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Understanding Travel Insurance

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What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance reimburses you for costs related to unexpected events that may arise during your trip. Travel insurance is designed to cover the individuals that choose to buy the coverage with financial implications that could arise during their trip. Coverage may include both costs incurred before your trip, such as nonrefundable event tickets or hotel stays, and during your trip, including travel interruptions and medical expenses.
There are five main categories that travel insurance would cover if purchased: 

  • Trip cancellation
  • Travel medical
  • Major medical
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Accidental death/flight accident

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Most likely your existing homeowner's insurance or health insurance policies will your medical costs or lost property, both at home and abroad. In addition, your life insurance policy should cover you and your family while you travel. And airlines must reimburse you if they lose your bags. However you may want to purchase additional trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance to cover any losses that are not covered by your existing homeowner's insurance or health insurance plans. 

The following reasons are why travel insurance may be worth getting:

  1. Protect the cost of your trip if you have a travel delay or need to cancel the trip;
  2. Offset added expenses due to a travel delay or lost, delayed or damaged luggage; and/or
  3. Protect from costly medical bills in case you are injured or become sick while traveling abroad.

What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Trip cancellation insurance covers you for the period of time before you depart on your trip, but not during your travels. If you are forced to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen event that affects you, a close family member or your traveling companion, trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for any prepaid, non-refundable expenses that you cannot use (e.g., airline tickets or hotel rooms). Trip cancellation insurance cover cancellation or interruption for the following reasons:

  • Sudden business conflicts
  • Change of mind in going on trip
  • Delay in getting your visa or passport
  • Illness or injury
  • Weather-related issues

What is Trip Interruption Insurance?

Trip interruption insurance covers you during your travels and will reimburse you for any costs incurred if an event such as injury or illness forces you to interrupt your travels. Trip interruption insurance will cover your costs for returning home early and will often cover medical evacuation costs or if you are merely delayed during your trip, this type of insurance may cover expenses caused by the delay as well as additional costs incurred to return you to your original itinerary.

Do I Need a Lawyer for my Travel Insurance Issue?

The language in insurance policies is complicated and ambiguous. For example, you and your insurance company may have different interpretations as to what is an "unforeseen event" or who is a "close family member." An experienced and you should immediately contact a business lawyer who has experience dealing with insurance claims and insurance law. An experienced business lawyer can help you understand your policy and let you know exactly what kind of benefits and reimbursements you are entitled to.

Photo of page author Ki Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 07-25-2018 06:15 PM PDT

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