Getting travel insurance is, apart from booking hotels and flights, one of the most important things to get before going on vacation. While many people think travel insurance just includes medical expenses, there's a whole range of losses which are covered. While rare, issues like trip cancellation, life-threatening injury, and stolen luggage can end a holiday before it begins. Travel insurance protects you from financial loss by reimbursing you for the cost of flights, medicine, or your belongings in these events. With insurance, you'll have peace of mind when booking a trip.

Here's a few of the things that travel insurance policies will cover you for.

Cancellation Cover

Sometimes trips get cancelled and in most cases the airline isn't liable to give you a full refund for your flights. Or, even if they do give you a refund, airlines don't need to refund you for all the pre-paid car hires, hotels, tours, and the whole vacation that you're going to miss! But, travel insurance with cancellation cover will pay out part of or the full pre-paid cost of your vacation if you need to cancel it. Travel insurance means that if a factor beyond your control prevents travel you are covered against all financial loss.

There are a variety of reasons you can claim cancellation cover for. Sickness, injury, or death of you, a loved one, or a travelling companion is the most obvious. But in some cases things like jury duty or being required to work can also end a trip prematurely — providers can cover you in these cases. Other factors like natural disasters or terrorist attacks in your destination can also make you cancel trips. A provider will consider these legitimate reasons for a claim.

Medical Costs While Abroad

Eating some unhygienic street food or getting sunstroke can happen so easily, but can end in steep hospital or medical costs. If you think you might be sick it is always a good idea to see a doctor, but foreign GP prices might scare you away. Travel insurance policies cover the cost of treatment including medicine, immediate injury treatment, or taking ambulances while abroad. This means you can focus on getting better and enjoying the rest of your vacation instead of worrying about the medical bill.

If you are on a ski vacation, you can also usually take out snowsports cover for an additional premium. This can cover you for things like on-mountain treatment which is extortionately expensive to pay out of pocket. If you end up having to take a helicopter down, it's definitely better that your insurance pays for it!

Emergency Medical Repatriation

While minor injuries or illnesses are covered by travel insurance, there are cases where you will need to go back to your home country for treatment. Sometimes this will require specialized air transport which is — as you'd expect — very expensive. Medical repatriation is usually part of most travel insurance policies and provides peace of mind in emergencies. There are also some providers who will cover the cost of a loved one flying out to support you during times of crisis.

These policies will also include recovery of remains if you die while travelling. Hopefully this isn't going to happen, but it'll remove a lot of burden on your loved ones as flying remains home is, again, costly.

Stolen Luggage and Valuables

Nowhere in the world is crime free. While it is recommended that you always keep your valuables on your person at all times, when you're vacationing it's not possible 100% of the time. Unfortunately, plenty of people return home after a long tour to find out that their personal possessions have been stolen. Travel insurance can provide reimbursement for the loss of stolen items. This does not just cover stolen luggage, but things like passports, cameras, clothing, or anything else which have been taken. However, there are certain items that are generally not covered, such as cash, medical items, animals, musical instruments, and eyeglasses. It's important to read the fine print of any cover policy before buying travel insurance or lodging a stolen luggage claim.

In the case of passport or visa theft, insurance providers will also typically help you contact embassies and immigration officials to get replacements as quickly as possible. Typically you can also claim this as part of cancellation cover if it affects your trip.

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