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When shopping for travel insurance, it’s essential to match your own needs with that of the policy. Here are a few coverage areas to be aware of:
Baggage This benefit provides reimbursement for lost, stolen or damaged baggage or personal items. Coverage usually applies to your entire trip, not just your flight, but a subset of this coverage is for baggage delay, which offers reimbursement for clothing, toiletries and other essential items if luggage is delayed for a specified period of time.
Deductible is a co-pay amount which is the responsibility of the insured. Options vary by plan and can range from zero to $2,500. Deductibles can be charged per policy, or per individual, per incident or a combination. Most medical plans require you to select a deductible option while most travel protection plans offer a zero deductible benefit.
Emergency medical and dental pays for the cost of treatment associated with a medical or dental emergency incurred while traveling. Typically, this coverage applies to sudden, serious unexpected illness or injury and the treatment is medically necessary and provided by a licensed medical provider.
Employment layoff provides reimbursement for prepaid, non-refundable trip payments and deposits if a trip is canceled due to involuntary layoff or termination of employment. As with all insurance benefits, important terms and conditions may apply, so consult your provider before you cancel your trip.
Missed connection offers reimbursement for reasonable additional expenses for meals, accommodation and transportation in the event of a missed connection due to a covered reason. This may include the additional costs to “catch up” to a cruise if the cause of delay is an accident or bad weather.
Supplier financial default is normally offered in the event of a complete cessation of operations due to financial circumstances. Most companies publish a list of travel suppliers that they either cover or exclude for financial default. Be sure to review your policy to understand the terms and conditions and to make sure you are eligible for supplier default coverage.
Rental car damage offers collision loss/damage insurance for rental cars covers the costs of damage to, or theft of, a rental car.
Terrorism Provides coverage in the event of a terrorist incident. Bear in mind that some plans only provide coverage if you are scheduled to arrive within 30 days of the incident while other plans only offer foreign coverage.
Trip cancellation reimburses you for non-refundable trip payments and deposits if a trip is canceled for illness, death or other specific “covered” reasons.
Trip interruption offers reimbursement for pre-paid, non-refundable trip payments and deposits if a trip is interrupted for illness, death or other specific reasons, or if covered delays cause you to miss more than 50% of your trip. Again, read the language carefully to be sure you’re covered.
Travel delay provides reimbursement for reasonable meals, accommodations and transportation when a trip is unexpectedly delayed for a minimum amount of time as stated in your policy. Don’t forget to save your receipts when you make a travel delay claim.
Weather Some policies will include travel delay coverage due to a mandatory evacuation in the event of a hurricane or other meteorological event. Some policies offer cancellation coverage if only one part of your trip can’t be taken (if, say, your hotel is uninhabitable) while others stipulate that the airport or airline ceases operations for a duration stated in your travel insurance policy.