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Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, financial default of travel suppliers, and other losses incurred while traveling, either within one's own country, or internationally. Temporary travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a "multi-trip" policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Coverage varies, and can be purchased to include higher risk items such as "winter sports".
The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance are:
- Medical emergency (accident or sickness)
- Emergency evacuation
- Repatriation of remains
- Return of a minor
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
- Overseas funeral expenses
- Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
- Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
- Flight connection was missed due to airline schedule
- Travel delays due to weather
Some travel policies will also provide cover for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers.
In addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- War or terrorism - but some plans may cover this risk, and some do cover for acts of terrorism
- Injury or illness caused by alcohol or drug use
Usually, the insurers cover pregnancy related expenses, if the travel occurs within the first trimester. After that, insurance coverage varies from insurer to insurer.
Travel insurance can also provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include concierge services and emergency travel assistance.