Travel insurance helps protect you from certain kinds of unexpected events that can occur before or during your trip. Unlike auto insurance, travel insurance is elective, which means it’s up to you to decide if you want it. Ultimately, it’s meant to help you travel with more peace of mind so you can worry less and focus on having a great trip.
There are a few major factors to consider before determining if travel insurance is right for you: cost, destination and who is traveling.
If you can’t afford to lose the amount you’ve invested in your trip, then you should probably consider travel insurance. If you’re traveling far, maybe around the world, or to a remote area where the nearest hospital is many miles away, then a travel protection plan could help save the day. It’s impossible to know what might happen to you or a traveling companion that could throw a wrench in your travel plans, especially if travelers include children or the elderly, who might be more vulnerable. Travel insurance may help you rest easier before and during your trip.
The coverage that most people are aware of is trip cancellation, which provides reimbursement for unused, non-refundable, prepaid trip costs if you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason, such as sickness, job loss, or flight cancellation due to adverse weather and more.
Similarly, with coverage for trip interruption, you can recoup trip costs if you can’t continue your trip due to a covered event. Some carrier plans even provide reimbursement for additional transportation costs to return home or rejoin your group. The number one covered reason for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption is the unforeseen illness or injury of you or a traveling companion that deems you unfit to travel, by order of a licensed physician; or the unforeseen hospitalization or death of a family member. Travel insurance can cover costs if you need to cancel your flight. However, this is usually under specific circumstances, such as you’ve had to cancel your flight or holiday because of an illness or injury.
Travel insurance can also include lesser known coverages, including travel delay, lost, damaged and delayed baggage, medical and emergency evacuation coverage. Baggage delay, damage, and loss policies don’t cover everything in your bags. Common travel insurance exclusions include glasses, hearing aids, dental bridges, tickets, passports, keys, cash, and cell phones.
Different providers offer different plans with a mix of these coverages and more, so be sure to become familiar with all the coverages and options available to purchase before choosing what coverages are right for your specific needs. If something happens during your trip and you need to use your travel insurance, you’ll need to file a claim to be reimbursed.