Travel Topics / Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

What is travel insurance?

Insurance...that dirty word that means a ton of phone calls, money, and aggravation. It seems like there are a million types, but, for right now, let's focus on this one kind.

What if my flight gets canceled? What if I get sick and can't make my flights or tours? What if my luggage gets lost or stolen? Enter your best friend Travel Insurance, also known by its nicknames of trip insurance or trip cancellation insurance.

Travel Insurance is a great insurance option that (typically) covers the nonrefundable costs that you have paid for flights, tours, and more, in the event that they're canceled. We say "typically" because coverage will vary based on the insurance provider.

For you to be refunded, though, you have to have what the insurance company considers an "acceptable" reason.

Unfortunately, your dog having separation anxiety won't work. What is considered "Acceptable" will depend on what insurance provider you use, but here is a list of generally acceptable reasons for missing or cancelling a flight:

  • You can't travel because of sickness, death, layoff, other similar reasons.
  • Your airline goes out of business or can't perform as promised.
  • A family member at home gets sick or passes away (check the fine print to see how this is included in your coverage).
  • You miss a flight or need an emergency flight for a reason outside of your control (such as a car accident, inclement weather, or a strike).

Some forms of travel insurance will also help you if your luggage is lost or stolen. As we've said several time, coverage options differ, but most have a quick summary of benefits that will tell you the basics.

But I'm buying insurance from the Education Abroad and Exchanges office...

Great! But what you're talking about is travel medical and evacuation insurance, which covers you in case you get hurt or sick while abroad, or if you need a sudden evacuation due to political or natural disaster. Normal, plain ol' travel insurance, on the other hand, covers most pieces associated with your travel where and how do I get it?

There are a ton of travel insurance providers, some of which are great, and some of which may be a scam. Typically when you purchase your flight tickets, there will be an option to add on trip/travel insurance. This is a great place to purchase your insurance because that means your airline company is covered (some insurance providers are picky on who they pay attention!). Our office has also identified a few other options that you can check out (listed over there →). Sadly, our office staff are not experts on travel insurance, and you'll have to reach out to the company of your choice with any specific questions. Purchasing travel insurance is completely your decision, but it can definitely give you some peace of mind when traveling, so check it out!

Here are the insurance providers we we don't have any kind of agreements with these companies, so feel free to look for others! These are just some options that we and other travelers we know have used.