How to Use This Guide

This guide is intended to describe some of the features of travel insurance that may be offered by insurance companies. Depending on the policy or certificate, this coverage is short-term in nature and covers certain benefits prior to and during some scheduled trip.
This guide provides a general explanation of travel coverage. It will familiarize you with some of the terms and practices related to insurance in Massachusetts. If you have additional questions, you can also contact the Division of Insurance Consumer Services Section at (617) 521 7794 or through
As you consider any insurance, you should be aware that an insurance policy is a legal contract describing the promise an insurance company gives you in return for your premium payment.. Insurance is not a bank account in which your premiums are stored; it is a legal promise that an insurance company will pay for the costs of certain identified losses that may occur during the policy period. The insurance you buy to cover your travel is protection for a specific period or term of time, usually for the length of the trip.

To truly understand a particular type of coverage, you should take the time to learn what is and what is not covered. The insurance company offering the coverage or its producer should be able to help you with an analysis of the appropriate coverage for your situation, but it is up to you to choose the right policy to protect your own assets. It is important that you read your coverage carefully to determine your exact coverage, as well as your rights and responsibilities under the coverage.

There are a number of appendices at the end of the guide, including a glossary of commonly used terms such as those that appear in bold throughout the guide (Appendix A) and a record of any travel insurance policy that you may purchase (Appendix B).

This guide is not a legal analysis of your rights under any insurance policy or government program. Your insurance policy, program rules, Massachusetts law, federal law and court decisions establish your rights. You may want to consult an attorney for legal guidance about your specific rights.

This guide includes information, documents, and materials (collectively, the "Contents") that are subject to change without notice. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance cannot guarantee that the contents of this guide are up-to-date or complete and assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in any Contents, including Contents that are referenced by or linked (by hypertext links) to any other Contents or third party websites. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance makes no representations or warranties of any kind whatsoever for the Contents or for any products or services or hypertext links.

Section I: Risks to Your Assets
What Is Travel Insurance?
Why Buy Travel Insurance?
Don't My Other Policies Cover Me?
Am I Required to Buy Travel Insurance?

Section II: Insurance
How Does a Travel Policy Work?
How Do I Obtain Coverage? Can I Ever Be Turned Down?
Can an Insurer Ever Cancel My Coverage?
What Level of Coverage Do I Need?
How Do Insurers Market Insurance Policies
How Do Insurers Market Insurance Policies?

Section III: Costs And Losses
What Can Affect the Cost of the Coverage?
What Can I Do to Reduce the Insurance Premiums?
What If I Have Questions or Problems?
Appendix A: Glossary of Common Insurance Terms

Appendix B: Facts to Keep Handy About Your Own Policy pdf format of Appendix B: Facts to Keep Handy About Your Own...