You invest a lot in your travel plans, whether the purpose of your trip is a family visit, relaxation and fun or something more on the professional side. Consider the forethought that goes into booking, planning and laying out the details your flight arrangements, your passport and other documents and even your clothes and luggage.

Once you've booked your flight and lodging and are finalizing activities in your itinerary, however, there is still one more step you must take purchase a trip insurance policy for yourself and encourage your travel companions to do the same.

Its important to protect your international journeys with trip insurance. Let's take a look at a few of the situations in which this coverage is especially beneficial and why it's a sound investment.

Trip insurance explained

First, lets lay the groundwork with a definition:

Trip insurance helps safeguard the investments and planning youve done to support and organize your travel. This includes your pre-paid travel expenses like the cost of your flight, your hotel room or accommodations, rental car and other similar arrangements. If any emergency or issue arises that requires a change in your plans, your insurance policy can help prevent financial losses for cancellation or change fees.

In other words, trip insurance covers situations such as:

  • A last minute cancellation or delay
  • Lost or stolen baggage or passport
  • Inclement weather
  • A sudden illness or death in the family
  • And more

If one of these issues arise before or during travel, your trip insurance can help you recoup any financial costs or potential losses.

How much trip insurance do I need?

Each journey is different, and factors like your age, your destination and the overall cost of your travel arrangements can help determine how much insurance you need. Each person in your party will need their own trip insurance plan to ensure that their individual arrangements and investments are protected.

When it comes to choosing your level of coverage, there are a few different types of trip insurance to consider, which align with certain travel situations and needs:

  • Trip cancellation insurance: This insurance will help prevent certain financial losses if your trip is cancelled for unforeseen, yet covered, reasons. These can include situations like you or your spouse falling ill or becoming pregnant and unable to travel, the death of a traveling companion or family member, damage to your home due to a natural disaster, job termination or layoff, or inclement and unsafe weather. In addition, if a strike or other issue impacts travel services or if there is an attack on your destination, this insurance plan enables you to recoup certain financial losses if your trip must be canceled.
  • Cancel for any reason insurance: While a trip cancellation plan will help support your travel costs in case you need to cancel your trip for the specific reasons above, a cancel for any reason insurance plan is a bit more flexible. This plan is added insurance that you can get to supplement your regular insurance, and can help cover expenses and certain nonrefundable trip deposits for issues not covered by traditional trip cancellation insurance. For example, if you feel unsafe to travel due to an illness outbreak at your destination, last-minute yet critically important tasks come up at work or you need to attend a family event, you can use this insurance plan. However, its worth noting that travelers are typically only reimbursed up to a specific coverage amount (usually around 50%), and this type of insurance plan must be purchased within 15 days of your first trip payment to be valid.
  • Trip delay insurance: Delays can happen during travel for a range of different reasons. Whether a traffic accident prevents you from getting somewhere on time, or your airline delays the flight, a trip delay insurance plan can help reimburse extra costs caused by a delay, such as food and accommodations. This plan will go into effect once travel arrangements are delayed for more than a certain number of hours, stipulated within the plan (typically 12 hours).
  • Multi-trip insurance: This type of plan is ideal for frequent travelers that take multiple international trips throughout the year. With a multi-trip policy, you don't have to purchase a separate trip insurance policy for each journey as long as you meet the terms and conditions of the specific policy, your plan will provide coverage for more than two trips a year, lasting up to 45 days each. Unlike other trip insurance policies, multi-trip insurance often includes benefits like coverage for illness or injury medical services, acute onset of pre-existing medical conditions, emergency medical evacuation and more, depending on the policy you choose. This is a smart investment for people that travel outside of their home country multiple times a year.

There are also more specific trip insurance plans, such as those just for business trips, missionary work and cruises. Through a trip and travel insurance marketplace like VisitorsCoverage, you're able to get the best picture of your available options, including more general coverage, like that described above, and more specific, purposeful plans.

Why do I need to buy trip insurance? Common scenarios when trip insurance saves the day

Trip insurance is a smart investment, particularly when you find the plan that is best suited to your travel endeavors. If you're still not convinced, check out some of these typical travel scenarios and the ways in which your trip insurance plan can help save you time, money and a headache:

  • A family trip is impacted by illness

    You and your family are gearing up for your yearly vacation. You found the perfect destination for family fun in the sun, you and your spouse have put together a detailed and adventurous itinerary and you're counting down the days until your departure.

    However, just a day before you're set to leave, your child falls ill and is unable to travel. Instead of losing out on the costs and investments you've already made, or electing to stay home with your sick little one as your spouse heads off on your planned adventure, you can call upon your trip cancellation insurance. This coverage is ideal for families traveling with children, and is particularly beneficial for expensive trips. Insuring you and your family in this way can give you peace of mind that even if something unexpected arises, you can easily cancel the trip, receive reimbursement and plan your holiday for another time.

  • A business trip saved after lost baggage

    You're traveling for a business trip and prepping for a big meeting during your flight. You arrive at your destination only to find that your baggage got lost along the way and you are now without your favorite power suit. While instances of baggage mishandling are on the decline among carriers, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, accidents can still happen. This leaves you with a few choices you can scrounge around your carry-on for something suitable, or you can purchase professional replacement clothes ahead of your meeting.

    The latter is certainly the better choice, but buying a new suit (and replacing everything else that was lost with your bag) can get pretty expensive. Since you purchased a trip insurance policy, though, you're in luck you can confidently purchase the clothes and materials you need for your meeting and get reimbursed for these costs through your trip insurance coverage.

  • Leisure travel supported by cancel for any reason insurance

    You and your significant other are preparing for a romantic getaway, just the two of you. You cant wait for the trip and are eagerly packing your bags, when news of a bird flu outbreak at your destination puts you into a panic.

    Thankfully, this is yet another situation in which a trip insurance plan benefits your travel arrangements. You invested not only in traditional trip insurance coverage, but an additional cancel for any reason policy. As opposed to risking your health and the health of your significant other, you decide to cancel your trip and re-book it for another time. With your policy, you're reimbursed for much of the cost, and you can put this money toward taking your getaway at another time or in another location.

  • A frequent traveler saves time while ensuring trip coverage

    Even the savviest travelers can run into obstacles during their journeys. In these cases, it's important to have coverage that you can fall back on.

    You're a traveler with family overseas, and you take frequent trips to visit them. As opposed to purchasing an insurance plan for each and every one of your trips throughout the year, you invest in a multi-trip plan that provides you with coverage for trips lasting a month or longer. This way, even if you fall ill or become injured, your plan ensures you can cancel your plans or access the medical services you need.

No matter what type of trip you take, how often you travel or for what purpose you journey outside of your home country, it's important to protect yourself with trip insurance. To find out more about what you need for your next international travel adventure, check out our travel insurance products, and connect with us to select the best plan for you today.