Travel Insurance Advice and Tips
Travel insurance can protect you from substantial losses that result from a variety of situations, including canceled trips, lost baggage, medical emergencies, supplier defaults, as well as other unforeseen circumstances.
TYPES OF TRAVEL INSURANCE COVERAGE
There are several general types of consumer travel insurance available. The coverage and limitations of each will vary depending on the insurance company issuing the policy. The following is a brief description of some of the general types of travel insurance.
Trip Cancellation: The most important and common type of travel insurance. Generally covers non-refundable payments or deposits if a trip is canceled or interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances. Trip Delay: Provides reimbursement for expenses incurred when a trip is delayed.
Accident/Sickness Medical Expenses: Covers costs incurred due to injury or illness that occur while on a trip.
Medical Evacuation/Emergency Transportation: Covers transportation when a medical emergency while traveling requires transportation to a hospital or other medical facility.
Supplier Default: Covers deposits or payments lost due to the financial default of a travel supplier.
Baggage/Personal Effects Loss or Delay: Covers losses due to items lost, damaged or delayed during a trip.
TRAVEL INSURANCE ADVICE: SUPPLIER PROVIDED COVERAGE VS. THIRD PARTY INSURANCE COMPANIES
Many travel vendors (tour companies and cruise lines) offer their own protection plans and these plans may provide very different coverage than offered through third party insurance companies. In most cases, supplier-provided coverage won't cover you in the event they go bankrupt. When considering a supplier protection plan, you should carefully compare the coverage with third-party travel insurance products.
Who should buy travel insurance?
Travelers who want to protect their travel investment should consider purchasing travel insurance. If an illness, accident or sudden change in plans forces you to cancel or interrupt travel plans, you face two major financial losses - money you've invested in nonrefundable prepayments, and medical expenses that aren't covered by your health insurance.
How does trip cancellation coverage work?
It is designed to reimburse you for forfeited, nonrefundable, unused payments or deposits if you have to cancel your interrupt your trip due to a variety of situations, including but not limited to inclement weather, illness or another unforeseen event.
Depending on your policy, it may also cover:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Transportation ordered by a doctor to the nearest adequate
- Reasonable accommodations and travel expenses for travel delays
- Essential items you purchase if your baggage is delayed
- Lost or stolen luggage
How much does travel insurance cost?
The cost of travel insurance varies from company and policy to policy. The more you have invested in your trip, the more you need to protect it. Travel insurance covers you for losses caused by trip cancellation and interruption, medical expenses, baggage, trip and baggage delay. When you consider all the protection you get, travel insurance is actually a great value.
Where do you buy travel insurance?
Most travel agents offer travel insurance and many may even require customers that decline insurance to sign a waiver form.