What does travel insurance cover?
So, what does travel insurance cover?
Here’s the very short answer:
Travel insurance covers cancellations, medical expenses, evacuations, loss or delays, and 24/7 assistance.
These are the 5 basic types of coverage provided with vacation insurance. This page outlines the general coverage provided, and our full guide to coverage can be found here.
1. Cancelled Trips
This is the #1 concern with most travelers.
Plane tickets, cruise fare, tour packages, hotel rooms, charter fishing boats, golf greens fees.
You invest money when planning a trip. If these expenses are pre-paid and non-refundable, you risk losing it if something goes wrong.
Trip Cancellation Coverage reimburses you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel your trip before you depart.
Insurance companies provide a list of covered reasons for trip cancellation, an overview of typical covered reasons is below.
Covered reasons to cancel your trip:
- Sickness, injury, or death of you, a family member, or a traveling companion
- Hurricane damages your destination or cancels your flight
- Laid off from work or required to work
- Terrorist incident in your destination city
- Bankruptcy of your travel supplier
- Called for jury duty
This is only a partial list, but you can see it covers very common situations for cancelling.
The most common reason is the first one…someone getting sick or a family member passing away.
Trip Interruption Coverage is similar to cancellation coverage, but covers you while you are on your trip for the same list of covered reasons.
If something happens and you are required to return home, insurance will reimburse you for the lost portion of your trip…as well as any additional expenses for the last-minute flight home.
2. Medical emergencies abroad
This is crucial, and often overlooked.
Most people think they are covered for medical emergencies if they already have existing health care insurance. Within the United States, that will be true.
Outside the U.S., however, is a big IF. Most do not provide coverage, and Medicare never covers you abroad.
Would you feel comfortable having a family member risk inadequate medical care in a foreign country?
For cruises, your health insurance from home may not cover you if you’re traveling on a foreign-flagged ship (which includes most cruise ships).
Medical Expense Coverage will cover you for accidents and emergency medical and dental care when you travel abroad.
Even if you are covered for basic emergency care overseas (again, a big IF), your current health insurance provider will almost certainly NOT pay to evacuate you and repatriate you back to the U.S.
3. Emergency evacuations
Emergency Evacuation Coverage will pay for emergency evacuation expenses such as airlifts and medically equipped flights back home, and oftentimes will transport you to the hospital of your choice for care.
Evacuation expenses can be devastating.
An ambulance to the hospital, an airlift to a more adequate hospital, getting you back home on board a medically-staffed flight afterwards…evacuation expenses can easily cost $50,000.
4. Lost bags, delayed bags, delayed flights
These coverage are for the “smaller things” that are nice to have. Again, the list is not complete but it will give you an idea of some additional coverages.
Baggage Coverage can reimburse you for your personal belongings if your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged.
Baggage Delay Coverage provides money to buy essential items until your delayed bags arrive, such as a toiletry kit, a swimsuit, or another change of clothes.
Travel Delay Coverage provides reimbursement for additional expenses if your flight is delayed, such as an extra night in a hotel or a meal at a restaurant.
5. Phone assistance 24/7 worldwide
This is about having a ‘lifeline’ to call when something happens.
Medical emergencies, stolen baggage, lost passports, cancelled flights. Every travel insurance company provides 24/7 support for all of these needs.
This service is most important when you have a medical issue.
24/7 Travel Assistance Services can help you:
- Locate the nearest adequate hospital if needed
- Organize medical transportation
- Arrange for treatment and overcome any language barriers
- Organize transportation home
- Replace prescriptions in an emergency
In addition, non-medical assistance may include:
- Lost baggage search; stolen luggage replacement assistance
- Lost passport/travel documents assistance
- Travel information including visa/passport requirements
- Emergency telephone interpretation assistance
Additional coverage with travel insurance
Travel insurance can also provides coverage for:
Life Insurance coverage for accidental death or dismemberment.
Hazardous Sports extends the medical coverage to cover activities like SCUBA.
Rental Car Collision replaces your personal insurance or the rental company policy.
Identity Theft provides services to help in the event of identity theft while traveling.
Travel insurance covers cancellations, medical expenses, evacuations, losses or delays, and 24/7 assistance
Next in the series:
Coming up we will look at the Two Most Popular Types of Travel Insurance, where you’ll discover the type of plan that accounts for 96% of travel insurance plans.
Go back to the Travel Insurance 101 series.
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About this website
My name is Damian, and I started this website in 2006 to help travelers understand travel insurance.
The site features company reviews, guides, articles, and many blog posts to help you better understand travel insurance and pick the right plan for your trip (assuming you actually need travel insurance).
I am also a licensed travel insurance agent, and you can get a quote and purchase through this site as well.
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Why Choose Travel Guard?
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We make sure our customers receive not only superior travel insurance coverage but also a lifeline when away from home. Next time there is an emergency or delay, we can help you find a new flight. Expenses incurred from third-party vendors for assistance services not part of a filed insurance plan are the responsibility of the traveler.
Travel Guard is committed to providing products and services that will exceed expectations. If you are not completely satisfied, you can receive a refund of the cost, minus the service fee.*В
*Requests must be submitted to Travel Guard in writing within 15 days of the effective date of the coverage, provided it is not past the original departure date. Not applicable to residents of the state of New York.
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*Some coverages and features may not be available in all states.
Travel Guard Reviews
Thank you very much for your favorable consideration of our claims. В I was planning on driving my mom back up north to her home today but was delayed due to nasty weather conditions. В Imagine our delight to find our travel refund checks in the mailbox today! This will help fund our return trip to Wisconsin! Thank you again!
Kathy and Marilyn
My wife and I were enjoying a vacation to Barbados when she became ill. В After a couple of trips to the clinic in Barbados we decided to cut our trip short. В Travel Guard took care of everything they said they would in a very timely manner. В I have used Travel Guard many times and I would highly recommend them to everyone!
I am flying to a photography workshop in Florence, Italy. В But, during a layover in Amsterdam, I became very ill and had to be taken to a hospital for a week. В My luggage went on to Florence without me and your staff was able to track it down and get it returned to Mobile, AL.
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This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer or insurance agent or broker. Coverage is offered by Travel Guard Group, Inc (Travel Guard). California lic. no.0B93606, 3300 Business Park Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54482, www.travelguard.com. CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-HELP. This is only a brief description of the coverage(s) available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Insurance underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania insurance company, with its principal place of business at 175 Water Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10038. It is currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. NAIC No. 19445. Coverage may not be available in all states. Your travel retailer may not be licensed to sell insurance, and cannot answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. The purchase of travel insurance is not required in order to purchase any other product or service from the Travel Retailer.
Full current policy documents can be found here.
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Travel insurance protects travelers in case of emergency or interruption of a trip.
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Your Questions About Travel Insurance
Do I need travel insurance?
Imagine your trip gets canceled unexpectedly. Would you be able to easily accept the financial loss of the cost of your trip? If there was a medical issue, and someone in your party needed to be evacuated, could you easily cover the cost? Are you traveling with any significant valuables that would be expensive to replace? If you answered yes to any of these, you should look more closely at buying travel insurance. Read more here.
Why is comparing travel insurance important?
Your travel insurance needs are determined by the nature of your trip, its cost, and who is traveling. You will want to find a policy that covers what you need at a price that fits your budget. There are dozens of companies to choose from, each with a large number of options. The number of choices can be overwhelming. If you buy coverage you don’t need, from the wrong company, you would overspend. Worse yet, you could buy a plan that doesn’t cover what you need. Our comparison engine, and highly trained licensed agents will help you find the plan that fits your trip like a glove. Learn more about how to compare here.
What coverage do I need?
Answer these questions to start. What pre-paid trip costs are you unwilling to lose? What unpredictable expenses would you not be able to cover? What reasons might cause you to cancel unexpectedly? There are different plans and options that allow you to cancel for any reason. There are plans that have better coverage for emergency evacuation and emergency medical treatment. Some plans cover you in case of terrorist activities and others have limited coverage. There are limits to each plan as to how much they cover for loss of personal belongings. Click here to learn what coverage you need.
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A travel insurance policy can protect you from a variety of unexpected circumstances while you’re traveling. Whether you’re looking for trip cancellation coverage to reimburse you for the costs of hotels, flights and other pre-paid and non-refundable trip expenses or if you need medical expense coverage to protect you from the extensive costs of overseas treatment and hospitalization, a travel insurance policy can drastically decrease your risks.
Travel insurance is important for travelers who need a solution to protect themselves from unexpected situations that could affect their travel plans, trip investment and health when traveling. In the last few years, travel insurance has become one of the most popular insurance products available, as it is extremely cost-effective. It’s practically indispensable on international trips, and for travelers of all ages and occupations, it’s a great safety net to give peace of mind when traveling.
Whether you’re planning on going solo or with a group of friends or family, TravelInsurance.com can help you find an appropriate domestic or international travel insurance policy that meets your needs. You can compare all of your trip insurance options, procure coverage online and travel worry-free.
The right travel insurance policy gives you peace of mind no matter where your travels take you. You’ll know where to turn if something goes wrong, with 24/7 emergency assistance from your trip insurance provider.
It can be hard to know where to begin when searching for a travel insurance policy. An ideal policy offers sufficient coverage at a reasonable price. There are many different variables involved in the quote process and insurance carriers offer a variety of plans and coverage levels to choose from. No one should go through this process uninformed and without an easy way of navigating the world of trip insurance.