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What is Travel Insurance and Will It Save Money?

Updated on October 15, 2010

Many aspects of your vacation require careful planning. You must choose where to go, what to pack, where to stay, what kind of transportation you will use, and what you will do. However, unforeseen emergencies can wreck your vacation in a hurry. These are often completely out of your control. Fortunately, travel insurance can help you prepare for the unexpected and save you money.

Several types of travel insurance you can choose from depending upon your destination, activities, and needs. The most common form of travel insurance is Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage. These policies reimburse some or all of your paid trip expenses in the event that you are forced to cancel—such as cancellations due to weather, illness, jury duty, or bankruptcy of your chosen airline or cruise line prior to your trip. Some policies now offer terrorism insurance to cover your expenses when the U.S. Department of State issues a travel warning against your chosen destination.

Another type of travel insurance you may want to consider is insurance that covers your expenses in the case of medical emergencies. If you are traveling to an undeveloped country, have a chronic illness that might need medical attention during your trip, or if you will be engaging in activities that might result in injury (hiking, kayaking, cycling, etc), travel medical insurance may be a necessity to prevent high and unexpected expenses. Most policies provide reimbursement for the cost of doctor visits, medication, or even evacuation from the country. Travel health insurance coverage varies widely from policy to policy, so check with your insurance provider to make sure you choose a policy that fits your needs.

The kind of travel insurance you will need will also depend upon how often you travel and how many are in your party. You can purchase trip insurance which will cover you during a specific vacation, or if you travel more often, you can get travel insurance which will cover all your trips taken over a specific period of time (some restrictions on the lengths of your trips may apply, so be sure to read the fine print).

If you are a business traveler, get a policy designed for businesses, as these policies often cover things such as laptop computers or booth exhibit materials that other travel insurance policies do not. If you are traveling with your family, in general all children 16 and younger should be automatically included in your policy. However, be sure to check to make sure all family members are covered.

Image Credit: GoodNCrazy, Flickr


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