This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.

european square

We all love traveling, but there is no doubt that it comes with a fair amount of stress attached. There is just so much admin to get done, especially when you are going to a different country. Aside from flights and accommodation, you need to make sure you have the right documents, vaccinations, and that your passport has at least 6 months left.

Then there’s the matter of insurance. Travel insurance confuses many people. Some travelers do not know that they need to get travel insurance at all. Others get far more than they actually need.

So that you don’t spend more on travel insurance than you absolutely have to, let’s look at what insurance you need when traveling.

What you don’t need

Let’s start with what you don’t need from travel insurance. When you go overseas, the possessions you take with you are vulnerable to loss and theft. Depending on where you go, they may be at particular risk. But that does not mean you need travel insurance for them.

Let’s say you are traveling with your laptop and it gets swiped from your backpack. You can rely on your regular renters insurance policy that covers all of your possessions. This coverage applies even if your possessions get stolen in another country. For this reason, avoid getting travel insurance for personal possessions that you are taking on trips, unless they are specifically excluded from your policy.

Rather than insuring your possessions, get these 3 types of travel insurance.

1. Insurance for canceled plans

There are almost as many sayings about how plans can go wrong as there are ways for plans to go wrong. When traveling internationally, this is a constant concern. The reality is that you are likely to make your plans weeks or even months before the trip and a lot can change, especially in a time of COVID-19 regulations.

Most providers will refund you fully or partially for your bookings if something goes wrong days or weeks before the booked date. However, as the day comes closer, bookings become non-refundable. Travel insurance will cover the cost of canceled plans. If you get a partial refund, they will pay out the difference. If you get no refund, they will pay out the full amount. It is well worth getting travel insurance for this reason rather than risking losing your trip and your money.

2. Health insurance

Most American health insurance providers do not cover you on international trips. And, ideally, you won’t have to get health care while you are traveling. However, you cannot control everything, and you are at risk of requiring health care even if you are not the adventurous type. For some people, the possibility of getting seriously injured on a hike is the main concern. For others, it is being diagnosed with something that needs to be treated immediately. Either way, hospital bills can easily come to tens of thousands of dollars.

International health insurance is therefore a must-have when traveling overseas.

3. Interruption coverage

If you are going on a week’s vacation and something goes wrong at home, returning home means the end of your trip. However, what if you are traveling somewhere for a month and you need to go home for an emergency during week two? Paying for a whole new return flight in order to continue the rest of your trip at the last minute will be expensive. Travel insurance can provide interruption coverage. This is cover for events which interrupt but don’t end your trip. It will pay for the extra expenses of getting home and back in a squeeze.

Interruption coverage is particularly important for people traveling for purposes other than vacation. For example, if you are doing research for a project in another country or traveling there for business reasons, you can’t just end your trip early. You don’t need travel insurance to cover your possessions while in another country. However, travel insurance is still very necessary. The chances of requiring health care are too high to ignore, and plans go awry all the time. Get the right coverage so that you only spend what you have to.