To Buy or Not to Buy? Do You Need Travel Insurance? By Susan Taylor - Field Specialist II - Families

Travel insurance is offered when planning trips of longer duration and/or greater cost. Travel insurance gives protection if an illness, accident or emergency forces you to cancel or cut short your trip. While travel insurance can add 5-10% to the cost of the trip, it does protect the traveler against greater financial loss.
 
Travel insurance may cover the following risks:
 
· Trip cancellation or interruption
· Emergency medical evacuation
· Operator failure–the airline, cruise line, or tour operator goes out of business before the trip (does not apply if the company is in bankruptcy)
· Lost or stolen luggage
· Rental car coverage
· Missed connection
· Accidental death
· Unforeseen emergencies–most companies have specific items they group into this category, so check the policy information carefully.
· Exclusions–most travel insurance policies will not cover hazardous activities -mountain climbing, hang gliding, rock climbing, etc.
 
Before you buy a policy:
 
· Decide the level of coverage you need; consider your personal needs and the type of travel.
· Read the policy carefully, especially the exclusions. Be aware that you might have another insurance policy that covers the same benefits. For example, your homeowner’s insurance may cover lost or stolen personal items.
· Don’t overbuy. You cannot cover more than your actual loss. Focus on the risks you cannot afford to absorb yourself.
· Check to see if there is a deductible or restriction on the amount you can claim.
· Safest way to buy travel insurance is directly from an insurance company that offers this type of coverage.
· Policies will only cover pre-existing health conditions if the policy is purchased within a limited number of days (usually 14) after you have paid an initial deposit on the trip.
 
Add this item to think about in planning your travel.
 
~ Susan Taylor—Field Specialist II—Families

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