Why I’m still buying travel insurance for international vacations — even if it isn’t required
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Before the pandemic, I never gave travel insurance a second thought. To me, it was always an extra expense that I didn’t see the need for, and I always figured it was worth the risk to save the cash. Oh how the times have changed.
Last month, I visited Costa Rica, my first trip to Central America since the start of the pandemic. Prior to August 2021, visitors to the tropical country were required to purchase and show proof of travel insurance as one of the country’s entry requirements. However, the insurance requirement was lifted on Aug. 1, just a few weeks before I was set to arrive.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Even though it wasn’t necessary for me to purchase traveler’s insurance to enter Costa Rica, I decided to buy it anyways, and here’s why.
In case I need to cancel
I always get tested before traveling on a flight, even if it’s not required to enter the country (Costa Rica currently does not require a negative Covid-19 test result as an entry requirement for visitors). If I had tested positive for COVID-19 before I even left the United States, I wanted to make sure that I had “cancel for any reason” or coronavirus-specific coverage to make sure my flights and any other cancellation fees would be covered by the policy.
The pandemic isn’t over
Even with protection from the COVID-19 vaccine, traveling during the pandemic is still much riskier than it was two years ago. There are thousands of new cases a day, including breakthrough cases and reinfection cases that are rare, but still possible. With the amount of COVID-related variables that could cause disruption to my trip, I wanted to make sure that if anything did go wrong, I would be covered for the brunt of the costs.
COVID-19 is not the only consideration
While a majority of my trip was filled with days lounging at the beach, massages and spa treatments and yoga, I also went on a few hikes that could have resulted in a bad injury if I had slipped or pushed myself too hard. My policy would have covered this type of injury, so I was less stressed about the possibility of being injured in a foreign country and not being able to get the help I needed.
I am happy to say that my trip to Costa Rica went off without a hitch. I did not need to activate my travel insurance, but I’m still glad that I bought it. Having the insurance made me less anxious about all the things that could have gone wrong, and I was able to relax my mind and just enjoy my vacation. I may not purchase travel insurance forever, but for the foreseeable future, it will be part of my planning budget for all international trips.
Photo b7 Kryssia Campos/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees