Travel Insurance | Angies List Tips

Consider purchasing travel insurance if going abroad. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Felicia A.)

Consider purchasing travel insurance if going abroad. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Felicia A.)

Depending where you’re going and what cancellations costs are, consumers may be smart to buy travel insurance. Most people assume they are covered no matter where they are, but many policies won’t cross the border with you.

How to determine if travel insurance is right for you:

1. Do you risk losing more money than you can afford?

2. How far in advance are you planning? A year or more in advance leaves plenty of time for problems to come up.

3. Will one snag derail your entire trip?

4. A fee to change a domestic flight is usually small compared to one for an international flight.

General types of coverage:

Trip cancellation: This is the most common type of travel insurance. It generally covers non-refundable payments if a trip is canceled or interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances such as a sickness, death in the family or another matter listed in the policy.

Trip delay: This coverage provides reimbursement when a trip is delayed.

Emergency medical/health expenses: Many HMO medical policies do not cover travel abroad. Medicare almost never covers healthcare in a foreign county.

Lost baggage: This would provide coverage if your personal belongings are lost, stolen or damaged during a trip.

Travel insurance policies vary greatly so it pays to compare among companies. Policies can cost on average 5 percent to 9 percent of the total trip expense depending on coverage levels.
To get the best deal, Angie says to consider these tips:

-Check your current coverage: Check your health, life and homeowners insurance. You may find you’re already covered. Also many airlines still re-book or give credit for canceled flights.

-Shop around: There are many companies that offer insurance to choose from so do your research. Check online and with travel agents. Be careful of protection plans offered through tour companies and cruise lines. In many cases, you won’t be covered if the company goes bankrupt.

-Read the fine print: Before you buy, make sure the risks you want to cover are covered. Also in most situations, it pays to get your insurance immediately after booking a trip because many exclusions kick in after a certain period of time.


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