The nuts and bolts of travel insurance

Updated
People wait in the food court as snow continues to accumulate during a 'Nor-Easter weather pattern bringing blizzard conditions to Laguardia airport, in New...
People wait in the food court as snow continues to accumulate during a 'Nor-Easter weather pattern bringing blizzard conditions to Laguardia airport, in New...
Chip East/REUTERS

With Snowstorm Nemo bearing down on the Northeast, USA Today reports that more than 3,700 flights have been canceled ahead of the blizzard. While winter travel above the Mason-Dixon Line can often be a perilous affair, travel insurance is big business year-round. Americans spent nearly $1.8 billion on all types of travel insurance services in 2010, the most recent data available from industry group the U.S. Travel Insurance Association.

But not all Americans buy into insurance options, and for those who do, the vast majority use the service for trip cancellation protection–it represents 94% of all travel insurance policies sold in America, the insurance association reports. According to a study conducted last year, travel insurance providers found that 12% of adults had their travel impacted by natural disasters like Snowstorm Nemo and other world events, but only 29% of those travelers had insurance.

To find out which insurance plan is best for your trip, be it a river cruise down the Danube or a surf-vacation to a remote Hawaiian enclave, there are websites to help with the decision making process.

Squaremouth.com  follows in the footsteps of travel aggregator sites such as Expedia and Kayak by allowing consumers to enter in their trip details, insurance needs, and instantly compare insurance provider quotes.

Travel Insurance Review claims to be “The Web’s Best Travel Insurance Resource,” it is a useful website to become conversant in the policy jargon before stepping into a travel agent’s office.

Symonds Travel is a valuable place to sleuth out travel insurance deals and advice on specific destinations and regions.

U.S. Department of State issues travel advisories for countries with risks of political unrest or high criminal activity. Their website also details the necessary documents and vaccinations required for the more intrepid international traveler.

Before you purchase any type of travel insurance be sure to check with your credit card company to assess what type of coverage may already be built into your agreement.

Do you have any travel related stories where insurance saved your bank account or put a roof over your head in a time of crisis? Please feel free to share in the comments or on our Facebook page as we want to hear from you.

The nuts and bolts of travel insurance

Updated