What Is the Meaning of Travel Insurance?
While you may consider many types of insurance as essential, travel insurance is most likely not on your list. You may not be sure of the meaning of travel insurance and even if you are, you might think it is only for long trips or far away destinations.
However, taking stock of things that can happen during the course of even a short trip may make spending a little time investigating travel insurance a wise choice.
Travel insurance, just like any other type of insurance, is a tool for managing risk. Purchasing it for a trip or vacation provides “what if” protections for anything from losing your luggage to acts of terrorism occurring at your destination.
While in some cases, you may be correct in thinking an existing health or homeowner’s insurance policy will be sufficient to cover anything that may happen during your trip or vacation, travel insurance provides an extra layer of protection that turns what you think into what you know.
Types of Travel Insurance
Four general categories of travel insurance exist, each with a variety of coverage options. These include trip, property, health and life.
Trip insurance protects against the possibility of cancellations, interruptions, delays, missed connections, acts of terrorism occurring at your destination or your tour operator filing bankruptcy after taking your money but before you get to take your vacation.
Property protection involves the delay or loss of your luggage as well as rental car protection. Travel health insurance covers the cost of care for a health or dental emergency, or evacuation to a treatment facility; and can provide a special form of coverage if you have a pre-existing health condition. Life protections cover an accidental death while on your trip, in an airplane or on a cruise ship.
If you travel as part of a group, the travel company or tour guide may be able to provide travel insurance packages. Alternately, you can purchase travel insurance through a private insurance company or online agency.
Before choosing an agent or company, however, verify they have a license to sell insurance in your state. You should also check with the Better Business Bureau or an insurance rating agency such as ambest.com to verify the company has a good reputation.
Package costs depend on the type and amount of coverage but according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, generally run between four and eight percent of the cost of your trip. If your vacation package costs $2,500, this means a cost of about $100 to $200.
Before purchasing any type of travel insurance, check your current homeowner and health insurance policies to see whether they provide any level of coverage and if so how much, especially if you will be traveling abroad.
Assess your needs and then purchase only the amount of travel insurance you really need.
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