Trip Insurance

Comprehensive trip insurance is valuable if you're booking a very expensive or complicated trip (particularly to an isolated region) or if you're booking far in advance. Comprehensive policies typically cover trip-cancellation and interruption, letting you cancel or cut your trip short because of a personal emergency, illness, or, in some cases, acts of terrorism in your destination. Such policies also cover evacuation and medical care. (For trips abroad you should at least have medical-only coverage). Some also cover you for trip delays because of bad weather or mechanical problems as well as for lost or delayed baggage. If you plan on engaging in extreme activities like surfing, bungee jumping, scuba diving, or zip-lining, consider buying an extended plan that covers such sports.

Another type of coverage to look for is financial default—that is, when your trip is disrupted because a tour operator, airline, or cruise line goes out of business. Generally you must buy this when you book your trip or shortly thereafter, and it's only available to you if your operator isn't on a list of excluded companies.

Always read the fine print of your policy to make sure that you are covered for the risks that are of most concern to you. Compare several policies to make sure you're getting the best price and range of coverage available.

Insurance Comparison Sites

Insure My (800/487–4722.

Square Mouth (800/240–0369.

Comprehensive Travel Insurers

Allianz (800/284–8300.

Travel Guard (800/826–4919.

CSA Travel Protection (877/243–4135.

Travelex Insurance (800/228–9792.

Travel Insured International (800/243–3174.

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