Whether you’re hopping a flight to L.A. for a business trip or heading to Italy for the vacation of a lifetime, chances are you’ll be forking over some serious money. With airfare, hotel and car rental, not to mention changing planes and weather, many things can go wrong while traveling. That is why it is so important to get travelers insurance.

What Is Travelers Insurance?

Travelers insurance is a special type of insurance designed to protect weary travelers when unforeseen problems, such as delayed flights or illness, occur. Travelers insurance works like other insurance products, reimbursing you for financial losses arising from your travels.

What Does Travelers Insurance Cover?

Travelers insurance covers many different problems that can occur while traveling. The US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) explains that there are three standard problems that travelers insurance covers: trip cancelation, interruption and delay; baggage loss and delay; and medical insurance and evacuation.

If you have to cancel your trip because you or a family member gets sick before you leave, travelers insurance will reimburse you for the non-refundable portions of your flight or hotel. This is also true if a natural disaster such as an earthquake hits your destination, or there is a major storm.

Trip interruption, defined as having to cut your trip short because you or a family member gets sick or has an accident while on your trip, is also covered by travelers insurance. If your trip is delayed because of a storm or a strike, most typical comprehensive travelers insurance policies will reimburse you $100 – $150 a day for taxis, meals, lodging and other expenses. Some travelers insurance policies reimburse you for pre-paid reservations missed because of the delay.

If your flight isn’t delayed, but your bags took a different route than you-don’t worry, travelers insurance covers lost and delayed baggage. Most travelers insurance policies include $100 – $500 for delayed luggage.

Should the worst happen and you get sick or hurt while traveling, most travelers insurance policies include medical coverage. Should you be injured, travelers insurance with medical coverage will cover your hospitalization and medical services, including emergency dental. It is important to note that this is in addition to your personal medical coverage.

Along with medical coverage, travelers insurance usually includes emergency medical transportation and evacuation. This coverage is seen by some insurance experts as the most important part of travelers insurance-you never know where you’ll be should you need an appendectomy.

What’s NOT Covered by Travelers Insurance?

There are some activities and emergencies that travelers insurance won’t cover:

  • High-risk activities (e.g. rock climbing, kick boxing)
  • Change of mind cancellations
  • Riots/civil disobedience
  • War
  • Nuclear reactions

Some policies will cover terrorist acts or labor unrest and strikes, so it is important to check your policy. And should you just change your mind at the last minute, basic travelers insurance will not cover you. You can get a travelers insurance policy that includes cancellations for any reason, but they usually cost more-anywhere from 4% to 8% according to UStiA.

Is Travelers Insurance Worth the Cost?

Travelers insurance ensures that the money you invest in your trip doesn’t go to waste should problems arise. With airfare, hotels, baggage and the other expenses involved with a vacation or trip, and the emergencies that can happen at any time, travelers insurance gives you peace of mind.

How Do I Buy Travelers Insurance?

Travelers insurance polices can be purchased through your travel agent, through your air carrier, or by comparing travel insurance quotes at InsWeb.com. Make sure to compare your policy options to ensure you are getting the best coverage for a great price.

Credit: Robert Lewis, InsWeb.com (http://www.insweb.com/travelers-insurance/travelers-insurance-questions-answered.html)

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