Travel Insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses and financial (such as money invested in nonrefundable pre-payments) and other losses incurred while traveling, either within one’s own country, or internationally.
Temporary travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a more extensive, continuous insurance can be purchased from travel insurance companies, travel agents or directly from travel suppliers such as cruiselines or tour operators. However, travel insurance purchased from travel suppliers tends to be less inclusive than insurance offered by insurance companies.
Travel insurance often offers coverage for a variety of travelers. Student travel, business travel, leisure travel, adventure travel, cruise travel, and international travel are all various options that can be insured.
The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance are:
- Medical expenses
- Emergency evacuation/repatriation
- Trip cancellation/interruption
- Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
- Overseas funeral expenses
- Delayed departure
- Loss, theft or damage to personal possessions and money (including travel documents)
- Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
- Legal assistance
- Personal liability and rental car damage excess
Some travel policies will also provide cover for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers.
In addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:
- pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
- sports with an element of risk (e.g. skiing, scuba-diving)
- travel to high risk countries (e.g. due to war or natural disasters or acts of terrorism)
- pre-existing medical conditions
- war or terrorism – but some plans may cover this risk
- injury or illness caused by alcohol or drug use
Usually, the insurers cover pregnancy related expenses, if the travel occurs within the first trimester. After that, insurance coverage varies from insurer to insurer.
Travel insurance can also provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include concierge services and emergency travel assistance.
Typically travel insurance for the duration of a journey costs approximately 5-7% of the cost of the trip.