There are many things to consider when planning a vacation - where to go, what to pack, and what to do once you get there. No matter how well you plan, though, there are some things that are out of your control. That's where travel insurance can come in very handy by compensating you for unforeseen emergencies while traveling.
There are several types of travel insurance to choose from, depending on the type of trip and length of stay. The first and most common is Trip Cancellation/Interruption coverage. Most of these policies cover cancellations due to weather, sudden illness or death, jury duty, emergency military duty, and bankruptcy of airline or cruise line prior to departure. Many also include terrorism insurance that reimburses your expenses in the event that the U.S. Department of State issues a travel warning advising not to travel within a given country for a period of time.
Another common type of travel insurance is for medical emergencies. This type of coverage is particularly useful if you plan on traveling to underdeveloped countries, or for individuals with a chronic illness that might require medical attention at some point during the trip. These policies will reimburse you for the cost of doctor visits, medication, and sometimes even medical evacuation out of the country. It's best to check with your insurance provider regarding the details, as travel health coverage policies vary widely.
It is also possible to obtain travel insurance that will cover non-refundable tickets in the event that a trip has to be cancelled for any number of reasons. Some coverage plans will sometimes cover missed connections as well, which can be a lifesaver in the event of a flight delay or over-crowded and/or confusing airport terminal.
For longer trips, or for frequent travelers, a comprehensive insurance package is probably the best value. These usually provide a wide variety of coverage, and some even allow you to choose what kinds of coverage to be included. Since it's impossible to know what problems might arise during your trip, these policies cover all the bases so that you have protection against monetary loss in the event of nearly any emergency.