Milwaukee, Wis., June 18, 2012 – Before you finalize your vacation plans, be sure you have given careful thought to whether you need to purchase travel insurance. There are circumstances that could force you to cancel your trip, return home early or require you to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling. Travel insurance may provide the extra protection you need.
Before you purchase coverage, check your homeowner’s or medical insurance policies to avoid any overlapping. For instance, expensive items such as your camcorder, laptop computer or jewelry may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance if they are stolen while you are traveling. If an airline loses your checked luggage, it is required to reimburse you for your bags and their contents up to a certain dollar amount. In addition, if you get sick or injured while traveling, your personal medical insurance may pick up the cost of your medical bills.
According to Consumer Reports, various types of protection are generally - but not always - included in a travel insurance policy. Be sure to read the fine print to ensure you are covered for given circumstances, rather than basing your purchase on assumptions. Policies and insurance firms differ in what they cover so be sure to ask.
Some of the different types of insurance available include:
Trip Cancellation/Interruption (TCI) – If your plans suddenly change and you have to cancel or end your trip early, TCI will cover you for this. However, it will only reimburse you for reasons on the insurer’s policy, such as injury, sickness, the death of a family member, a traveling companion, business partner or yourself. Some policies will cover only medical reasons and some will not cover preexisting medical conditions.
Emergency Medical Evacuation – If you are going on an adventure vacation or to an area that is far from modern medical facilities, it may be a good idea to buy this coverage. If adequate treatment is not available at a local hospital, you would be transferred to the nearest adequate medical facility.
Baggage Loss – This coverage reimburses you for lost, stolen or damaged bags. Before packing, be sure to make a list of your belongings. If your bag is lost, you may be reimbursed for some contents, but not all. Baggage-loss protection is only necessary if you are carrying more than $2,500 worth of items in your bags. Be sure to check your homeowner’s policy for applicable terms and conditions.
The BBB recommends consumers use a credit card rather than a debit card when out of town in case of a disputed charge.