Purchasing travel insurance is a bit more complicated than saying, “hey, I’d like to purchase some travel insurance.” There are five primary types offered: vacation cancellation/interruption, medical, evacuation, baggage, and flight insurance. When choosing the type of coverage you want and need, consider the nature of your trip itself. Below, we have outlined these five basic types of insurance and what they entail.
Vacation Cancellation/Interruption—If you purchase any type of comprehensive policy, this is likely included. The most common type of travel insurance, it covers the reasons you may have to cancel or prematurely end your trip: sickness, weather or carrier issues, and legal obligations such as jury duty. Exact coverage varies, but if you’re still unsure about travel insurance as an enterprise, this is the plan to get; it is the most comprehensive and the most likely to be useful.
Medical—This one is relatively self-explanatory; most plans cover 24-hour emergency assistance, ambulance costs, hospital services, and emergency dental work. Before purchasing this insurance, ask yourself if you need a plan that covers pre-existing conditions. Then, seek out a medical travel insurance that covers your specific condition.
Evacuation—If you are planning a trip to somewhere dangerous or remote, you may want to consider investing in evacuation insurance. Often included within medical plans, this allows for emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate care facility. This is a great add-on option for those embarking on a safari excursion, backpacking trip, or anywhere near natural or man-man dangers.
Baggage—Travelling domestically and internationally pose the risk of lost baggage; if you are bringing along expensive equipment, such as skis, you should do what you can to protect your luggage. Baggage insurance will reimburse travelers for clothes, medication, and other essential items if your belongings are delayed in arriving at the destination. It will also cover the cost of your possessions if they are lost, stolen, or damaged during the trip.
Flight—This is one of the easiest types of travel insurance to access. Both airlines and insurance companies offer flight insurance; it can help you save on potential fees incurred in the event of a delay or cancellation due to bad weather, mechanical malfunctions, or labor strikes.