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The Eight Types Of Travel Insurance: A Guide

November 10, 2013

When it comes to that dream vacation, you want to be sure you can actually take that trip, right? As you’re making your preparations, you might want to consider purchasing travel insurance, for any number of reasons.

Luckily, there are a variety of travel insurance options that you can purchase to suit your travel needs. Two of the most popular categories of travel insurance are medical insurance and vacation packages. Below, you’ll find summaries of eight types of travel insurance and what each covers, so you can choose the right insurance for your trip.

Travel Medical Insurance

For residents of the United States, the European Union and of other countries, health care coverage from traditional insurers may end or be limited when you leave your home country or union. If you’re planning to travel overseas, you may want to consider travel medical insurance. There are a variety of these plans which cover medical emergencies and sometimes include coverage for medical emergencies and medical evacuation. Emergency and evacuation plans typically cover transportation to the nearest hospital or treatment center, but some plans will help you return home for medical treatment.

Flight Cancellation Insurance or Missed Connection Insurance

If your plane does not leave on time and you have a connecting flight to your intended destination, you’ll want to consider a plan that reimburses you for a missed connection or a missed flight. This type of insurance often kicks in after travel delays of three or more hours. Missed connection insurance is typically offered as part of a package, not as standalone insurance coverage.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance

If something happens and your trip is cancelled, this type of insurance reimburses you for what you paid for the trip. Some plans include coverage for incidents where you’re sick and can’t take your trip or for reasons that are outside your control, like the loss of a job that forces you to cancel your trip.  This coverage often softens the blow if you or a travel companion cannot take the trip and you’ve already spent the money, or in a situation where the company you used to book the trip goes out of business. If something happens during your trip and you have to cut it short, you may be reimbursed for the time you didn’t use.  Depending on the type of trip you’re taking and the investment you’ve made in that trip – you can either purchase this one or skip it. If you’re flying to Miami, Fla., for spring break, you can probably skip this. But, if you’re planning a trip to Europe and this is the only chance you’ll ever have to take the trip, this type of insurance could come in handy.

Adventure Travel Insurance

If you’re planning a big trip that focuses on outdoor activity and extreme sports, you may want to consider purchasing an insurance plan that includes coverage for adventure type activities like these. Sometimes, these adventure travel plans include other coverage, as part of a package. For example, trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance and baggage insurance are included.

Baggage Insurance

Losing your baggage on a flight, no matter the destination, can be a nightmare. You can give yourself some peace of mind with baggage insurance, though. Some companies offer these insurance policies that will provide you with money to purchase necessary items if your bags are delayed. Other policies cover the cost to replace items that have been lost, if your bags mysteriously disappear. The amount of coverage varies with the type of insurance. Airlines cover baggage that is lost or delayed, but they don’t pay out as well as people might expect. Their coverage is limited and they try to minimize the amount they pay out by subtracting depreciation.  This is one reason you might want to purchase baggage insurance, to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your bag will land with you at your destination, and if it doesn’t, you’ll be compensated in order to replace the lost items.

Flight Insurance

While it doesn’t happen every day, the possibility of an in-flight accident can be scary, and costly to those who are in incidents like that. You can purchase flight insurance to help mitigate the potential damages, just in case a problem occurs while you are in flight.  This type of insurance covers an in-flight disaster like a plane crash. If you purchase this insurance and your flight is involved in an accident, this insurance covers accidental death and dismemberment. Depending on the plan you’ve purchased, you may have coverage for return or remains, increased medical insurance coverage or even something more minor, like lost or delayed baggage. Flight insurance may be costly, so you might want to consider your investment in the trip before you purchase this plan.

Security Insurance

If you’re traveling to an area where political instability mars the landscape, you may want to consider security insurance. Sometimes called political evacuation insurance, this insurance coverage kicks in when dangerous situations arise due to political issues, military problems or even impending natural disasters.  This type of coverage allows coordination and funding to rescue travelers and bring them to safe areas.

Vacation Plan Insurance

Vacation plans are a very popular type of travel insurance. These plans are the most comprehensive available and combine many of the insurances listed above into one policy. These typically cover medical issues, trip cancellation or delay, delayed or lost baggage and 24/7 assistance programs.

Whether or not to purchase travel insurance and the type to purchase are both decisions that you , as the individual traveler, will have to make. These plans vary in price, and in some cases, you may have to purchase insurance in the country where you are traveling to. Do your research before you purchase travel insurance to be sure that it fits your travel needs.

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April Bamburg

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April Bamburg
April Bamburg is a freelance writer specializing in community news, travel writing, press releases and other blog posts. She dreams of traveling the world and getting lost in Italy, Turkey or even Scotland.