The recent events in Egypt coupled with the crippling weather across the United States has really brought to light the necessity of travel insurance on longer, more costly trips. Don't let the extra money deter you from making this investment -- the peace of mind it buys is worth every penny. A dream of Belize for your birthday or experiencing the Australian Outback doesn't have to be derailed by events outside of your control.
Some things to do before buying:
1. Get familiarized and read up on the several types of coverage. The five primary types offered are vacation cancellation/interruption, medical, evacuation, baggage and flight insurance. Consider your trip, yourself and other timely factors when determining what kind of and how much coverage is right for you.
2. Compare prices online. Top sites that compile information and policies include InsureMyTrip.com, Travel Guard, TripInsuranceStore.com, QuoteWright.com and Squaremouth.com. It's not advised to purchase from smaller, no-name vendors.
3. Talk! Ask around to see if friends or family members have had a good experience with a specific provider. It never hurts to check out travel forums for other perspectives and recommendations as well.
4. Weigh the pros and cons of getting insurance through a tour provider. Many travel companies will offer discounts with packages booked, but that doesn't ensure that what is being provided is the right kind of insurance for you.
5. Read the entire policy before purchasing; this is not a time you want any surprises.
6. Purchase your coverage as soon as possible after booking a trip. This is a good way to get discounts and extra coverage.
7. Immediately create paper copies and digital versions of your documentation. From itineraries to coverage policies, it's wise to save versions of all your travel documents in a safe place online. This way they can be accessed and forwarded while away.