Father and child in airport with toy airplane

Travel insurance can be a valuable safety net for new and experienced travelers. A travel policy aims to protect you if the airlines mishandle, misplace or altogether lose your luggage, and cover you in case of cancellations, weather precautions or a medical emergency. Even seasoned travelers find it helpful to understand how travel insurance works and why it’s a worthy investment.

1. Medical emergency

Importantly, travel insurance offers protections in medical situations. These can include covering the cost of emergency medical situations you experience during a trip — even if you receive treatment abroad. The health insurance plan you have at home might not cover you if you’re overseas, so medical coverage within a travel insurance policy could be just the solution, based on limits specified by your plan. When you know you’re covered, you won’t have to wait to get the care you need until you return from your trip.

2. Flight cancellations and delays

If your flight is delayed, rerouted or canceled, travel insurance can account for unexpected costs you may incur. Flight delays usually qualify for this kind of protection if the delay lasts longer than an amount of time specified in your policy. Trip delay insurance could cover meals and local transportation if your flight is rerouted to a different airport. Depending on the policy you choose, it might cover hotel accommodations if you need to stay the night. Having this protection in place can make the hassle of your delay a little easier to bear.

3. Lost luggage

It’s probably happened to you before: Your bag gets delayed or misrouted and you’re stuck with only the clothes on your back. If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged during baggage handling, travel insurance will reimburse you according to the terms of your policy. If you arrive at your destination and your luggage does not, you’ll be able to shop for additional clothes without blowing your trip budget.

Add travel insurance to your pre-trip checklist

Complications, delays and other frustrations are extremely common when traveling, and having the protection of a travel insurance policy can at least spare you from the financial distress of such mishaps.

Nationwide offers multiple travel insurance options, including coverage for trips as short as 100 miles away. So whether it’s a drive to the next state or the journey of a lifetime, consider packing a little peace of mind — in the form of travel insurance.