Travel Insurance to Protect Your Vacation

You’ve finally booked a long-awaited Mediterranean cruise. Before cracking open your guidebook, make one more purchase to ensure that your dream vacation goes smoothly: travel insurance.

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Nearly one-fourth of Americans had to cancel, delay or interrupt travel plans between spring 2013 and fall 2014, reports the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, mainly because of illness, severe weather or transportation delays. A comprehensive travel insurance policy includes coverage for those problems and others that might derail your trip, both before and during your vacation. As insurance goes, it’s relatively inexpensive—typically 5% of the cost of your trip. You can generally lock in coverage up to 24 hours before your departure. But the sooner you buy, the more key, time-sensitive benefits you get, including coverage for preexisting conditions.

Good reasons to buy. Most insurers’ package plans will reimburse your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses if you have to cancel or interrupt your travels because of a close family member’s death or illness, storm damage that makes your destination uninhabitable, or a layoff from work. They also typically reimburse you if your flight is delayed or your bags are lost or stolen. And you should get 24-hour phone support.


If you fall ill or injure yourself abroad,

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