How Travel Insurance Works

The Ins and Outs of Coverage

If you’re planning on taking a trip, you may have heard the term “travel insurance” while making plans. Whether you buy this type of insurance is completely up to you, but before you do, our Philadelphia Airport parking members want to remind you that it’s important to understand the amount of your coverage, price comparisons, and the fine print or loopholes that could turn filing a claim into a hassle.

Types of Travel Insurance

There are different types of travel insurance that you can choose to protect you while you’re on vacation. These include:

Luggage/Car Rental Insurance

If you rent a car during your trip, car rental insurance will cover you in the event you get into an accident. Luggage insurance will cover your baggage if they’re lost or stolen (many policies don’t cover loss or damage during flights, however).

Medical Insurance

If you’re injured, become ill, or need to see a dentist during your trip, purchasing medical insurance will cover your expenses in these situations. You can also get an “accidental death and dismemberment” policy that will cover you during your flights and while you’re away.

Trip Insurance

If you need to cancel your trip due to illness or due to a family emergency (for example, a member dies), your prepaid expenses will be reimbursed. This insurance will also cover hotel expenses if your flight is delayed or canceled and you need to stay in the area overnight. In the event that you need to cut your trip short (due to illness, bad weather, etc.), you’ll be covered by your trip insurance.

Where to Get It

Travel insurance can be purchased through your credit card company, your insurance carrier, or your travel agent. Each one’s policy may differ, along with its prices. No matter which you choose, check with your auto insurance company, health insurance company, and credit card company before you buy. These companies sometimes cover certain aspects of your trip.

To Purchase or Not to Purchase…

Whether you purchase travel insurance is completely up to you; before you do, consider the cost of the trip. If it’s a trip you’re investing a lot of money in (say, a two-week trip around Europe), it’s a good idea to get travel insurance. If it’s not (say, just a long weekend in Miami), you’re probably safe without it. Also consider whether you’re prone to accidents, injuries, or simply bad luck. If so, you may want to play it safe and get travel insurance.

Things to Know

If you’re going to purchase travel insurance, make sure you’re aware of:

  • The “primary” or “secondary” label on the policy. This will determine whether you’re covered or have to go through your insurance first.
  • Destination restrictions
  • Replacement medication costs
  • Payment plans
  • Covered expenses vs. reimbursements
  • Cancellation policies
  • Coverage during flights
  • Any and all fine print