The following is a guest post from Bailey Harris, who writes about homeowners insurance for www.homeownersinsurance.org.
While planning a vacation, it is almost impossible not to come across the term “travel insurance.” But what is travel insurance, and is it really necessary? The answer often depends on the type of trip you are taking as well as your individual circumstances. The information below explains what travel insurance covers and will help you determine the necessity of this type of insurance coverage.
Types of Travel Insurance
When taking a trip, there are a number of things to worry about. An emergency could come up that you have no control over. A natural disaster could strike in the form of a tornado, hurricane, or snow storm. You or a loved one could get sick while traveling or before you even have the opportunity to start the trip. The list is practically endless, which is why there are so many different types of travel insurance policies. Some of the most common include:
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip cancellation or interruption is one of the most popular forms of travel insurance. It will cover you if you have to back out of a trip due to illness or death, jury duty, an emergency military call up, or similar events. A trip cancellation or interruption policy can also protect you if an airline or cruise line declares bankruptcy.
Delay coverage can protect you in the event you’ve purchased non-refundable tickets and something unforeseen happens, like an airport closure or flight delay. This type of coverage is especially nice if you have pre-paid for your hotel.
Emergency Medical Insurance
Coverage for medical emergencies is another type of travel insurance you can purchase. It typically covers medical expenses and transportation to your home or an adequate medical facility. Of course, you don’t want to double up on policies. Check with your agent to make sure you’re not covered under your regular medical insurance.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment
This type of travel insurance works like a life insurance policy. It will pay out a set amount to your surviving family members if you are killed or seriously injured during the vacation or on the flight. If you already have adequate life and disability insurance coverage, you can probably do without this type of policy.
Also known as travel package plans, comprehensive travel insurance protects against almost any conceivable problem and tends to offer the best bang for your buck. Most comprehensive travel policies cover trip cancellation, travel delays, emergency evacuation, baggage problems, medical emergencies, and accidental death.
Read the Small Print
As with any type of insurance policy, it’s the seemingly irrelevant details that cause the most problems, and the details are generally in small print. Reading the small print in any policy is sound advice. If a situation arises where you feel the need to cancel your plans, make sure you follow the details written into the policy. A case may arise where a storm threatens a travel destination and prompts the policyholder to cancel their plane reservations, thinking they’re covered…only to find out the storm bypasses that location and the plane takes off on time. The policyholder may file a claim for reimbursement because they didn’t take the flight. The claim could be denied because the airline’s service was uninterrupted. The small print could make it clear that if the plane actually took off for that destination then there would be no cause for a claim. That’s the type of thing that makes planning ahead difficult, but that’s what travel insurance is for. Just make sure you pay attention to the small print, and consult your insurance agent if you have any questions.
Travel Insurance and Peace of Mind
Whether or not you actually need travel insurance may not be the real issue. Peace of mind may be what you’re after, and travel insurance can certainly offer that. You need to look at the bottom line; is the cost of a travel insurance policy worth setting your mind at ease? The reason for travel is usually recreational–and even if it is for business purposes the same rational applies–being able to fully relax and let peace and tranquility prevail can make or break a trip. If having a travel insurance policy in effect allows you to enjoy the trip, then it may be worth it.