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What to Look For in a Travel Insurance Policy

When making reservations and bookings for your vacation, consider making one more purchase to protect your financial investment: consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance policies come with a variety of options. Make sure you get the policy to cover your needs and your situation.

Health insurance options: If you'll be travelling outside the U.S., you may want to research purchasing travel insurance that will cover medical costs. Most traditional health insurance plans do not cover medical expenses incurred in foreign countries. Travel insurance with a medical coverage policy can help cover your costs, including those associated with transporting you back to the U.S. If you need special transportation, some of these policies will also cover a medical staff escort.

Trip cancellation and interruption: This is basic coverage. You should consider purchasing this insurance anytime the cost of travel exceeds the cost of the insurance. This insurance will reimburse your costs if you are unable to take your vacation due to illness, injury or other reasons specifically covered by the policy.

Trip cancellation coverage not only reimburses you if you have to cancel, it also reimburses you if your travel provider has to cancel your vacation. This plan will cover you if the travel provider, resort or cruise line goes out of business before your trip occurs but after you've paid for it. All your costs will be reimbursed. Another example is if you're travelling to the beach and your resort is in the path of a hurricane or has been damaged by a hurricane, you can cancel your nonrefundable vacation plan and be reimbursed. This insurance has to be purchased 24 hours before the hurricane has been named.

Interruption or delay coverage can offer you protection in the event of unforeseen travel delays that affect your travel. For example, if you are delayed in reaching your resort, hotel or cruise ship due to airplane flights that have been late or cancelled due to weather, interruption or delay coverage will protect you from losing any money you've paid and help you cover additional costs associated with your travel such as additional nights in a hotel or additional flight costs.

Don't purchase this type of insurance from your travel provider. That means, if you're going on a cruise, don't purchase this from the cruise line company because if the cruise line goes out of business, there's a good chance their insurance will also.

Instead, go online and carefully research different plans and insurance providers. There are a few reliable online sites which compare plans, options and price points for you. A little research will help you learn what to look for in travel insurance.

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