Is travel insurance worth the money?

Vacation insurance

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With tropical storm Barry threatening the Gulf Coast, last minutes preps and evacuations mean if you have a vacation planned to the coast, you might want to know what your options are.

The first thing to check is whether or not you have travel insurance. Travel insurance is sometimes seen as an unnecessary expense but experts say being covered could save travelers a lot of money and worry.

American Automobile Association answers the question. Is travel insurance worth the money?

“Yes. Nobody ever anticipates needing it but if you do, you’re awfully glad you have it,” Clay Ingram with AAA said.

According to Ingram, the cost of coverage is based on two factors.

"It is based on your travel package combined with your age," explained Ingram.

It usually falls within 8%-10% of your total travel cost.

"Sometimes it's a bit cheaper than that," Ingram added.

There are two types of travel insurance. One covers the trip and offers a full refund. Keep in mind though, with situations involving severe weather, Ingram said there’s a deadline to getting covered.

"You have to buy the insurance before the tropical storm or hurricane gets named," said Ingram.

The other type of coverage is for medical emergencies. Say you’re on a cruise --- and get sick... You head to the hospital... The ship moves on without you. This is where the medical coverage kicks in-- often covering all expenses including getting you home.

"I've seen it pay dividends to a lot of people. rather than those their money on that vacation they get that money back. They're able to use a different destination and still enjoy their trip," Ingram said.

You can also buy travel insurance separately if you are planning your vacation yourself.

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