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Latest News on Travel Insurance

The world is a wonderful place, filled with amazing destinations, fun-filled adventures and fascinating people.

It can also be filled with unforeseen political events, unpredictable weather, unexpected illness and any number of small but potentially challenging travel incidents.

Travel insurance—with various coverage levels, cost and benefits—can be one of the most important purchases you make while preparing to travel, giving you both tangible benefits should you need it, and serious peace of mind even if you don’t. It's important for travelers of all ages and travel itineraries of any kind.

Whether you are planning a quick jaunt to a large metropolitan city in Europe or a rugged outdoor adventure in a remote, faraway locale, having protection for unexpected events for both you and your family is crucial.

Some things to remember:

• Most U.S. health insurance policies do not work outside the country, and foreign medical providers may require payment up-front or when services are rendered.

Injury or illness could even require you to return home early, necessitating the purchase of a full-fare, one-way airline ticket (covered by many policies).

NEW! Some countries, like Ecuador, are now requiring proof of medical coverage or evacuation insurance upon arriving at a local airport. Failure to procure coverage ahead of time may result in your being denied entry into the country.

• Travel interruption or cancellation insurance is more than just coverage for illness. While you may be healthy and active, accidents can, and do occur, both before and during travel. And travel interruptions for situations like weather, flight delays, strikes or mechanical failures may affect your ability to meet a cruise ship or train departure, and can seriously impact your travel itinerary. Some policies will also cover you if you need to return home early due to medical emergencies from family members at home.

• There are also a number of policies available that cover pre-existing medical conditions—so travelers with ongoing illnesses or chronic conditions can be protected while traveling. Read descriptions carefully and take note of any special purchase requirement.

• For those who want the best protection—opt for “cancel for any reason” coverage. It requires a timely purchase but can cover up to 75% of your investment if you choose to cancel your trip at any time (or for any reason) before departing. Read all the fine print on a policy of this type.

• There are many reputable travel insurance providers, and many alumni associations and non-profit organizations have programs designed just for their members and travelers. Check out www.insuremytrip.com. This site allows you to compare options, coverage and pricing from more than two dozen providers.

While most policies cost between 5-10% of your total trip cost, depending on age, state of residence and trip length, this is a small price to pay for financial and medical protection for you and your investment before, and during your travels. As they say “it is better to have and not need than to need...”

To read our comprehensive article on travel insurance, click Travel Insurance: why you really do need it.