Posted : 03/08/2007
Are you dreaming of a gastronomic tour of Provence? What about a trip to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon? Or perhaps a visit to the Duomo in Florence? If you're planning to travel to these or other spots around the globe, you're not alone--according to the latest data published by the World Tourism Organization, the world's top 10 tourist destinations are:
2. United States
6. United Kingdom
7. Russian Federation
Before you start packing, find out about travel insurance
You've booked the flight and hotel reservations. But have you checked to make sure you'll have adequate insurance coverage during your trip? If not, you may want to purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance can be offered by insurance companies, travel agents, tour operators, and cruise lines, and often provides the following types of coverage:
While travel insurance often lumps several types of coverage together, you may be able to purchase different types of coverage separately, based on your individual insurance needs.
Short-term supplemental health insurance
If you plan on traveling abroad, you may want to look into a short-term supplemental health insurance policy. Many domestic health insurance companies won't provide coverage (or will offer only partial coverage) if you get sick or get into an accident outside of the United States. Short-term health insurance policies usually combine accident and/or sickness coverage with medical evacuation coverage, which pays all or part of the cost of transporting you back to the United States in a medical emergency. These plans can also offer language interpreters for medical situations, refills of prescriptions forgotten at home, and replacement of documents, like credit cards or passports.
The premiums are inexpensive, in part because the coverage has limitations. Pre-existing conditions are usually not covered, and there are limits on the dollar amounts as well as activities (e.g., you may not be covered at all for mountaineering, driving off-road vehicles, etc.). As with any insurance policy, do some comparison shopping before you buy, and read the policy carefully. It's always a good idea to ask what is and is not covered.
Even if you plan on traveling stateside, you may want to consider supplemental health insurance. Costs incurred as a result of routine medical care from an out-of-network provider are generally only partially covered by preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) may not cover these costs at all. Check your policy or call your insurer for more information.
Lost luggage protection
Any traveler knows that losing luggage can put a damper on a vacation. So, you may want to look into loss of luggage insurance to provide coverage if your luggage is ever lost, stolen, or damaged. Most homeowners policies will only cover losses to your personal property that occur as a result of the named perils (e.g., fire, theft, vandalism) listed on your policy. And airlines may only be liable for damaged or stolen luggage up to a stated limit. Check with your insurance company and airline for more information.
Trip cancellation or interruption coverage
Finally, you may want to look into trip cancellation/interruption insurance. This insurance may help you recover all or part of your expenses if your trip is canceled or cut short due to an unforeseen event, such as poor weather conditions, a serious illness, or a death in the family. Under most policies, you'll be reimbursed for nonrefundable prepaid expenses (e.g., airline tickets, hotel rooms).
Please note that this description/explanation is intended only as a guideline.
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