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Shop online for travel insurance. The best online travel insurance companies give you a variety of travel insurance online distributers and options to choose from. You can pick the coverage that you need to put together a policy that will fit your needs best. You'll save time, and be confident that you're getting the best deal.
If you're purchasing flight insurance to cover you in case of a delayed or cancelled flight, read the policy to determine what the hotel, food and clothing allowances are. By knowing what you're entitled to ahead of time, you can save yourself some hassle if you need to use your flight insurance policy later on.
Make sure your travel insurance policy includes trip-interruption insurance. If an emergency occurs during your vacation that requires you to return home early, trip-interruption insurance can help you recoup the remaining cost of the trip and the extra money for the early flight home.
Buying trip-interruption insurance is especially important if you have a sick loved one that you think you may have to come home early to care for.
Travel insurance isn't just for overseas travellers. If you're planning a domestic vacation, consider purchasing a limited tourist insurance policy.
Flight insurance policies that cover the costs of meals or hotels in the case of a delayed domestic flight may be a good idea for you.
If you're planning a road trip within the country, check your auto insurance policy to make sure that what you're planning is covered. If you have an RV, you may need to purchase additional travel insurance to cover the items in the RV while you're on the road.
Travel agents can help you plan your dream vacation, but they may not be the best resource for purchasing travel insurance because their training is not specifically in insurance.
Before signing up for an insurance package offered by your travel agent, look for online insurance companies that can give you a quote for similar or better coverage. By including this quick step in your travel planning, you can potentially save yourself a lot of money.
If you're planning an expensive trip, purchase trip-cancellation insurance. This type of trip insurance will allow you to recoup the cost of your trip if you're prevented from going because of illness or death in the family, or in case of some disasters.
A good vacation cancellation insurance will make sure that a tragedy occurring at home before your vacation doesn't turn into a bigger loss.
Trip-cancellation insurance will typically cover you in case of illness or injury, death of a family member or travel companion, or in case of fire or disaster in your home. The following concerns usually won't merit a refund:
Disease – If you catch a disease while in a foreign country, your policy will cover you. However, don't expect to receive trip cancellation benefits if a disease breaks out in your travel destination before you go.
War – If war breaks out at your travel destination before you arrive, you will not receive a refund.
Weather – If the weather at your travel destination is so bad that planes aren't able to land there, you'll be able to take advantage of your trip cancellation coverage. Don't expect refunds for other weather issues, however.
Some trip-cancellation insurance policies only cover you up until a day or two before your trip. If anything happens between the time the policy expires and the moment you step onto the plane, you're out of luck. Look for a trip insurance plan that lasts until the very beginning of your trip so that a last-minute accident doesn't cost you more than it has to.
Because trip-cancellation insurance doesn't cover you if you aren't able to take time off from work, make sure you receive the OK from your supervisor before you book your vacation.
To increase the chances that you'll be able to get the time off that you need, plan your vacation well in advance. Be aware of any major business deadlines and either plan your vacation around them or make arrangements to have your responsibilities completed ahead of time or taken over by a trusted colleague.
Before you purchase travel insurance, check your other insurance travel policies to make sure that you only buy the coverage you need. Many health insurance companies will cover your expenses for domestic travel. Some credit cards provide some insurance when you use them to buy your tickets. Your homeowner's or renter's insurance policies may protect you from lost baggage expenses. If you're buying a refundable airline ticket, you don't need to buy trip-cancellation insurance as well.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|