What Travel Insurance Covers

by Daniel | Last Updated February 11th, 2020

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So you have chosen a holiday destination, found great accommodations at picturesque places, and those butterflies of excitement for your trip have started to flutter. Just think of what you will see, eat, feel, and learn…


Everyone loves the prospect of travel. But have you ever carefully thought about what your travel insurance company will cover if, heaven forbid, something goes wrong? 


It is smart to know how travel insurance works, just in case. For the most part, your airline ticket will come with basic travel insurance coverage. But firstly one usually isn’t too sure what that covers, and secondly, you may want to take out more flexible coverage. 


This is especially important to consider if: 

  • You are embarking on overseas travel  

  • You know you will be participating in some daring recreational activities.

  • You need to take valuable items with you


Even if you don’t plan to do anything risky on your trip, accidents can happen wherever you are. The best travel insurance firms will cover travel issues that your regular medical coverage will not assist with if you are abroad. These issues include:

  • Emergency help

  • Accidental death

  • Transport delays

  • Coverage of a rental car

  • Lost luggage

  • Trip cancellation


So, travel insurance really is worth considering. 


We have put together some details of what basic airline coverage entails as well as what decent travel insurance will cover you for.  

Airline Ticket Travel Insurance

When you book your air ticket, you will often get basic travel insurance coverage as part of the deal. You can check before you confirm your flight booking about the terms and conditions of your chosen airline. 


Airline ticket insurance usually covers things like: 

Travel interruptions or trip cancellations

If you need to cancel your flight after confirming it due to an emergency, you will not get your money back if you do not have travel insurance. Your application for trip cancellation will need to be evaluated and approved before you get your refund or changed flight.


In most cases, you must prove to the airline company that there is a legitimate reason for your need to make a trip cancellation. These reasons may include:


  • Illness

  • Travel delay

  • Loss of life

  • Work retrenchment

  • Accidents

  • A family emergency

  • Or any other situation


The travel insurance company will also cover you if you need to get a different flight home and there is a discrepancy in price from the original return ticket. This includes if flights need to be canceled or postponed due to severe weather. 

Loss or damage to luggage

Your travel insurance policy or plan will also assist with covering costs if any of your luggage is lost or damaged. This is an important one to investigate further in your particular case if you will be traveling abroad with some very valuable items. 



Your airline insurance will normally cover medical emergencies in terms of stabilizing you. Still, it may not cover any major corrective surgeries or such should you end up in that position. Anything can happen while you are trying exciting things on your holiday, so you need to consider the following very carefully:


  • They will normally cover dental emergencies, like a broken tooth, but not any day-to-day work. 

  • Your regular medical coverage plan will typically not cover any medical needs if you are out of your country of residence. This is yet another reason to look into better travel insurance. 

  • The airline company will normally assist with some of the costs related to unexpected death while abroad as well, depending on the circumstances. 

What Your Travel Insurance Policy Will Not Cover

Airline ticket insurance does not cover any voluntary changes to your flight itinerary. 


There may also be value limits to certain items that the airline company will not cover if your possession exceeds their allowed value. Be sure to check on this before you confirm your flight booking. 


Even though airline ticket insurance is really convenient, you may find better coverage at more reasonable rates through independent companies. They typically have different levels of coverage at different prices. The best companies like Travel Guard and Travel Insured are worth getting quotes from before you commit to your travel plans. 

What Does Independent Travel Insurance Cover? 

While it depends on what options you select and the value of items you want to cover, independent travel insurance companies typically provide more holistic coverage for your trip.


Reputable travel insurance companies will cover the majority of your emergency medical treatment. You can expect medical coverage for: 


  • Emergency hospitalization. 

  • Outpatient treatment.

  • Surgery.

  • Visits to doctors regarding your emergency injury if necessary.

  • Prescription medication for your emergency injury. 


Good travel insurance plans will also cover emergency medical evacuation to a hospital or safe location if there is an accident or a natural calamity. This kind of policy furthermore typically assists with the costs of getting you back to your own country if the medical staff at your holiday destination can’t deal with your medical emergency. 


When it comes to dental work, most medical insurance companies will also typically only cover emergency dental circumstances related to an injury or accident. 


They may not cover:

Accidental Death

It is very unlikely, but if something drastic does happen, it is nice to know that you are covered. It will also be reassuring for your family. 


For the most part, travel insurance policies do cover the cost of a member of your family to fly out and receive a body to bring home. Some plans will even include burial or cremation abroad if such is necessary. 


The plan may not cover circumstances such as death related to: 

  • Alcohol or drugs

  • Suicide

  • Death caused by chronic conditions existing before travel

Luggage and Valuables

Most travel insurance policies will pay you back partially or entirely for stolen bags or items, or if your luggage gets lost in transit. Travel insurance companies may also includes payment for delayed or damaged luggage. 


Depending on what travel insurance plan you take, you may get coverage if your passport gets stolen. You will need to check this with your insurance provider when you set up your plan.


Your travel insurance policies will typically include electronics such as phones and laptops as well, but there is usually a limit on how much they will pay out for. It is normally under $1000 for one item. You can take out extra cover for very valuable items though. 


Make sure you have copies of your receipts for any electronics so you can prove what they are worth when you need to claim. 

Travel Plan Changes 

Your independent travel insurance provider will cover you for changes to your travel itinerary or a trip cancellation if you have a legitimate reason. Your plan typically includes your illness, death, or death of a close family member or the person you are traveling abroad with. 


You will need to have proof of these circumstances if they apply to claim from your insurance company. Be sure you can provide this documentation in the event of a trip cancellation. 

What Your Independent Insurer Will Not Cover

It is great to know that you can customize your travel insurance plan to cover most of your needs, but there are some things that most companies do not insure you for. 


These include:


  • High-risk activities such as bungee jumping. You can, however, often take extra cover to include these kinds of activities if you know you will be participating in them. 

  • Stolen cash. Some companies do insure a small amount of cash, typically around $200, but mostly this is not included in theft coverage. 

  • Missed flights for non-emergency reasons. 

  • Visa refusal once your flight is already booked. 

  • Companies do not cover your evacuation due to severe striking or unrest unless your home country’s state has called for evacuation. 

  • As mentioned, policies also normally do not cover accidents as a result of alcohol or drugs, or for any existing medical conditions you have.


Make a list of things you want to include in your package when you buy travel insurance and be sure to have proof of the value of material items.

How does it work if you need to file a claim?

To file a claim with an airline or independent insurance company, you will normally have to provide an in-depth description of your circumstances and why you needed to change flights, or claim for lost, damaged, or stolen items, etc. You must also make available an estimate of the value of any items. You will also need to provide a police report for stolen items.


If you need to change plans due to illness or emergency, you will need to provide a doctor’s letter, or a death certificate if that instance applies. 


Remember to print out and keep the details of your travel insurance on you all the time in case you need to provide it.

In Summary

As you can see it is important to make sure that you seek travel insurance coverage for any mishaps on your travels. Make sure to do your research well in advance of your trip and find a plan that suits your individual needs. 


Knowing a good travel insurance policy protects you will help you to relax and enjoy your travel experience even more. 


Welcome to LuggageGuru!
My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.

My goal with luggageguru.com is to provide helpful information about travel-related products and accessories and also useful travel tips to make your vacation or trip more enjoyable!
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