The intent of travel insurance is to provide financial protection against large unexpected financial losses due to listed unforeseen events that occur while you are traveling. Unforeseen events are those situations that result from sudden, unpredicted, and unknown conditions.
This also means the event must be listed as a covered reason, or you won’t have a valid claim. As such, travel insurance plans usually provide a good-sized list of unforeseen events in each description of coverage.
Protection for what you cannot predict
Travel insurance covers you, and those insured with your policy, for unforeseen events such as:
- Unexpected medical emergencies or death
- Medical emergencies, including sudden illnesses or injuries (and pre-existing medical conditions if the insured purchases a pre-existing condition waiver with their plan)
- The need for emergency medical transportation or evacuation (some plans also provide coverage for non medical evacuations in certain situations)
- The repatriation of an insured’s remains in case of death
- The need to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason (the plan will list covered reasons for trip cancellations and interruptions)
- Unexpected loss of a job at which you have worked for less than 3 years (most policies provide coverage if you’ve worked in a position for at least three years, although some require a minimum of five)
- A travel supplier suddenly and unexpectedly ceasing operations
- Delays due to severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and more
- Lost, stolen or destroyed belongings packed in checked bags
- Trip delays due to unexpected and unannounced labor strikes
- Trip interruptions and cancellations due to terrorist acts at your destination
- Traffic accidents or damage to a rental car, or the loss of a rental car due to theft
- Loss of life or functioning limbs
- Flight accidents
Just remember, if the unforeseen event that causes you to make a travel insurance claim is not listed in the policy certificate, then you won’t have coverage. For example, if you purchase a plan that includes ‘cancel for work reasons’ coverage but you cancel your trip because you’re broke, you won’t have coverage for that trip cancellation.
What is Not Covered
See the complete list of what travel insurance does not cover.
To understand what each travel insurance plan does and does not cover by benefit, take a look at the complete Travel Insurance Coverage Guide.