Is there a difference between Travel Protection and Travel Insurance?
Yes, there typically is. Usually travel protection is sold by the vendor (the cruise line, tour operator, resort, etc.) and is limited. You may only get a credit for future use instead of a refund. Also, medical coverage may not be included.
Insurance is just that, you get reimbursed according to the policy you purchase for anything covered, including medical care or medical evacuation. There are a number of different things you can cover, lost luggage, delays, missing a ship/plane, need to cancel due to a family emergency, etc.
Also, if you have a medical emergency, you may need to be flown back home. If you have a family emergency and you need to return home early, insurance can help with that, too.
Remember, too, if you are outside the United States, your medical insurance most likely doesn’t cover you.
Is insurance necessary? You need to decide that. If you must cancel, most likely you will not get a refund, for any reason. Insurance may help with that, depending on the reason you must cancel (like a death in your family, or your boss cancelled your time off).
Travel Advisors can help you with travel insurance, so if you aren’t offered travel insurance, ask.