What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

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Travel insurance typically provides coverage for the most common travel disruptions, such as flight cancellations, delays, overseas medical emergencies, and lost luggage. Most single-trip travel insurance policies are built to be comprehensive to protect travelers from a variety of unexpected events that may cause a financial loss before or during their trip.

Travel Insurance Coverage For Canceled Trips

For many travelers, the number one reason to buy travel insurance is for financial protection in case they have to cancel. With Trip Cancellation coverage, you can protect all of your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses.

Trip Cancellation can refund 100% of your trip expenses if you cancel your trip before leaving for a reason covered by your policy. The most common covered reasons include:

  • Illness, injury, or death of you, a traveling companion or a family member
  • Severe weather preventing you from reaching your destination
  • A terrorist attack at your destination

In order to buy a policy with Trip Cancellation coverage, you must insure some or all of your trip expenses. In addition, all Trip Cancellation policies come with a similar benefit: Trip Interruption.

Trip Interruption reimburses unused trip expenses, however coverage begins the day you leave for your trip. Many policies with Trip Interruption also cover the costs of additional transportation incurred if you need to return home early.

While Trip Cancellation provides a wide-range of protection for travelers, it does not cover everything. Travelers that want further flexibility, and the ability to receive some reimbursement regardless of their cancellation reason, should consider Cancel For Any Reason, or CFAR, coverage.

This optional upgrade will likely add additional costs to your total premium, but provides much more protection leading up to a trip. Travelers that cancel a trip through CFAR may be eligible for up to 75% reimbursement of their prepaid, non-refundable trip costs. This is a time-sensitive upgrade, and must be purchased within 14-30 days after you book your trip.

Travel Insurance Coverage for Medical Emergencies

If you get sick or injured while traveling abroad, most domestic health insurance plans, including Medicare, likely won’t extend coverage overseas. This can result in out of pocket expenses that can amount to thousands of dollars. Fortunately, medical benefits are built into most travel insurance policies.

There are two main travel medical insurance benefits: Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation.

Emergency Medical coverage can reimburse you for the costs associated with medical treatment for an illness or injury during your trip. This can include coverage for physician services, ambulance services, and hospital charges, among other expenses.

Medical Evacuation can arrange for your transportation to the nearest hospital in the event of a medical emergency. This benefit also can cover the cost to transfer you to another facility or bring you home if the hospital determines it’s necessary in your situation.

Travel Insurance Coverage For Delays

Delays have become all too common in recent years. Luckily, most travel insurance policies offer coverage for travelers that are delayed or miss a connecting flight.

The Travel Delay benefit offers reimbursement for food, accommodations, and other necessities  if your flight is delayed for a reason outside of your control. Examples include inclement weather and a mechanical breakdown of your plane. Most policies offer a daily limit and total limit you may be reimbursed in the event your trip is delayed.

Missed Connection is a travel insurance benefit offered to travelers that miss a connecting flight as a result of a delay. Similar to Travel Delay, covered reasons for missing a connecting flight include severe weather, a mechanical breakdown, or hazardous flying conditions. Missed Connection benefit may reimburse you for the cost to book additional transportation, as well as any prepaid trip costs you miss out on as a result of missing your connecting flight.

Travel Insurance Coverage for Lost or Delayed Luggage

The travel insurance coverage for your personal items can include lost or damaged items, stolen, or delayed luggage.

If your luggage is delayed, you can be refunded up to the policy’s benefit limit, to purchase clothes and other essentials after 12-24 hours. This benefit won’t refund the cost of the actual items that are delayed, however, if your luggage is permanently lost, stolen or damaged, you can be reimbursed to replace the lost items.

Coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage is limited to a per item maximum, typically ranging from $250-$500. If you travel with expensive items, Squaremouth recommends insuring them on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Other Travel Insurance Benefits

  • 24 Hour Assistance Service: Every provider found on Squaremouth offers 24/7 emergency assistance to policyholders. These teams can assist with a broad range of services, including medical referrals, legal assistance, and pre-trip assistance, among others.
  • Travel Insurance Coverage for Rental Cars: Very few standard travel insurance policies offer rental car protection to travelers. With that said, Rental Car Damage is an optional upgrade that can be added to some policies to cover expenses related to the damage or theft of a rental vehicle.
  • Non-Medical Evacuation Coverage: Evacuations are sometimes necessary in the event of a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or civil unrest. In this scenario, travel insurance may cover the cost to transport you from an area of danger to an area of safety.
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment: Your travel insurance policy may provide a cash payment in the event of accidental loss of life or limb during a covered trip if it includes AD&D coverage.
  • Adventure & Sports Coverage: Few standard travel insurance policies will extend coverage to travelers participating in hazardous sports or activities. If your itinerary includes skiing, scuba diving, or other potentially dangerous activities, you will need to find a policy built to cover those events.
  • Cruise Coverage: Travelers taking a cruise have unique risks and coverage considerations. Many providers have built policies with high evacuation coverage and other valuable benefits specifically to meet the needs of cruisers.