If you spend anytime flying on an airplane, then you've probably seen kiosks in the airport selling travel insurance and wondered if it is something you need. Although travel insurance is inexpensive, in most cases, you will not need the benefits of a travel insurance policy. However, for some travelers, having a USA travel insurance policy can be a tremendous help to them.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Most USA travel insurance policies generally cover the policyholder for cancelled flights, cancellations of some aspects of their vacation plans and medical expenses if you are injured or taken ill. It may also cover losses due to missed flights, delays to flights and most policies provide the traveler with assistance any time of the day or night.
Medical Expense Coverage
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, if you are flying within the United States, the chances are you will not need a USA travel insurance policy for medical emergencies if you already have personal health insurance. Your health insurance policy will cover you for injuries due to accidents or for medical emergencies anywhere within the US.
However, if you are traveling internationally, then your health insurance may not cover any of your medical expenses. In fact, if you have coverage through Medicare, none of your overseas medical expenses will be covered. In addition, if you are on a cruise and the ship is foreign flagged, which is often the case even when departing from a US port, your medical expenses will not be covered by your policy.
Fortunately, if you purchase a USA travel insurance policy, your medical expenses for all medical emergencies, unless otherwise stated, will be covered. You will be able to go to a hospital and be seen by a doctor and not have to worry about how you will pay for those medical expenses. If your medical condition requires you to be hospitalized, you will be covered. Plus, if your condition is so serious that you have to be transported home, your USA travel insurance policy will cover the cost for you to be transported to a hospital near your home.
Unfortunately, not everything goes according to plan and there may be times when you have to cancel your travel plans. If you purchased a USA travel insurance policy, your cancelled flight, cruise fares, hotel rooms, tour packages and other cancellations may be covered under the policy. Instead of worrying about losing money if you pre-paid for your vacation, your travel insurance may reimburse you for those expenses.
The trip cancellation coverage on a USA travel insurance policy will reimburse you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses for certain reasons if you have to cancel your trip prior to departure. Some of the covered reasons for cancellations include:
- Personal sickness, injury or death;
- The sickness, injury or death of a family member or travel companion;
- Damages to your destination or a cancelled flight due to a hurricane;
- A terrorist incident at your destination;
- Cancellations due to work commitments;
- Legal separation or divorce; and
- Theft of passport or visa prior to departure.
This is only a short list of the covered reasons when you have to cancel your trip. Along with your plane or cruise tickets, other transportation costs may be reimbursed if your trip is cancelled. In addition, if during your trip, something happens that requires you to return home, you may be covered for the expenses you lost for the remainder of your trip.
Coverage for Missed or Delayed Flights
Along with cancelled flights, you may incur losses due to flights you missed or delays in departures. If you prepaid for your airline tickets or cruise ship tickets and you missed the departure, you may be able to be reimbursed for the expenses involved in purchasing new tickets to get to your destination. If you flight was delayed by the airline and you had to spend the night in another city, then you could be reimbursed for expenses to cover a hotel bill or for your meals.
Along with delays in departures or missed connections, your USA travel insurance could cover the cost of any baggage that is lost, damaged or stolen on your trip or for personal possessions that were damaged during the handling of your bags or for items stolen from your baggage. If your baggage was lost or delayed in getting to your destination, then you could be reimbursed for the money you spent to buy essential items like toiletries or clothing.
Fortunately, most USA travel insurance companies have support services available 24 hours a day in case something goes wrong or there is an emergency and you need information or help. Their medical support services can help you find the nearest hospital if you are injured or sick, they can arrange for medical transportation to the hospital or back home if necessary. They can also help you with translation services if you don't speak the language in the country in which you're traveling.
The support line will also help you in situations where your passport or visa were lost or stolen, they can help you search for baggage that was lost or delayed and they can provide help for stolen baggage. Your USA travel insurance support services should be your first port of call if your plans need to be cancelled prior to your departure or if your flight or cruise has been delayed or if you missed a connection so they can start the reimbursement process.
Along with the coverage listed above, most USA travel insurance policies will provide coverage for accidental death, in which case your named beneficiaries would receive a death benefit. They will also cover accidental dismemberment, and they may extend medical coverage if you take part in sports that may be deemed hazardous, such as SCUBA diving or surfing while on vacation. They will generally cover rental vehicles and losses if your identity is stolen while you are traveling. You should always consider purchasing USA travel insurance when traveling abroad.