Types of Travel Insurance: Understanding Your Coverage Options

Are you planning an exciting trip soon? It could be a family vacation or a romantic honeymoon tour. You might be planning for a solo adventure. Travel insurance should be on your pre-trip checklist. Traveling isn’t always as expected. With so many unexpected events that could derail your plans, having travel insurance coverage gives you valuable protection and peace of mind. But what type of travel insurance do you actually need? Let’s break down the most common options.

Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance

This basic travel insurance plan covers your pre-paid and non-refundable trip expenses. Now you have a question what are these general expenses? Things like airfare, hotel reservations, cruise tickets, and tour packages. Covered reasons for cancellation or interruption usually include:

  • Illness/injury to you, your traveling companion, or family member 
  • Natural disasters impacting your destination
  • Financial default of a travel supplier
  • Loss of job/workplace relocation
  • Home/business damages requiring your presence

So if a hurricane ruins your beach vacation, this policy has you covered. Just be sure to read the fine print on what specific events and costs are included. 

Do I need this insurance if my trip is refundable? No, trip cancellation coverage is meant for non-refundable costs only. Still, it offers valuable flexibility.

Travel Medical Insurance

You should know that domestic health insurance plans don’t cover you when you are abroad. For example, in Canada, your provincial health card may not cover you if you are outside of your province or abroad. However, this differs from province to province. That’s why investing in travel medical insurance is so important for international trips. It ensures you’ll be able to get good healthcare and medical facilities in the event of injury or illness.

What’s typically included in these policies

  • Coverage for doctor/hospital visits, outpatient treatment, medications
  • Emergency medical evacuation transportation
  • Repatriation of remains in case of death
  • 24/7 travel assistance services like translation/legal referrals

When purchasing travel insurance, you should look for policies with high coverage limits ($100K minimum) and low deductibles. As an insurance purchaser, you need to pay attention to small details. Like if your coverage considers your regular doctor/facilities “out-of-network”. You’ll likely pay more out-of-pocket then.

Is my credit card’s travel insurance sufficient? Probably not! While some premium cards offer limited medical benefits, the coverage is notoriously low. Don’t risk getting stuck with massive bills.

Baggage & Personal Item Coverage

Imagine arriving on your dream safari only to find out…Your luggage is misplaced! It is going to create a lot of hassle for you. All of your property, garments, and tools are long past too. This is where a baggage and personal item lost coverage kicks in. It reimburses you for stolen, misplaced, or damaged personal items.

Most policy have a per-item restriction and general coverage cap (e.g. $1,500 according to item, $3,000 total max). So at the same time as your brand-new PC would be covered, that antique Rolex watch won’t be absolutely reimbursed.

Does my renters or homeowners insurance cover my belongings when traveling? It depends. You should review your existing policies first. Some provide limited coverage, while others explicitly exclude losses from travel.

Missed Connection/Travel Delay Coverage

You know, flight delays and cancellations have become very frequent these days. It can cost you a lot in many ways. That’s why this type of coverage is so valuable. Travel insurance for delays and flight cancellations reimburses you for meals, accommodations, transportation and other unavoidable costs due to:

  • Delayed flights, missed connections
  • Lost/stolen travel documents
  • Quarantine due to illness
  • Natural disasters like hurricanes, blizzards

The key benefit? Not having to pay out-of-pocket for expenses racking up during delays of usually 3-12+ hours. Many policies also offer 24/7 assistance services to rebook travel plans.

Does my airline cover these costs too? In most cases, no. Airlines are not legally required to provide amenities or reimbursement for delays due to weather or air traffic control issues. Don’t bank on their goodwill!

Do I need travel insurance?

The decision is personal. Travel insurance provides valuable coverage and protections you simply cannot get otherwise. It’s an affordable way to safeguard your trip and give you peace of mind. After all, the last thing you want is an emergency medical situation in a foreign country sticking you with thousands in bills!

How do I choose the right travel insurance policy?

  1. Identify your key concerns or risks based on your travel plans
  2. Look for policies that comprehensively cover those areas 
  3. Compare pricing and benefits from multiple insurers
  4. Read policy documents carefully to understand exclusions  
  5. Consider bundling multiple coverage types for a package discount

Where Can I Buy Travel Insurance?

Not sure where to purchase travel insurance? Rather than going through an airline or travel provider, consider an independent broker like Multi-Risk Insurance Brokers. We compare plans across top insurers to find you the best coverage and value. Multi-Risk specializes in tailored travel solutions for all types of travelers.

Various Multi Risk Travel Insurance Plans

  • Travel Insurance for Canadians
  • Insurance with medical conditions
  • Travel Insurance for Students
  • Travel Insurance for visitors to Canada

From visitors to Canada needing comprehensive medical insurance to adventure-seekers requiring hazardous sports coverage. Our knowledgeable agents will assess your specific needs and risks to recommend the ideal travel insurance plan.