What Is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is usually tied to a scheduled trip that you have planned. The insurance usually will provide coverage if a covered event occurs prior to or during the trip that causes you to miss your trip, disrupt your trip or lead to costs for unexpected events, such as lost luggage or emergency medical treatment.

Why Buy Travel Insurance?

You may have saved and planned for the trip of a lifetime. All of your bags are packed and you're leaving the building when you notice that your companion has chicken pox. Due to this unexpected development, you will probably not be able to go on your trip and could theoretically forfeit all the money that you paid for travel tickets, hotel reservations and other planned events. Something may even happen during your trip requiring that you pay the expensive additional costs to travel home unexpectedly. Travel insurance can protect you from the final costs of trip disrupting events that were unplanned.
Although each policy or certificate may include different benefits, most policies include coverage to pay for the costs of an interrupted trip, for lost baggage and for medical emergencies while traveling. Each of these benefits may be tailored to your particular needs on your trip.

Don't My Other Policies Cover Me?

Most traditional property and casualty insurance policies cover you for unexpected losses that affect your property or make you liable for a lawsuit, but they do not cover you for disruptions to travel plans for which you may have already paid. Many traditional property and casualty insurance policies may cover you for the cost of lost baggage, but may cover only part of the loss and not the true cost of obtaining new materials while traveling. Most health insurance policies cover you for the cost of medical treatment, but some do not pay for the cost of medical care provided abroad.

Am I Required To Buy Travel Insurance?

There are no specific laws requiring anyone to purchase travel insurance, but if you are investing a significant amount of money in a trip, it may be prudent to consider this coverage to protect your investment in the reservations and tickets you have already purchased.