Comprehensive travel policies typically cover trip cancellation and interruption, letting you cancel or cut short your trip due to personal emergency, illness, or, in some cases, acts of terrorism at your destination. Such policies also cover evacuation and medical care. Some also cover trip delays as a result of bad weather or mechanical problems, as well as lost or delayed baggage. Another type of coverage to look for is financial default—that is, when your trip is disrupted because a tour operator, airline, or cruise line goes out of business. Generally you must buy this when you book your trip or shortly thereafter, and it's only available to you if your operator isn't on a list of excluded companies.
Expect comprehensive travel insurance policies to cost about 4% to 8% of the total price of your trip (it's more like 8% to 12% if you're over age 70). Always read the fine print of your policy to make sure that you are covered for the risks that are of most concern to you. Compare several policies to make sure you're getting the best price and range of coverage available.
You can save a bundle on trips to warm-weather destinations by traveling in the rainy season, but there's a chance that a severe storm will disrupt your plans. The solution? Look for hotels that let you rebook if a storm strikes.
Comprehensive Travel Insurers
Allianz Travel Insurance (866/884–3556. www.allianztravelinsurance.com.)
AIG Travel Guard (800/826–4919. www.travelguard.com.)
CSA Travel Protection (877/243–4135. www.csatravelprotection.com.)
HTH Worldwide (888/243–2358. www.hthtravelinsurance.com.)
Travelex Insurance (800/228–9792. www.travelexinsurance.com.)
Travel Insured International (800/243–3174. www.travelinsured.com.)
Insurance Comparison Sites
Insure My Trip (800/487–4722. www.insuremytrip.com.)
SquareMouth.com (800/240–0369. www.squaremouth.com.)