Date: March 21, 2013
For more information contact: J.P. Wieske, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493 or jp.wieske@wisconsin.gov

Travel Insurance and Spring Break Could Keep You in the Green

Madison, WI—It is the time of year many people begin to plan or have already planned spring vacations. Insurance Commissioner Theodore Nickel reminds those who are touring this spring to consider travel insurance for their journeys.

"Buying travel insurance can protect you from the forfeiture of non-refundable travel costs, including airfare, hotel and tour expenses," said Nickel. "Travel insurance can cover everything from severe weather and illness or family emergency, to bankruptcy of the travel agency or cruise line."

There are several major types of travel insurance:

Trip Cancellation Insurance - Covers you if the tour operator or cruise line goes out of business, if you have to cancel the trip due to sickness, a death in the family or another catastrophe listed in the policy. This type of insurance would also provide reimbursement if you or an immediate family member becomes seriously ill or injured during the trip. Since preexisting conditions are typically not covered, make sure to check the policy before purchasing to make sure it has everything you need.

Baggage Insurance or Personal Effects Coverage - Covers your personal belongings if they are lost, stolen or damaged during the trip. Before purchasing this type of insurance, make sure to check your homeowner's policy for coverage of off-premise theft. Airlines and trip operators may also provide insurance for your possessions.

Emergency Medical Assistance - Covers medical assistance while you are on a trip, including emergency transportation, hospital stays in foreign countries and transportation if you need to be flown home. Before purchasing emergency medical assistance insurance, check your own health insurance policy to see if you are already covered.

Travel insurance, like other insurance, has limitations and exclusions and not all trip cancellations are covered. If you decide to purchase travel insurance, it is very important that you read and understand your policy before purchase. Make sure that any policy you purchase will cover the unforeseen events particular to your trip.

"Travel insurance is worth considering, especially if the trip is particularly expensive," said Nickel. "And just like any other type of policy, travel insurance should be reviewed thoroughly."

Contact your insurance agent or company for more information about travel insurance. The OCI publication "Consumer's Guide to Insurance" can be ordered free from the agency by writing to OCI Publications, P.O. Box 7873, Madison, WI 53707-7873, calling 800-236-8517 or visiting the OCI Web site at http://oci.wi.gov.


Created by the Legislature in 1871, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.