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Travel insurance protects policyholders against financial loss arising from incidents during their travels. That can mean anything from covering the cost of nonrefundable plane tickets to accommodations in the event of a delayed flight to helping you secure a lost passport.
Travel insurance policies can be bought annually, like other insurance products, or on a trip-by-trip basis. Some companies offer different domestic and international travel insurance plans. The cost of a travel insurance policy depends on what is included in the coverage, but usually costs around four to eight percent of the total trip cost.
The exact coverage details of a travel insurance policy will depend on the specific policy. In general, travel insurance will cover losses associated with:
Nonrefundable trip deposits
Policyholders or companions becoming sick or injured
Cancelled flight due to bad weather
There may also be considerations or exclusions for specific items. For instance, if you miss your flight due to injury before your trip your travel insurance policy will likely recoup the cost of your ticket; if you miss your flight simply because you were late to the airport, you may not be covered. Valid reasons for claims will be outlined in your policy.
Many health insurance policies have limitations on the types of treatment that will be covered while traveling abroad, so if you need to visit a medical facility in another country, or be evacuated to another location that can better treat you, your health insurance may not cover it. Travel insurance can fill that gap—most travel insurance policies have the option of covering illnesses.
Travel health insurance is a type of stripped down travel insurance. It takes the medical aspects of a travel insurance plan, such as healthcare coverage and evacuation, and offers them in a standalone policy. Travel health insurance doesn’t protect against things like lost bags or canceled flights, but the focused coverage results in a much cheaper policy.
Travel insurance is offered by many insurance providers. Some of the most popular travel insurance options include:
Allianz travel insurance
American Express travel insurance
Travelex travel insurance
USAA travel insurance
AIG Travel Guard travel insurance
Additionally, groups like AAA offer travel insurance provided by Allianz.
Simply put, the best travel insurance policy is one that works for your travel plans. You should consider what is covered in your policy (for example, medical coverage), the cost of the plan, and whether it is a domestic or international travel insurance policy.
Before you buy a policy, be sure to read travel insurance reviews so you know what to expect from a particular company or policy, and whether or not you can rely on them to get you out of a jam while you travel.