Do I need to buy travel insurance for my upcoming vacation?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/01/2011

Travel insurance is worth considering if you're planning an expensive vacation or going abroad. You can choose from several major types of coverage or buy a package that combines options. Check whether your credit card company offers free travel insurance. You can also get coverage by purchasing a policy from a travel agency or from an insurance company that specializes in travel insurance.

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Trip cancellation insurance protects you in case the cruise or tour operator goes out of business or if you have to cancel the trip due to a personal emergency listed in the policy. Trip cancellation insurance provides broader protection than a cancellation waiver, which many tour and cruise operators offer. A waiver is not insurance, and waivers tend to include many restrictions, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Trip interruption insurance reimburses you if you have to return home sooner than planned because of an emergency listed in the policy, such as bad weather, illness or death of a loved one.

Baggage insurance covers the personal belongings you take with you on the trip. You might already have enough coverage through your home or renters insurance policy, which typically covers theft of belongings away from home.

Emergency medical assistance insurance provides for medical help when traveling, such as the cost of being flown home if you were seriously injured or sick, or the cost to stay in a foreign hospital. Before purchasing, check what coverage your health insurance plan offers when traveling.

Accidental death coverage pays a death benefit to a beneficiary if you are killed in an accident, such as a commercial plane crash. This is unnecessary coverage if you already have enough life insurance, and it's no substitute for a standard life insurance policy, which pays a death benefit whether you die in an accident or from illness.

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