Should you get travel insurance?

When to Consider Travel Insurance

Vacations are worthwhile investments that require logistical and financial planning, often months in advance. What you put in shapes what you'll get back. So when does it make sense to add travel insurance to your vacation checklist?

Consider the Coverage You Might Need

Most travel insurance policies address three main facets of travel: medical situations, loss/theft and cancellation or delay expenses. Depending on your destination and means of travel, the coverage that will benefit you most may focus on one or more of these areas. As with all types of insurance policies, add-on endorsements and stated exceptions can prudently increase or dramatically decrease your coverage.

See If Your Credit Card Offers Protection

Before exploring add-on travel insurance, take time to review the policies you already have in place. Your credit card may provide coverage for certain travel-related issues, such as lost luggage or canceled flights, especially if it's geared toward frequent flyers or offers other travel benefits. Be sure to look into the specifics as some cards may cover the cardholder but not the others traveling.

Decide Between Limited and Broad Coverage

If you're the kind of person who volunteers to switch flights in exchange for cash vouchers, you can probably afford a certain level of flexibility. If you care to exercise greater control no matter the cost, however, a cancel-for-any-reason policy may be worth the higher premium.

Just as financial plans must be customized to an individual or family's unique lifestyle, so must travel insurance be tweaked to fit the needs of the traveler.

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Silvia EvansComment