A Guide to Travel Insurance for Family Vacations

Insurance is an important decision.  It is a way of “covering your bets” in case of bad weather, canceled flights, personal emergencies and illness. There are many times when insurance makes good sense and others when it is money out the door.  Research is the key to learn whether insurance is a good option.

Trip cancellation insurance is insurance that  protects those who have paid a deposit or a non-refundable ticket of some kind.  Typically trip cancel covers missed flights, weather issues, personal emergencies and trip interruption.

Insurance needs to be purchased far enough in advance that is available, but not too close for weather reasons.  For example, trying to purchase insurance because there is a hurricane warning is not likely to help. Travel insurance would not be offered at that point.

~ Things to consider when contemplating trip cancellation insurance
It is important to check and see what the credit cards covers in way of emergencies. Some cards carry travelers insurance automatically.

Check and see the cost of canceling and compare it to the cost of insurance.  Common sense should be the driving force behind this decision.  For example, if the cost to cancel is $100.00 and the insurance is 5% to 15% of the trip, use the best option.

~Medical travel insurance
The other type of travel insurance that is offered is medical travel insurance. Again, the first step in knowing what the current health insurance will carry. There are some that have very specific exclusions for out of the area, out of the network and out of the country issues. Know that is covered.

It is important to asses the risks.  If one is going ice hiking and may need to be life-flighted to the nearest trauma center, but the extra travel insurance.

If travel is very remote or outside of the country make certain the medical insurance covers medical evacuation. The cost of getting one to a proper hospital can be immense.  This insurance allows the company to charter flights and make arrangements to get a patient the needed the care. It may cost extra, and it is a good choice for extreme travel.

Assess the risks.  Purchasing travel insurance is very individual decision.  Personal medical risks, travel location, and cost are play a big part of the decision. There is no reimbursement for a wonderful trip when the insurance was completely unused. On the other hand, one disastrous trip without insurance can have negative financial and health situations for years.