Picture it: — you’ve booked your trip, set your itinerary, and think you’re ready for the trip of a lifetime. But then, something happens. Your companion gets sick, your luggage gets lost, your connection gets delayed, and now you’re stuck with all your expenses. It happens more than would you think.

I religiously buy travel insurance for every trip. Thankfully, I’ve only ever had to use it twice — once when I had an allergic reaction on my birthday a couple of years ago in Bangkok, and another time in Muscat, Oman when I woke up in excruciating pain. I wrote about that experience here: That Time I Got an Ultrasound of My Balls in Oman.

If you’re a frequent traveller, it makes a lot of sense to invest in an annual travel insurance plan like the ones offered by Allianz. It’s usually much less expensive in the long run, and you’ll never run into the financial hardship that many travellers endure because they “just forgot” to buy travel insurance before their trip. Just set it and forget it.

As you probably know, the only predictable thing about life is its unpredictability. This is especially true when you’re traveling. You might think travel insurance is just another expense, but it’s actually something every smart traveller needs to have. Here are a few reasons why.

The Trip Has to Be Cancelled

You never know when you might have to cancel that vacation you were looking forward to. Maybe you or a family member gets sick. Maybe you end up having to work. Or maybe you have a family emergency.

Whatever the reason, you don’t want to get stuck paying for a trip you won’t be able to take. In situations like this, it’s always a good idea to have travel cancellation coverage. This way, you’ll be reimbursed for any prepaid travel costs you might have already spent.

You Get Sick or Injured

One of most common reasons for a trip ending early is because someone needs medical attention. In fact, studies have shown that between 30 to 50 percent of travelers get sick during their vacation. And your health insurance back home usually doesn’t cover foreign hospital visits. Many of these hospitals will want thousands of dollars in cash before they get to work.

This is where travel medical coverage comes in handy. Having this will give your peace of mind while you’re away from home, and you won’t have to worry about any giant medical bills.

In Case of Natural Disaster

Mother nature is one thing you can’t predict. Some places are prone to disastrous events such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes. If you’re destination is damaged by an event like this, there’s a good chance you’ll lose whatever money you’ve already spent.

Having travel insurance will help you avoid this situation. In this case, you’ll be reimbursed if there’s a natural disaster Some services will even help you arrange a new trip to a location that hasn’t been damaged. You might actually get to take a trip to a place you didn’t expect.

Your Flight Was Cancelled

Unfortunately, these things can happen. Let’s say your vacation is over, and you’re ready to return home. You get to the airport only to find your return flight home has been cancelled because of bad weather. What will you do now?

Having travel insurance would help you come up with a new plan. Either you’ll be able to pay for a new ticket home or you’ll be able to stay the night in a hotel. Otherwise, you’ll be spending money for a flight that never happened.

Lost Luggage

This is something that happens more often than airlines would like to admit. Getting your luggage lost or stolen can really make it difficult to enjoy your trip. This is especially true if there are things you need while you’re away such as medication or business-related items. It’s also a fairly normal occurrence for luggage to be delayed and arrive later than you do.

When you have travel insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for any clothes or personal items that were lost during your flight. If not, you could end up paying a lot of money for all of your lost belongings.

There is a Terrorist Event

Terrorism is a sad reality of today’s world. Odds are, it’s something you won’t have to worry about. Still, a person has to be prepared for it. This is especially true if you’re visiting a country that’s considered politically unstable. This could include countries such as Egypt or India.

Luckily, terrorism coverage is something that’s often included in your travel insurance. This will cover any pre-paid travel expenses you might have in case of a terrorism event or a mandatory evacuation. Hopefully, you’re not going to need it, but it’s good to be prepared just in case.

You Miss a Connection

Missing a flight isn’t always your fault. Sometimes, connections are delayed because of bad weather or mechanical issues. In cases like this, you shouldn’t be punished for missing your connection.

With missed connection coverage, this isn’t something you’ll have to be concerned about. With this kind of coverage, you can get booked on the next available flight if something happens that’s beyond your control. If the next flight can’t be booked for a day or two later, you can also be reimbursed for expenses such as meals and accommodation.

You Lost Your Passport

Needless to say, you’re going to have a hard time getting home if your passport is lost or stolen during your trip. Or you might be prevented from leaving in the first place because of a missing passport. Getting it replaced can be a very long, tedious process if you’re not ready ahead of time.

Travel insurance will help you replace a lost passport. It will also cover any costs you might have in getting it replaced. Furthermore, you will also be reimbursed for any extra costs that might be involved in getting back home.

You Have to Return Early

Sometimes, you’re not able to enjoy your entire vacation. You might get sick or have a family emergency, and you have to return home early. Without travel insurance, you’ll most likely get charged for changing your flight. This is true even if you’re returning because of an emergency.

If you buy travel insurance, you will get reimbursed for this charge. It will also cover any prepaid expenses that haven’t been used yet. You never know when you might be forced to go home early, and it’s always good to be prepared.

These are a few ways in which travel insurance can make your life easier the next time you go on vacation. Without it, you could be paying a lot of money for a trip that never happens. So next time you plan to leave the country, don’t forget to buy travel insurance. You’ll be glad you did when something unexpected happens.

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This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and I have received financial compensation.