Comprehensive trip insurance is valuable if you're booking a very expensive or complicated trip (particularly to an isolated region) or if you're booking far in advance. Comprehensive policies typically cover trip cancellation and interruption, letting you cancel or cut your trip short because of illness or, in some cases, acts of terrorism in your destination. Such policies might also cover evacuation and medical care. (For trips abroad you should have at least medical-only coverage. Some also cover you for trip delays because of bad weather or mechanical problems as well as for lost or delayed luggage.
Another type of coverage to consider 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 available to you only if your operator isn't on a list of excluded companies.
Always read the fine print of your policy to make sure that you're covered for the risks that most concern you. Compare several policies to be sure you're getting the best price and range of coverage available.
Insurance Comparison Sites
Insure My Trip. 800/487–4722; www.insuremytrip.com.
Square Mouth. 800/240–0369; www.squaremouth.com.
Access America. 800/284–8300; www.accessamerica.com.
AIG Travel Guard. 800/826–4919; www.travelguard.com.
CSA Travel Protection. 800/711–1197; www.csatravelprotection.com.
Travelex Insurance. 800/228–9792; www.travelex-insurance.com.
Travel Insured International. 800/243–3174; www.travelinsured.com.