How many of you purchase travel insurance for every trip you take? I often talk with travelers who aren’t sure what trip insurance covers and if a policy would make sense for his or her vacation. Here is a quick review of travel insurance policies.
Trip Cancellation—This benefit is pretty self-explanatory. If you must cancel your trip before its start date, the trip cancellation means that the insurer will absorb any cancellation penalties. The reason for cancellation must be one that’s covered in your policy so read the fine print. Some policies cover cancellations for illness but may limit it to personal illness. Other policies cover the illnesses of travel companions while some even cover illnesses of non-traveling family members.
Trip Delay or Missed Connection—This benefit covers all those unexpected “bad luck” events that may stop you from getting to your destination on time (like a car wreck on the highway on your way to the airport) or missing a connection (mechanical problem with your plane, which stops you from making it to the cruise terminal in time for embarkation).
Baggage Delay or Loss—Travel insurance often covers misdirected bags (making sure an airline or other transportation partner gets your delayed bag to you ASAP) and reimburses you for lost bags (up to a certain dollar value; check the fine print in the policy).
Trip Interruption—Sometimes bad things happen to good vacations and they must end prematurely. Maybe the cruise ship you’re sailing develops engine trouble and you must disembark at the next port of call or your hotel suffers fire damage and is no longer fit to house guests. Trip interruption coverage will pick up out of pocket expenses for alternate lodgings and help arrange to get you home.
Medical Expenses—No one wants to think about it, but none of us are invincible. If you happen to fall ill while traveling, you may need to seek medical treatment locally. A policy covering medical expenses will make sure you’re made whole upon your return home.
Emergency Evacuation or Repatriation—Sometimes while traveling you get so sick that you can’t, or don’t want to, be treated locally. Emergency evacuation will arrange to get you to your hospital of choice as soon as possible. Read the policy carefully to determine the requirements for emergency evacuation.
There are many other types of coverage and policies vary so be sure to shop around for one that meets your specific travel needs.