Travel insurance is good to have any time you travel whether by ship, plane or train. It'll save you a lot of grief when you were looking forward to a much needed change of scenery and something unfortunate happens along the way. Coverage varies depending on the cost of your trip, age and the benefits you want to pay for. If you suddenly get sick and are unable to take your journey for example, you could receive money back on your ticket. If you opted out of the Travel Insurance, then there would be nothing you could do to redeem the cost of the ticket.
There is always the chance that you could have a medical emergency on a trip and need to be hospitalized. Say you are out hiking and get cut during a fall or your appendix decides to go bad, the insurance provides comprehensive coverage and will give you peace of mind and a smaller doctor bill when you arrive home.
You could be covered for trip delays, cancellation or interruption; loss of travel documents including passports; baggage delay or complete loss; sickness or death by you, family member, travel companion or business partner; some policies even cover cancellation for work reasons (but ya gotta pay a little more!); others include concierge services.
Travel Insurance policies range from Basic to Platinum and everything in between. Taking out an insurance policy for your next trip is highly recommended, but completely optional. I recently took out insurance on a trip heading to Nevada even though it's a domestic flight. This is a first for me, but by working in a travel agency, I hear the best and the worst of hundreds of trips including all the trouble airlines cause their passengers. This time I thought if my trip was delayed or my luggage lost in space, at least I could recoup some of my hard earned cash.
Spending the extra $15-$900/per person can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of frustration when an airline decides to creatively delay your flight or nature takes a turn for the worse. You will be a lot happier than your fellow travelers knowing your situation will be covered by your Travel Insurance policy.