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Travel Smarter: Understanding the Distinction Between Insurance and Protection

Updated: Apr 14

They sound very similar – travel protection and travel insurance. But there is a world of difference between the two and trying to work out which you need could cause you a massive headache – not what you want when you’re trying to plan your much-needed vacation time! But don’t worry – we’re here to help. Here’s a quick rundown on how to travel smarter by knowing the differences between travel protection and travel insurance.

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Travel insurance gives you financial protection if anything unexpected happens on your trip. Think of it like a safety net for your vacation, keeping you from going broke if something goes wrong. This can include things like trip cancellation, medical expenses, and emergency evacuation. In a nutshell, travel insurance is there to make sure you're not left with a huge bill if something goes awry. Travel insurance can also offer services such as helping you find a pharmacy and get refills for any prescriptions you might have forgotten at home and helping you replace essential items if your luggage gets lost or stolen

Some credit card companies offer a form of travel insurance, but make sure to read the fine print, as they might require you to pay for the whole trip on your credit card. The coverage might also not be as comprehensive as traditional travel insurance – really, it’s best to keep these as a backup and go ahead and spend a few extra bucks for travel insurance.

Travel protection is a more vague, general term that includes a variety of services and products that help protect you while traveling. This can include things like coverage if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip, emergency medical coverage, and even help with booking a hotel or making a restaurant reservation.

While travel protection sounds like a great idea, it’s important to know it might not give you the comprehensive coverage you’d get with travel insurance. If you have to cancel your trip, your travel insurance will reimburse you for non-refundable expenses – but travel protection probably won’t offer anything. Think of travel protection more as a bundle of specific services for different aspects of your trip.

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Should you get travel insurance or travel protection? Here’s the tricky bit. Tour operators and travel companies tend to use these terms interchangeably and will actually bundle them together as a sort of hybrid. And some companies offering the sorts of services you’d come to expect from travel insurance will offer these services under the name travel protection. Yeah – confusing, right? 

We always advise purchasing travel insurance for every trip you take. But should you get travel protection as well? If you find services provided by travel protection that aren’t covered by your travel insurance, by all means, go ahead and get them. As with anything, always read the fine print and know what you’re signing up for. Whichever you choose to go for, the peace of mind you get knowing you’re covered in case of any mishaps is worth the extra cost and means you’ll be able to fully relax and enjoy your time away.


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