When you travel with a companion—whether it’s a spouse, relative or friend—it’s important that both of you carry travel insurance.

This is especially important for expensive vacations where you stand to lose large nonrefundable deposits and also trips abroad where having travel medical insurance is essential. Lost baggage, medical emergencies and trip cancellations don’t just target one traveler in a group.

“While insuring every traveler on your vacation is not required, it is highly recommended,” says Carol Mueller, a spokesperson for Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. “No one can predict what can happen or to whom it happens while traveling so it’s important you and your traveling companions are covered with a comprehensive travel insurance plan for every vacation.”

“Insuring every traveler ensures your vacation is safe, worry-free and everyone is taken care of no matter who experiences the emergency when traveling,” says Mueller.

What Happens if Only One Person Has a Travel Problem?

If one traveler in a group lacks travel insurance, they could get stuck with a big bill if others in their party have trip problems. For example, if you have travel insurance and have to cancel the trip because of illness that’s covered by the policy, you’ll get reimbursement. But if your traveling companion doesn’t want to continue alone and lacks insurance, they’ll still be on the hook for trip payments, notes Daniel Durazo, a spokesperson for Allianz Global Assistance, a travel insurance provider.

Another common scenario is when two travelers are involved in a car accident while away and both need medical attention. “The insured traveler can have their medical bills guaranteed, preventing them from having to pay out of pocket,” says Durazo. “The uninsured traveler will likely have to pay out of pocket at the time the service is provided, as many foreign health care facilities do not accept domestic health insurance plans.”

Depending on the severity of the accident, medical treatment and emergency medical evacuation can run into the thousands of dollars and uninsured travelers may have to scramble to find a way to pay those bills, Durazo says.

Policies for Multiple Travelers

“It’s important that each person’s name appear on the travel insurance policy so that there is no question about who is covered in the event of an unforeseen situation,” says Durazo.

In some cases travelers on the same trip will need separate policies. “Traveling companions who live in different states may need to purchase different policies since travel insurance products can vary by state,” he says. Separate departure locations with different flight costs can also require separate policies.

Special Considerations When Traveling with Children

You can typically add children under age 18 to a travel insurance policy for no extra cost, if the children are traveling with a parent or grandparent.

Travel plans such as Allianz’s OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier plans, and Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s ExactCare, cover children for no extra cost.

If your family will travel frequently, consider an annual travel insurance plan. You can cover multiple trips under one annual policy, saving you the effort of shopping for travel insurance multiple times a year. An annual plan can provide great convenience and cost savings, says Durazo.

Annual travel insurance plans cover all the bases that a single plan would, such as trip cancellation, medical expenses, emergency transportation, and lost and delayed baggage. Options include:

  • AIG Travel Guard annual plan
  • Allianz AllTrips
  • April International’s multitrip plans
  • RoamRight’s multitrip plan
  • Trawick International Safe Travels Annual
  • USI Affinity Voyager Annual

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