Travel insurance can protect against the loss of non-refundable travel costs, such as airfare, hotel and tour expenses. Other types of travel insurance offer protection against losses due to medical emergencies, damage to personal property or death, which may occur away from home on vacation.
No travel policy can guarantee your safety when you’re traveling, but knowing you’re covered for medical emergencies or the loss of personal property may help you relax and enjoy your vacation.
In addition to a travel insurance policy, cruise and tour operators may offer cancellation waivers. Keep in mind that waivers aren’t insurance policies, so they are not regulated. Read all of the restrictions before you buy a cancellation waiver.
Major Types of Travel Insurance
Trip Cancellation/Delay/Interruption Insurance
- Trip Cancellation – Reimburses you for pre-paid travel expenses if you aren’t able to take your trip because you or a family member becomes ill or dies.
- Travel Delay – Reimburses you for pre-paid expenses if you aren’t able to take your trip because of a travel delay, such as a flight delay or cancellation.
- Trip Interruption – Reimburses you for prepaid expenses if your trip is cut short because you or a family member become ill or die or because of any other misfortune listed in policy. Covered reasons might include bad weather, airline strikes, terrorism, bankruptcy, jury duty or fire/flood damage to your home.
Medical/Accidental Death Insurance
- Emergency Medical Expense – Reimburses you for medical and emergency dental expenses that you have because of an illness or injury while you’re traveling.
- Medical Evacuation – Provides emergency transportation to take you either to a hospital near your area of travel or for transportation back to a hospital near your home.
- Accidental Death – This coverage is usually split into three parts:
- Air Flight Accident – Covers death or dismemberment during flight only.
- Common Carrier – Covers death or dismemberment while traveling on public transportation such as a plane, ferry, train, bus or taxi.
- Accidental Death – Covers death or dismemberment at any time during a trip.
Baggage/Rental Car Damage Insurance
- Baggage Loss – Reimburses you for lost, stolen or damaged personal items. This usually doesn’t cover personal items that may be lost or damaged by an airline. If you buy baggage insurance, be sure to review the policy for the list of property that wouldn’t be covered. Some of your property may exceed the limits allowed.
- Rental Car Damage – Reimburses you for damage or loss to a rental vehicle. If you have this coverage you may decline the “collision damage waiver” rental car companies’ offer. This coverage doesn’t provide liability protection.