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Travel Insurance FAQ

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance policy that reimburses you for certain expenses and losses that happen while traveling. You must purchase the insurance policy before the trip and it typically covers situations such as having to cancel your trip due to an illness, or medical emergencies during the trip.

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance policies cover unforeseen losses and expenses while traveling. Policies regularly include coverage for trip cancellation and trip interruption, emergency health care, car rental insurance, as well as reimbursement for lost baggage and costs related to trip delays. Some companies include coverage for trip specifics, such as extreme sports coverage or professional photo and video equipment.

How much is travel insurance?

The cost of travel insurance depends primarily on the cost of your trip. Typically, it's between 5% and 15% of your total trip cost. The cost may also vary depending on your age, the number of travelers, your destination and the additional coverages you select.

How much travel insurance do I need?

Most travel insurance companies offer multiple plans suited for a variety of needs. The most basic plans only include trip cancellation coverage but no post-departure benefits. Premium plans will include benefits before and during your trip. To calculate your insurance need, take stock of where you're going and what you will be doing. If you plan on taking part in high-risk or winter sports, you'll want to purchase additional coverage for these activities, since they're usually excluded from the base coverage.

How do I get travel insurance?

Most travel insurance companies sell their policies online. If you make your travel arrangements online through a fare aggregator, it's possible you'll be offered a travel insurance policy when you check out. You can also purchase a policy through an online marketplace that shows you quotes from many companies. This is a good option if you want to see what different companies are offering and compare their prices.

What is trip interruption insurance?

Trip interruption coverage is a component of travel insurance. This coverage will pay out if you need to interrupt your trip and go home early for a covered reason. The insurance company will reimburse you for the unused portion of the trip and help you with additional expenses you incur to get home. The policy will only cover these expenses if you cancel for one of the covered reasons. Examples of covered reasons are the serious illness or death of the policyholder, another traveler on the policy, or a close relative. A natural disaster at your destination is also a covered reason.

What's more, if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed because of a hurricane or any other reason, many airlines will typically allow you to cancel for a refund or change your itinerary with no fees -- even if the flight was nonrefundable.