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What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance ensures travelers get reimbursed for cancelled flights.
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  • Written By: T Thompson
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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There are many things to consider when planning a vacation - where to go, what to pack, and what to do once you get there. No matter how well you plan, though, there are some things that are out of your control. That's where travel insurance can come in very handy by compensating you for unforeseen emergencies while traveling.

There are several types of travel insurance to choose from, depending on the type of trip and length of stay. The first and most common is Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage. Most of these policies cover cancellations due to weather, sudden illness or death, jury duty, emergency military duty, and bankruptcy of airline or cruise line prior to departure. Many also include terrorism insurance that reimburses your expenses in the event that the U.S. Department of State issues a travel warning advising not to travel within a given country for a period of time.

Another common type of travel insurance is for medical emergencies. This type of coverage is particularly useful if you plan on traveling to underdeveloped countries, or for individuals with a chronic illness that might require medical attention at some point during the trip. These policies will reimburse you for the cost of doctor visits, medication, and sometimes even medical evacuation out of the country. It's best to check with your insurance provider regarding the details, as travel health coverage policies vary widely.

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It is also possible to obtain travel insurance that will cover non-refundable tickets in the event that a trip has to be cancelled for any number of reasons. Some coverage plans will sometimes cover missed connections as well, which can be a lifesaver in the event of a flight delay or over-crowded and/or confusing airport terminal.

For longer trips, or for frequent travelers, a comprehensive insurance package is probably the best value. These usually provide a wide variety of coverage, and some even allow you to choose what kinds of coverage to be included. Since it's impossible to know what problems might arise during your trip, these policies cover all the bases so that you have protection against monetary loss in the event of nearly any emergency.

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Discuss this Article

anon270478
Post 13

This also applies to missions medical insurance and travel insurance for mission trips abroad.

bagley79
Post 12

The older I get, the more I realize how important travel insurance is. When you think about the time and money you put into planning a trip, why take a chance on ruining it?

I guess I have seen too many things happen, that I am no longer surprised by anything that does happen when we travel.

When I was younger, I took more risk and had the mindset that "it won't happen to me". I don't like to be a pessimist, but now I like to be prepared so if it does happen to me, I am covered.

One thing that stuck out in my mind when we went on a cruise a few years ago is how much it would cost if you needed medical attention out in the middle of the ocean.

If I remember right, the man told me it would cost around $40,000 if a helicopter had to rescue someone from the ship. Maybe that is somewhat of a scare tactic, but there are many other benefits that are well worth the money spent for the insurance.

myharley
Post 11

With the way so many airlines are overbooking flights these days, I think buying some kind of cheap travel insurance is worth it.

We went on a cruise a few months ago and decided to fly down a couple days before the cruise ship left. We are sure glad we did, as we had a delay with every flight we were on.

If we had tried to fly down the same day, we would have missed getting on the ship when it left. We had purchased travel insurance for this trip, and I made sure it would have covered any type of missed connection like that.

When the man on the phone was telling me about all of the benefits of purchasing the insurance, he told me they would also pay you $500 if your luggage didn't make it on the ship or was lost.

My son thought that might be a pretty good deal, but I don't think the hassle would be worth it.

honeybees
Post 10

I guess I have been lucky so far, as I have never purchased travel insurance when I have booked a trip. I have not traveled out of the country so I think that is the biggest reason.

We have never been in a situation where we would have needed to use the insurance. This is one thing I would definitely consider if I was going to travel outside the country.

I think it would be just as important to make a travel insurance comparison as it would be when comparing airline prices.

Even though travel insurance is relatively inexpensive, I have noticed quite a few differences in what some cover and others don't.

I know it would only take one time when I needed travel insurance and didn't have it, to make me realize how lucky I have been so far.

julies
Post 9

@jadiebear - When I went on a cruise recently, I purchased the travel insurance through the online company I booked my cruise with.

I think it is a good idea to compare travel insurance plans so you are aware of the different options and types of coverage available. I found the cost was about the same for what they were offering.

For me, it was just more convenient to pay for it when I paid for my trip. It was only about $50 per person, and I thought it was well worth the peace of mind.

Thankfully we never had to use it, but I think I would worry too much if I didn't have it. For me, that is worth the money paid for the travel insurance.

whiteplane
Post 8

I always get travel insurance when I travel, particularly if I am going out of the country. I have chosen to insure myself against a disaster in all other areas of my life, why would I let this safety net go when I travel?

The cost is usually not too high and I think it is the responsible thing to do. Travel disasters are the worst.

summing
Post 7

Is it possible to get a travel insurance quote online? I doubt that I will end up buying a policy but I am going to be doing some travelling next year and I would be curious to see how much it costs.

I have dealt with enough insurance salesmen to know that you should avoid getting them on the phone. One question turns into a 15 minute conversation and eventually you are buying insurance out of guilt. If I can just plug some numbers into an online form that would save me a lot of time and grief.

truman12
Post 6

I once ended up getting into a very bad traffic accident when I was travelling in Vietnam and I was lucky to have travel insurance. I had significant medical bills, had to pay for the damage to several cars and had to replace many of my belongings. It was an ordeal to say the least.

Luckily I had taken out a comprehensive travel insurance policy before I went overseas. It covered all of the bills I racked up as a result of the wreck. Things could have been a lot worse if I had not had the insurance.

tcook23
Post 5

Whatever company provides the best travel insurance

for you is who to go with. It is often inexpensive and fairly easy to attain.

anon75647
Post 4

Acquiring travel insurance is a big decision. One must weigh all their options before deciding to purchase.

jadiebear
Post 3

Should I purchase travel insurance through the cruiseline or purchase it through independent company? What is the pros and cons of the two? Thanks.

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