Travel insurance includes a number of different types of insurance. All of these insurance policies cover potential losses that arise from travel.
What travel insurance covers
Most policies cover the following situations:
- The trip doesn't happen as planned: The cruise is canceled, the flight is delayed, emergency or medical evacuation is needed. Read the policy to see just what and who is covered.
- You can't make the trip as planned: Some event keeps you from making the trip. Possible events are fire, flood, car wreck, jury duty, or weather catastrophe. Read the policy to see what is covered.
- Something happens to you or your things on the trip: This would include such potential losses as delayed baggage (replacement of essential items) or if you have an accident or illness during the trip. Coverage could be provided for medical expenses, the cost of medical evacuation, overseas funeral expenses and/or the cost of returning the corpse to the U.S. Personal liability and rental car excess coverage may also be provided.
- Disasters that occur at the intended travel destination: earthquakes, quarantines, terrorist activity, or general strikes are covered as well as failure by airline, tourist operators, and cruise line. Default by the company who sold you the vacation package will generally not be covered.
Cancellation insurance should be considered for any travel plans made in advance. Benefits are typically limited to your actual loss. Cancellation insurance typically costs between 4-8% of your trip cost.
There are also more specialized policies that you can purchase to deal with specific potential losses. As always, you have to read the policy to know what you are buying.
Rental car insurance:
- Check with your auto insurance agent or company to see if you already have coverage provided by your own auto policy.
Flight accident insurance:
- Policy coverage for accident and death is generally available for a specific flight, but many life insurance policies traditionally cover death by airline crash.
- Some credit card companies provide coverage when your ticket is purchased using their card.
Travel major medical insurance:
Your health insurance probably won't cover you outside the United States. Various types of medical policies are available to cover the medical risks when you are traveling. Costs that can be covered include evacuation to your home, transportation to the nearest medical facility or the hospital of your choice, medical treatment, optional prescription drug coverage, and reparation of mortal remains.