By Josh Jones
Managing Editor, MoneyMix
Ahhh... vacation. It's a chance to unwind from the daily grind and reduce stress; as long as nothing impedes your travel plans.
In fact, vacation may cause more stress than it relieves.
A recent survey from staffing firm Randstad U.S. reveals that more than 40 percent of respondents feel stressed when preparing to be away from work for vacation (suburbanchicagonews.com June 29).
There are a number of coverages which fall under the term "travel insurance"
Carefully planning a trip and worrying about whether plans go off without a hitch can also be stressful.
While there's no insurance against stress-inducing vacation prep at work, many forms of travel insurance do exist to compensate you for travel-reltaed mishaps.
types of travel insurance
There are a number of coverages which fall under the term "travel insurance." Typically, the option to buy these coverages is offered when purchasing tickets or making reservations for your trip.
Knowing what travel insurance coverages exist will help you decide if you even need what is being offered by a provider or if you want to consider seeking out additional coverage.
- Baggage or personal effects coverage will cover belongings you bring on your trip that are damaged, lost or stolen.
- Emergency medical assistance covers health care and/or emergency evacuation costs.
- Cancellation or interruption coverage helps pay for all, or a portion, of your trip if you have to cancel plans. The coverage may also cover losses if the company you've made arrangements with is unable provide services.
- Accidental death coverage will cover you or a family member in the event those covered lose their life during the trip.
While these are the most common types of travel insurance coverages, there are other options that may cover delays, accidents, and even a trip to the dentist.
making the best decision
Is purchasing some form of travel insurance to compensate for travel-related mishaps in your best interest?
The following information from consumerreports.org will help you make the right decision:
- Prevent redundancy. Avoid duplicating existing coverage by checking insurance policies, credit card agreements, automobile clubs, and other memberships. These may already provide adequate coverage for the trip.
- Double check. Review reservations and purchase agreements to see what contingencies are already in place. Airlines, for example, are required to reimburse travelers up to $3,300 per passenger for lost baggage on domestic flights.
- Shop around. Coverages from competing policies may vary. Read the fine print to understand exactly how and what is covered. For example, some emergency medical assistance policies will provide for evacuation to a hospital of the policy holder's discretion, while other policies will provide for evacuation to the nearest hospital.
 Consumers Union of U.S. "Travel insurance: Why you rarely need it" May 2007. consumerreports.org. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/insurance/travel-insurance-5-07/overview/0507_travel_ov.htm (Accessed 08/05/2009)