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What is trip insurance?

What is trip insurance?Anyone who travels extensively knows that things don’t always go as planned. Be it flight delays, lost baggage, illnesses, and any number of other thongs that can go wrong, financial loss is always a possibility.

That’s where trip insurance comes in. It may not change the bad circumstances you find yourself in, but it will reduce the risk of financial loss.

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There are many types of trip insurance, also known as travel insurance, with varying levels of protection. Consider your needs, budget and travel specifics as you review the options.

Different Types of Trip Insurance

Who you are traveling with, why you are traveling, and where you are going are all factors to consider when viewing the different types of travel insurance. For instance:

  • For a family or single person taking a vacation, trip insurance would cover things like lost or stolen baggage, canceled or delayed flights, liability on a rental home, auto collision damage, emergency medical and dental costs, and even accidental death.
  • Business travelers can purchase business trip insurance that will cover not only the standard traveling items like lost baggage and flight delays, but also identity theft and damage or loss of company laptops, exhibition materials, and the like. Business trip insurance policies are generally issued for a set number of trips annually. However, single trip policies are available.
  • Another type of trip insurance is medical coverage, especially for overseas travelers. While the normal policy does tend to cover emergency medical issues, the maximum amounts are often not enough to cover the total costs. This can be especially true if emergency transportation was also provided. A medical policy covers against those high cost medical expenses as well as accidental death.

Where to Buy Trip Insurance

If you use a travel agent or service to secure your travel plans, they will almost always offer you trip insurance. If the insurance is carried through a third-party, your travel agent may earn a commission from that company. While there may not be anything inherently wrong with the policy you are offered, industry experts suggest consumers shop around for trip insurance.

You can search the term on the internet for a whole host of trip insurance providers. You might consider calling the company with whom you have your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy. Even your car insurance company might have a trip insurance plan.

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Consider Your Coverage

Providers of trip insurance are out to sell you the most coverage possible. That’s normal; that’s their business. But a careful study of what a given policy offers may reveal coverage you don’t need. For example, a policy may provide purchase protection on anything you buy while you travel. If your credit card already carries such protection you don’t need more from your insurance policy.

On the other hand, you need to be careful that you don’t get too little coverage either. If a policy offers $100 per day for a hospital stay, that small amount will be insignificant when compared to the actual bill. You could also find yourself in a situation where you need to be airlifted from a cruise ship, or rushed by ambulance to a major city hospital. Such things may not be covered by a given trip insurance policy.

Hidden Benefits of Trip Insurance

Not all trip insurance is the same, and depending on what your policy covers you may find some extra benefits you weren’t expecting. For example, there are occasions when car rental coverage will reduce the cost of your rental if you carry trip insurance. This is common overseas where car rental agencies might have a hard time recovering losses caused by an underinsured renter.

Your insurer may also be able to help with passport issues too. Having verified your identity and citizenship at the time the policy was issued, the insurance company is in a perfect position to contact overseas officials and help straighten out issues. If they cover the added expenses of being delayed by passport issues, that’s even better.

Other hidden benefits of travel insurance can include:

  • Trip planning services
  • Special rates on hotels and transportation
  • Access to special tour options

The key to getting the best trip insurance policy you can find is to take the time to search and compare. Purchasing trip insurance gives travelers the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will not suffer substantial financial loss if something goes wrong on a trip. Many people refuse to travel overseas unless they have trip insurance. Hopefully, they never need to use it, but if they do they’re taken care of.

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