Travel insurance can protect against the loss of non-refundable costs such as airfare, hotel bills, and tour expenses. Other types of travel insurance offer protection against losses due to medical emergencies, damage to personal property, and even a death which may occur away from home on vacation. Some policies will refund your money if you cancel months in advance but few will offer any refund if you cancel at the last minute.
If you’re planning a vacation that focuses on active sports such as sky diving or scuba diving, ask if the insurance will cover those activities. In addition, ask about pre-existing conditions and age limits.
Some policies cover pre-existing conditions if you buy the coverage within a week or two of booking your trip. Others won’t pay for pre-existing conditions or charge a higher premium to cover them. Some insurers charge more for older travelers.
Cruise and tour operators may offer “cancellation waivers.” Keep in mind that waivers aren’t insurance policies; they simply waive cancellation penalties that would otherwise apply. Typically, these waivers cover trip cancellation but not trip interruption or medical emergencies.