Is it right for you? Is everyone doing it? Are you already covered and just don’t know it?

Taking a trip can be daunting to say the least, especially when you know things can go from fun to frantic in an instant. While the chances of a crisis happening to you on vacation can seem slim, there’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes from knowing if it does, you’ll be taken care of. The US Travel Insurance Association conducted a survey that revealed one in six Americans had their travel plans impacted by medical conditions, natural disasters, severe weather or carrier-caused problems, but only 20% of them had insurance.

Each insurance policy is different, but we’ve rounded up a few key points to look for when choosing if it’s right for you. We hope this makes the decision a little bit easier.

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The United States Travel Insurance Association reports that less than one-third of traveling Americans purchase travel insurance. This organization defines travel insurance as coverage for those times when things go wrong.

Typically this type of insurance comes in a full package and meets three basic requirements: Financial reimbursement for trip cancellation, delay or interruption, medical coverage for whatever you manage to get in to, and 24 hour assistance line to find appropriate medical care.

Before researching which travel insurance policy is right for you, double check you aren’t already covered another way. You could unknowingly be covered by the insurance you have, by the rewards program you are in or by the credit card you use.

So What Does It Do?

  1. It Protects You From Luggage Loss:
    Of course having insurance can’t prevent luggage from being lost, and your average airline will reimburse you for lost luggage. What makes travel insurance great in this scenario is it will often provide you with the money you need to buy supplies right away, whereas the airline will take some time.
  2. It Protects You From Medical Crisis:
    You lost your luggage, but it had your insulin and you need help immediately.
  3. It protects You from Identity Theft:
    Credit cards often have a process set in place for this as well, but if you are unfamiliar or unsatisfied with their fraud protection program, travel insurance is a bonus.
  4. It Protects You From Natural Disasters:
    Okay well nothing can protect you from a natural disaster, but with insurance at least you have a plan to cope with whatever life throws your way.
  5. Provides Aid in the Event of a Natural Disaster:
    There’s a hurricane coming and you have to high tail it out of town. With the right coverage, you’ll not only get help taking the necessary steps, you’ll also be reimbursed if you are forced to leave early.
  6. It applies to Most Countries, Including the One You Are Visiting
  7. It Reimburses You For cancellations by hotels, flights or other transportation:
    “Hotel just went bankrupt and now I’m stuck in a strange Country with nowhere to sleep.”
  8. Covers Accidents That Require Medical Attention:
    “I stepped on a jellyfish am I going to die?”
  9. Provides Emergency Services Around The Clock:
    “I stepped on a jellyfish at midnight am I going to die?”
  10. Covers Your Electronics:
    For when yet another iPhone bites the dust in the hands of a really skilled pickpocket
  11. Protects You From Non-Refundable Deposits Gone Wrong
  12. Covers Damaged or Stolen Possessions
  13. Offers Help In The Event Of  National Unrest:
    “Is it time to head to the embassy yet?”

Don’t Fall For In-Airport Flight Insurance

Airports often offer a variety of “Flight Insurance” to prey on your fear of flying. It catches you at your most vulnerable and entices  you with the fear of your own mortality. Regardless, it’s better to opt for  the full travel insurance package.

Remember:

Certain credit cards and club memberships offer protection in sketchy situations. Make sure to double check that you aren’t already covered by those, or by your current insurance policy. Determine if you’re already covered by life insurance as well, and airlines should always reimburse you for lost luggage, but they won’t give you a stipend for taking measures to deal where some travel policies will.

If insurance will ease your mind and make your vacation more enjoyable, then travel insurance is right for you! But most importantly, you can’t plan everything! So be ready for the unexpected.