Travel insurance refers to specialized coverage you can buy to insure yourself against various risks that travelers face. Travel insurance policies may protect you against one type of hazard (e.g., getting sick or having a trip canceled) or against a group of hazards. You can purchase travel insurance from insurance companies, travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines, rental companies, or travel assistance companies. Coverage, cost, and terms vary widely.
Tip: Don't confuse travel insurance with travel assistance programs. Companies that offer travel assistance may also offer travel insurance, but the two are not the same. Travel assistance programs make the arrangements if you need help in an emergency situation while traveling. Travel insurance policies pay for the help you need.
Do you need travel insurance?
You may want to purchase some form of travel insurance if the financial benefit outweighs the premium cost. For instance, if your trip was canceled or the tour operator or carrier went out of business, could you afford to lose the money you paid for the trip? If you got sick, would you be able to pay for your medical expenses yourself? Do you have other insurance that duplicates the coverage offered by the travel insurance policy? Do you think that the coverage offered by the travel insurance policy is worth the cost of the premium?