What Is Travel Insurance And How Are You Protected?

A travel insurance plan is composed of a package of benefits intended to protect you, your travel investment and your belongings.  At a minimum, a good plan will provide benefits for:

  • Trip Cancellation to reimburse your non-refundable travel arrangements should you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason prior to departure.
  • Trip Interruption to reimburse your unused travel arrangements should you have to interrupt or return home early from your trip for a covered reason.
  • Medical Expense/Emergency Assistance to cover medical expenses and emergency transportation for a serious illness or injury that occurs while you are traveling.
  • Missed Connection to cover additional expenses that you must pay to make alternate travel arrangements when a flight connection is missed due to reasons such as bad weather or mechanical issues.
  • Travel Delay Benefits to cover your out-of-pocket expenses for meals and accommodations when you are unexpectedly delayed due to flight delays or cancellations or for other similar covered reasons.  Generally, you must be delayed for a specified amount of time, such as 6 or 8 hours or more.
  • Baggage and Baggage Delay to cover loss or damage to your baggage or personal items or the cost of buying toiletries or personal articles if your baggage is delayed for a specified amount of time, such as 8 or 12 hours or more.

The following benefits or coverage enhancements may be included in the “Better” or “Best” plans:

  • Enhancements to provide more covered reasons if you have to cancel or interrupt your planned trip.  Many of the “Best” plans also include a Cancel For Any Reason Benefit which allows you to cancel your trip, generally two days or more before scheduled departure, for any reason whatsoever and receive a benefit for most of your non-refundable trip cost.
  • Higher levels of protection for most benefits
  • Additional benefits for:

Accidental Death and Dismemberment
Rental Car Damage

To understand which type of plan (Good, Better or Best) is right for you, it is important that you understand the benefits offered and how they may help you.   For example, if you will not be renting a car on your trip, you will not need to purchase a rental car damage benefit.  If you are traveling within the United States, higher limits of medical protection may have less importance to you.

Over the next several articles we will give you the tools you will need to make an informed decision so that you buy the plan that is right for you.

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