Travel insurance is something that many people either overlook entirely or don't research properly before buying. Often when buying plane tickets, or accommodation, travel insurance of some sort or another is offered, and many people see it as an unnecessary cost.
In reality though there are all kinds of things that can go wrong with a trip, especially when traveling abroad, making travel insurance a must. Even things which many take for granted in some parts of the world aren't entirely ensured when traveling into a different culture and having it as a backup is worth the comparatively low cost of purchasing it.
The majority of the time you wont actually use the insurance for anything, although it is always worth buying even if you aren't prone to any misfortunes when traveling. No matter how well you plan a trip there is always something that can go wrong, and it is always better to have that safety net there just in case.
Most package vacations will try to sell you their own brand of travel insurance when you make the reservation, although there are much cheaper ways of buying the necessary insurance. Travel agents will often charge a lot more for insurance than you would have to pay if you bought it yourself. Often for convenience though people tend to buy it when they are booking the vacation to save time.
So long as you don't have an serious health problems though, most travel insurance is fairly cheap anyway for most locations. If you are traveling into a war zone or an otherwise high risk area, then you should expect to pay a little more, but for most common destinations the cost is generally low.
One of the most compelling arguments for buying travel insurance is simply that not every country has the same systems of health care as each other. While some offer free health care for everyone tourists included, or at the very least it is very cheap, this is not universally true.
In countries which are run by an insurance based system such as the United States for example, the cost of health care without insurance is often prohibitive. A massive hospital bill which is way out of all sensible proportion to what you are actually getting is the last thing you need while on vacation
Foreign countries are sometimes more difficult to visit and feel safe in anyway because of the language barriers and the longer distances from the places we feel safe than with domestic travel. Particularly if the language is different then the culture can tend to be a lot different as well, which can make it a lot more stressful if something goes wrong than if you can speak to everyone easily in the same language.
Similarly some places are notorious for tourists being robbed and hotels being broken into, and it always pays to have a guarantee than nothing can spoil the holiday completely.
Having your things stolen could mean being stranded in the country with nothing to do and no way of getting home any quicker if the country doesn't have particularly modern money withdrawal systems and you don't have anyone who can forward you the money.
If you have your passport and tickets home taken then getting home at all can be troublesome. Often your embassy will help out if you are otherwise stranded, but of course the embassy could be on the other side of the country to where you are staying.
The only instance where travel insurance wouldn't be entirely necessary would be if you were staying with relatives and were not taking much of any value with you. So that there was very nearly no level of risk with your belongings and they are there to help out if anything went wrong.
As well as which you should first make sure that the country had either free or very reasonable medical care. But even in these cases its probably still better to just get the insurance seen as it doesn't cost that much for a fairy short stay anyway.