancellation window. The airlines are different. They will not refund your money.
Not even nature is strong enough to get your money back from an airline. A few years ago my flight was canceled by United due to a hurricane and it wasn’t rescheduled. The airline offered me a voucher for the full cost but there were stipulations. One, I had to use it within six months and two, I had to pay the difference of any flight fee changes. I tried to book the same flight to the same destination and it wound up costing me an additional $500.00 because the price of the flight went up. In this case, insurance would have been the wiser choice.
With all of that being said, there is a reason for you to buy insurance for your vacation and that is if you have school-age children. Things can change very quickly and sometimes with only an hour or so notice.
School children have set calendar schedules for the entire year but too many “snow” days or class cancelations can totally mess up your vacation plans. Last year we had planned to spend spring break in Florida but the day before we were to leave, a phone call from the school alerted us that due to the missed days because of COVID, there would be no spring break. We scrambled to cancel and took some small late cancellation fees.
There are a lot of reasons to cover yourself when traveling with children. While you may feel a cold coming on, most younger kids do not and there is nothing worse than getting to your location only to have to stay at the hotel because the little one is throwing up and running a fever all of a sudden, and this is even prior to COVID.
Again, I typically just pass over the insurance offering and click the waiver box but depending on how much that insurance is, it might not be a bad idea to take it, especially if you are traveling with kids because things can turn very quickly from good to bad.