Travel insurance policies provide many different coverages, here are the 5 main ones:
1. Trip cancellation
This provides coverage in case you need to cancel your trip or vacation. The coverage pays for non-refundable trip costs such as airfare, hotel, tour costs, etc. Covered reasons for cancellation include:
- you or your traveling companion get sick and cannot travel
- a death in the family prevents you from traveling
- your home is damaged by fire
- you or your travel companion lose your job
Travel insurance provides cancellation coverage that covers pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs up to the policy limit.
2. Medical emergencies
This provides medical coverage while you are away from home. Most people do not know that their health insurance from home does not work in foreign countries, and any medical expenses must be paid out of pocket, often even before treatment is received. An accident or illness in a foreign country can be a scary experience without the proper medical coverage. Travel insurance policies provide up to $1,000,000 of medical emergency coverage, depending on the plan and insurance company.
3. Trip interruption
When an accident or illness does effect your trip, coverage for trip interruption will help pay the unused portion of the trip as well as last-minute expenses for heading back home.
4. Lost, damaged, stolen baggage
Baggage coverage includes personal items, baggage, and travel documents. If your baggage is lost, stolen, or damaged and you need to replace items, baggage coverage will provide benefits up to the policy limit, usually between $500-$2000.
5. Medical evacuation
If you are in a foreign country and suffer an accident or illness, there will most likely be some medical evacuation expenses. From simple transportation to the nearest suitable hospital to an extensive medical flight back to the US, evacuation costs can easily cost over $100,000. Medical flights are specially staffed with trained professionals, and stocked with medical supplies and equipment. It is not as simple as hopping on the next commercial flight. Medical evacuation coverage provides up to $1,000,000 in evacuation expenses, depending on the company.
Comparison sites are the best way to shop for travel insurance
There are several websites where travelers can compare policies from all major companies (see How to Compare Quotes with a Travel Insurance Comparison Site)