What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

by Kylie Ora Lobell, June 2017

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Summer is a popular time for travel: All across the United States, people are using their vacation time and taking trips to destinations near and far.

According to Statistic Brain, 45% of Americans take a summer vacation, and the average distance they travel is 284 miles each way. Of these travelers, ninety-one percent will tour by car, seven percent will fly, and two percent make their way around on a train or a bus.

Whether you are traveling by land, water, or air, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance prior to your trip. There are many benefits to buying it and, above all else, you will protect yourself in a number of situations.

Things That Can Derail a Vacation

Here are four reasons you should consider securing travel insurance for your summer vacation.

1. You have to cancel your trip.

If you're traveling this summer, you likely booked your trip well in advance. Now, something has come up and you can't take your vacation as scheduled. If you have "trip cancellation coverage" under your travel insurance, you may be able to receive your money back on prepaid packages, plane tickets, cruise fares, hotel rooms, and more.

With travel insurance in place, if a death or illness occurs to you, your travel partner, or a family member, you will be covered. Other circumstances that are covered include being laid off from work or called into work, a terrorist attack occurring at your travel destination, required jury duty service, or a hurricane happening at your destination. If any of these occur while you are on vacation, "trip interruption coverage" may refund you the rest of your trip.

2. You experience a medical emergency.

When you go abroad or even travel to a local city, you may not be covered by your health insurance. If you're in a foreign country, you can rack up thousands of dollars in expenses, should you become injured or sick. "Medical expense coverage" will step in and help you pay for medical and dental services if injury or illness occurs. If you are in a rural area or far away from a hospital, you may want to look into "emergency medical evacuation" coverage as well.

3. You lose your luggage.

If you are carrying around a lot of luggage when you travel, there is a chance you will leave something behind at a hotel or airport. Perhaps the airline will lose your bag, or your bag's arrival will be delayed. If any of these situations occurs, "baggage coverage" or "baggage delay coverage" can reimburse you for your items or give you money to purchase essentials until your luggage is located.

4. You're renting a car.

You need to know if your car insurance—or the credit card with which you pay for the rental—will cover you for a rental car accident or damage to the vehicle. If it doesn't, you may want to look into "rental car travel insurance," which can protect you in case you get into an accident or the car breaks down. It may also come with roadside assistance, which can be valuable, especially when driving in a foreign country.

Finding the Right Travel Insurance

You have already invested a lot of time and energy into your upcoming vacation. You don't want it to be ruined because of unforeseen circumstances.

Before you invest in travel insurance, it's time for some research:

  • Know what coverage is already available to you via your homeowner's insurance, through the credit card(s) you'll be using, and your existing health insurance.
  • Once you've identified any gaps, ask your travel agent—or search online, if you're your own travel agent—for recommendations.
  • Study the various available travel insurance policies to be sure you understand what's covered and what's specifically excluded.

By purchasing the right travel insurance for your situation, you are protecting yourself and helping guarantee you have the trip of a lifetime.