Travel insurance, in the past, has come with a negative reputation; some people put it up there with rental insurance offered at places like Avis or Hertz. But in actuality, procuring travel insurance can mean the difference between a vacation of a lifetime and one you wish you’d never taken. According to Patterson P.C. (www.petepattersonlaw.com), this is because it provides protection for not only your belongings, but also yourself.

How Travel Insurance Benefits You

According to the Today Show, travel insurance can protect you from errors in flight, including flight cancellations and lost luggage. It can also protect you if you’re the victim of crime: i.e. if your passport, wallet, or belongings are stolen. If your trip is cancelled or altered by factors that are beyond your control – a hurricane or other natural disaster occurs, your cruise line or airline goes bankrupt, or a terrorist attack occurs – it also protects you.

Travel insurance even protects you medically. While your health insurance can benefit you stateside, this supplemental insurance protects you if you are injured or become ill in a foreign country.

Types of Travel Insurance

For the vacationer, there are several types of travel insurance from which to choose: healthcare, baggage, flight and trip cancellation/interruption service are the most common. The latter two are best for trips that are very expensive but not necessarily worth the money for trips that are much more affordable. Healthcare and baggage insurance, on the other hand, are another story.

Many people assume that their healthcare policy will always cover them. According to Patterson P.C, a law firm that is board certified in personal injury trial law, this is true as long as they are in the US. Outside of the US, as mentioned above, your coverage depends on the policy. Even being on a cruises ship in US waters may require supplemental insurance if that ship carrier is foreign.

Your baggage also has limited benefits. While airlines offer up to 3,000 dollars of reimbursement in lost luggage, they also have a ton of exclusions. Jewels, furs, financial documents are all excluded (as well as many other things). And, of course, there is depreciation: you won’t be paid the value of a lost item, but, instead, what is deemed its present worth by insurance evaluators hoping to save money.

However, there is a baggage provision called excess valuation that airlines have (though rarely advertise). This excess valuation provides 5,000 dollars in additional coverage and only costs about a dollar per 100 dollars in value of the belongings you’re traveling with. If you’re traveling with highly valuable items, it may be well worth the extra money spent.

To Insure or Not to Insure

Whether or not to get travel insurance really comes down to what you are hoping to insure. If you bought a hundred dollar ticket from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, insuring it is probably not worth the money. A two thousand dollar ticket to Ireland, on the other hand, may be worthy of supplementation.

Before getting travel insurance, you should also make sure you’re not already covered. If you purchase your airline ticket with a credit card, Federal Law stipulates that you’re already protected. You may also be covered in other areas as well; checking beforehand can help assure you don’t double down.