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in     by Glen F. 11.26.2014

For an expensive trip like a cruise, you should consider purchasing trip insurance. One of the most popular places to buy travel insurance is Travelguard.com, an arm of insurance giant AIG. Start there, gather your info, then compare.

You can compare travel insurance policies at Insuremytrip.com and Squaremouth.com. According to Consumer Reports:

  • Don’t pay more than 10% for travel insurance. Most travel insurance should cost 4% to 8% of your total trip costs, including side trips and excursions.
  • Don’t buy from the travel website, because they only offer a few choices. InsureMyTrip.com has more than 250 policies from nearly 30 different insurers.
  • Don’t buy insurance to cover valuables, or to cover you in event of death on the flight. Regular term insurance should cover you in the event of death on a flight.

Most trip-insurance providers offer three levels of coverage: Basic, Midlevel and Premium. Coverages vary, but Premium packages usually allow you to cancel your trip for any reason. Any-reason trip cancellation insurance is the most comprehensive travel insurance you can purchase.

There are three main pieces to your travel insurance package:

Trip insurance. You can buy insurance covering all of the facets of your trip -- transportation, lodging and tours -- or you can buy coverage just for the pieces you want to insure. You also can buy insurance that pays if your trip is cancelled, interrupted or delayed. Missed connections can be covered, too.

You can buy travel insurance for yourself, your travel partner, or your family. Most policies pay off in cases of sickness, death, lay-off or other specific reasons. Pre-paid tours also can be covered via trip insurance. Read the fine print to see what’s covered, then compare policies.

Medical insurance. 80% of trip cancellations are due to medical issues. If you’re going on a Caribbean cruise, check to see if your current healthcare policy covers your health care costs when you’re out of the country. Most don’t. Remember to document the existence of recurring maladies before you leave. If you buy your insurance when you book your trip, pre-existing conditions may be covered.

In general, medical travel insurance covers necessary medical expenses due to injury or sickness while you’re traveling. Most, but not all, policies pay for emergency evacuation and repatriation. Make sure. More expensive packages allow you to choose to which hospital you’re evacuated. Read your policy closely: Medical travel insurance usually doesn’t cover adventure-sports injuries.

Baggage insurance. Perhaps the least practical form of travel insurance, baggage insurance should be used only of you must carry that valuable piece of jewelry on your trip. It’s not worth it to insure your regular baggage. But if you really need your bags, you can insure them against delay, as well as theft.

For more information, check out the U.S. Travel Insurance Association website.




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