Travel insurance vs protection: Which one gives you the coverage your trip needs?

Travel insurance vs protection - person with luggage at airport
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Understanding the difference between the two can help you to make the right choices.

Whether you’re headed on vacation or a business trip, the travel insurance vs protection debate can seem like a confusing one. This is particularly true if you don’t know how they’re similar and what makes them difference.

To start, it’s important to know that there is a difference between a policy and a plan.

The difference between travel insurance vs protection is important enough that if you make a mistake, you may think you have coverage you don’t have.

“Travel protection is not travel insurance, but rather it’s a very limited form of trip cancellation coverage that is self-insured by the travel provider,” explained QuoteWrite president John Cook as quoted in a recent Forbes report. Furthermore, a protection plan could refer to an amount of money a tour operator or cruise line receives from the traveler to make it possible for that traveler to cancel (for any reason or for certain specific reasons) without facing a larger fee or losing an entire deposit. That type of plan may also offer additional protection that can supplement an insurance policy, even without being insurance coverage.

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It’s important to know about travel insurance vs protection because only one is regulated.

An insurance policy is a regulated product. It will help to cover specific or overall losses that you may experience in the face of the unexpected ahead of or during your travels. This can include everything from flight delays or cancellations, car rental damage, medical expenses while you’re away from home, or overall trip cancellation. A standard policy will usually cost somewhere between 5 percent and 7 percent of your trip. More complex or comprehensive coverage may be more expensive.

On the other hand, when understanding travel insurance vs protection, you should know that the later involves plans that are not regulated. These unregulated plans are generally offered by a travel agency, company or organizer of some other form. The most common form is waiving a cancellation fee if it turns out that you won’t be able to take your trip once the time comes. Some will also allow you to receive a credit for your trip – though rarely a refund – so that you can re-book it at a later Travel insurance vs protection - person with luggage at airportdate. Though the nature of this coverage is different, it is usually less expensive than an insurance policy.

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