Travel Insurance Packs All Sorts of
You can buy a comprehensive policy to cover many possible things or purchase a policy almost a la carte to buy just the specific coverage you’re looking for. For instance, if you do not plan to rent a car on
your trip, you wouldn’t need to purchase the car insurance component.
A comprehensive policy may not be worth buying if your trip is short, inexpensive and domestic. Many U.S. hotels allow you to cancel your reservation up to 6 p.m. the day of arrival without penalty. Some hotels charge a nonrefundable fee, often the equivalent of one night’s stay, at the time of booking, so
it’s best to ask what their cancellation policy is when you book the trip.
It’s worth a call to your medical insurer ahead of time to see how it would handle an emergency medical claim from your trip. Often U.S. insurers will cover you if you have to use an out-of-network provider in the United States, but they may not cover you in other countries or in international waters.
There also are fairly inexpensive policies that would protect you from the additional costs of a flight delay, which might be a cheaper alternative to buying full trip cancellation coverage.
Ed Walker, president of the U.S. Travel Insurance Association and vice president of Aegon Direct Marketing Inc., encourages travelers to ask questions ahead of time to find out what is covered and what is not.
“Just like you prepare for a trip by giving contact phone numbers to loved ones, telling them where you’ll be staying, you should do some prep work ahead of time and ask your agent or tour operator
about any fear or issue about how travel insurance works and what it will cover,” Walker said.
If you travel often, you might want to consider buying an annual policy instead of a per-trip policy, which is the most common kind sold.
Travel Insurance Can Cover:
• Trips that are canceled, interrupted or delayed because of illness or severe weather.
• Costs related to lost or delayed baggage.
• Medical insurance, even medical evacuation.
• A 24-hour help line to aid in arranging for doctors and new travel plans due to medical emergencies.
• Coverage for rental cars.
• Life insurance for the duration of your trip.