The last thing you want to think about when planning your dream vacation is canceling your trip. Still, it pays to plan ahead and travel insurance can be one of the most important items you take.
Travel insurance generally covers trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays and lost luggage. Medical and medical evacuation benefits are built into most travel insurance policies. It also can pay for the costs of getting you home if the hospital determines it’s necessary.
With trip cancellation coverage, you get a 100 percent refund of your trip expenses if you cancel before leaving for a reason covered by your policy:
• Sickness or injury
• Your death or death of a family member or traveling companion
• Hurricane damages to your destination or flight cancellation
• Laid off from work or required to work
• Terrorist incident at your destination
• Travel supplier bankruptcy
• Called for jury duty
• Military deployment
• Divorce or legal separation
Trip Interruption coverage covers many of the same reasons as trip cancellation coverage. Policies with trip interruption also cover additional transportation costs if you must return early and costs for the lost portion of your trip.
Some travelers chose to upgrade to “cancel for any reason“ coverage. It offers a partial refund of expenses, usually 75 percent, for reasons not listed under trip cancellation. Adding this coverage will increase premiums about 40 percent and must be added 14 to 30 days after you book your trip.
Travel insurance also can cover travel delays when you miss a flight and helps pay for meals and hotel accommodations. Missed connection coverage pays for costs if you missed your departure for a reason covered by your policy, such as severe weather, a mechanical breakdown, or accident on your way to the airport.
To qualify, you generally should buy insurance within 15 days of booking your trip.