You're planning the trip of a lifetime. You've saved for months, booked everything — but what if there is a death in the family? A hurricane? Or what if you simply have car trouble on the way to the airport? Travel insurance can help, but there are some considerations before you invest in it. Here are some tips on travel insurance to determine whether you need it and how to get the best deal.

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1. Consider the types of coverage

Of course you should look at medical, trip cancellation/interruption, and baggage loss or delay coverage. But you should also look at things like default coverage (should your airline, cruise line, hotel or tour operator go out of business) and medical evacuation assistance, which will help you not only with extended local medical care but also with getting you home if you need medical assistance to do so.

2. Determine what you need

Check the coverage of your existing homeowner, auto and medical policies. If your health insurance doesn't cover you overseas and Medicare generally does not then you probably need medical travel insurance. Also, check your credit cards to see what they cover when you purchase travel services using them, such as collision-and-damage waiver insurance for car rentals.