People ask me this question all the time and the answer, as with most important things, is, “It depends.”

It depends on what you want it to cover. I used to only buy travel insurance during seasons when there was a possibility of extreme weather (snow, hurricanes) that might delay a flight. If I’m going somewhere for a long weekend, and weather delays cause me to lose a day, that might mean I’d have less time in my destination than I would in transit. But not all policies cover weather delays. You need to really understand what you’re buying.

Nowadays I almost always buy a plan that includes medical coverage and evacuation insurance when I’m traveling in addition to the standard cancellation insurance. I don’t always get coverage for lost luggage (though it almost always is included) because I usually go carry on only. But I do check to see whether there are any exclusions to the coverage and when and how one has to make a claim.

First, there are several different kinds of travel insurance you may want to consider.

Second, you need to make sure that the thing you want the policy to cover is actually covered.

Are weather delays covered?

Some policies cover cancellations and delays due to weather, but others don’t. Some policies exclude cancellations due to hurricanes, for example, while others specifically include them.

Are family members covered?
Some plans include coverage for children under 18 for free.

What if I get sick while traveling?

Check your own health insurance plan to see if there is any coverage while you are traveling. If not, find a health care plan that will.

Is lost luggage covered? Or delayed luggage?

Most plans will include some coverage for lost or delayed coverage, but check the limits of coverage, especially if you have expensive clothing or gear in your bags.

The most important thing to remember is to always, ALWAYS, read the policy so that you understand what is and is not covered.


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