That is a very good question and the answer varies. I rarely use travel insurance when traveling in the US because even if there are delays and other events, I’m not out of pocket for large sums of money. On the other hand, when traveling abroad, I almost always have travel insurance. Traveling abroad with insurance is for my peace of mind even though I’ve never needed or used it.
International travel insurance can be pricey and you must purchase it prior to leaving the country. The cost goes up for age, length of time away, chronic illnesses, and so much more. A word of caution, be sure to take an ample supply of your medications even if you have insurance! When deciding to purchase insurance be sure to do your research. Include checking with any groups to which you belong that offer travel insurance discounts, AARP, USAA, and AAA. Find the one that best meets your needs. Be sure to pay attention to the EXCLUSIONS!
Before purchasing travel insurance be sure to speak with your health insurer.
Some insurers cover you when traveling abroad. Medicare doesn’t usually cover international medical emergencies. Even though you have coverage from your insurer, you will most likely be required to pay out of pocket for your treatment and be reimbursed by your insurer.
Many credit cards offer coverage for lost or stolen items and most rental car agencies will honor your auto insurance. You might have difficulty in some countries renting a car if you’re over 70.
Be sure to read this article on Reviews.com which compares several travel insurance companies before making your decision. Weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of having insurance. Pay special attention to how you feel about each. Only you will know what is best for you.
Many use travel insurance for a sense of peace; just in case something happens. It is an individual choice. I highly recommend that you check your current insurance so that you’re not doubling up.