How to Get Travel Insurance from Expedia

Last updated: April 12, 2017 - 11:39pm EDT

Now that you’ve learned all about booking flights, hotels, car rentals, vacations, and cruises with Expedia, you might be thinking about planning a trip. If you’re looking for a little extra peace of mind on your trip, you might be considering purchasing one of Expedia's travel protection plans, in order to be ready for the unexpected. In this article, we’ll explain how to get protection from Expedia, and what types of plans you can choose from. Read on to learn more!

How Expedia travel insurance works

Expedia travel insurance is a protection plan for your trip which will entitle you to a refund in the event that the conditions of the insurance are met. By purchasing insurance with or after your booking, you are protecting yourself if the trip is cancelled or if unfortunate circumstances occur while on your trip.

We all know vacations can be expensive. By purchasing an Expedia protection plan, essentially you are preparing for a situation out of your control, so you don’t lose all of the money you spent on your trip. Depending on the protection you purchase, you could be reimbursed for the cost of your trip for situations such as illness, bad weather, or missing your flight.

You will be given the option of adding travel insurance while booking, but this is completely optional. You will need to purchase protection plans during booking, prior to the completion of your transaction. You can however purchase the Car Rental Insurance Plan up until the day before you leave for your trip.

How do I get a Travel Protection Plan from Expedia?

You will automatically have the option to add a travel protection plan whenever you are booking an itinerary for which that plan is applicable. 

Just look for the Expedia Insurance icon icon when you get to the final screen before completing your booking (the one where you have to enter your billing and contact information).

Types of Travel Protection Plans that Expedia offers

Expedia Package Protection Plan – for before, on, or after the trip.

This plan applies mainly to vacation packages, usually consisting of at least a flight and hotel booking. It is meant to protect you from elements before and during your trip, including:

  • If you need to change or cancel your flight before you leave, for any reason (one time only)
  • If your flight is significantly delayed
  • If you need to return home mid-trip because of an emergency
  • If you need to pay for any emergency medical bills
  • If your baggage is lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed, or significantly delayed
  • If you or someone you are travelling with is seriously injured or killed in an accident
  • If you need to call someone for any other type of emergency travel or medical assistance

Expedia Vacation Waiver – for flight issues.

This is similar to the package protection plan, except that it only covers you if you need to change or cancel your flight before you leave.  If you're just worried about whether or not you'll be able to make your flight at all, and not so much about what will happen after you're already on it, then pick this plan.

  • You can use this plan one time only, before the time you are scheduled to leave.
  • You may cancel or change your flight for any reason. 
  • Expedia will pay for any change or cancellation fees from the airline.
  • You will be given credit to use towards a flight in the future.
  • The future flight must be with the same primary passenger on the same airline.

Expedia Cancellation Plan – for an emergency before the trip occurs.

Similar to the vacation waiver, this plan compensates you if you need to cancel your trip before you leave or during your trip, if you or someone closely related to you becomes critically ill or injured. 

  • This plan only compensates you if you wish to cancel your trip, not change it.
  • It covers medical emergencies only, and requires a doctor's note.
  • It is available only for packages that include flights totally within the continental United States.

Expedia Total Protection Plan – for travel, medical, baggage, and emergencies.

This plan is sort of a mix between the cancellation plan and the package protection plan, and usually only applies to packages that have flights booked, but not hotel rooms. 

  • Like the cancellation plan, it allows you to be compensated if you cancel your trip before you're scheduled to leave or after you've already left, though only for doctor-certified medical emergencies.
  • Like the package protection plan, it also protects your luggage against loss, theft, damage, destruction, or significant delay.  It also covers emergency medical bills, and can compensate you if you or a travelling partner is seriously injured or killed in an accident.  Finally, it includes 24/7 emergency traveller's assistance.

Cruise Travel Protection.

As its name implies, this plan is for packages that include cruises.  It offers you protection and/or compensation:

  • If you have to cancel your cruise because you or a close associate has a medical emergency
  • If your cruise is significantly delayed
  • If you have to pay for any emergency medical bills
  • If your luggage is lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed, or significantly delayed
  • If you need to call someone for any other type of emergency travel or medical assistance

Car Rental Insurance.

This plan covers your expenses, above and beyond your regular car insurance, if your rental car is damaged by forces of nature (fire, flood, hail, wind, etc.) or by anything else that isn't your fault. This is also the only insurance that can be purchased from Expedia after your booking; you can obtain it up until the day before you leave for your trip – so you have more time to decide if you’ll need it.

Is Expedia's Travel Insurance Worth It?

The answer to this, like a lot of similar questions, is "it depends."  There are a number of factors that may make you decide that you want the extra protection or not.  Here are a few things to consider.

  • How well does your other insurance cover you?
    There are some things included in their travel insurance plans that your other insurance plans don't cover, and there are some things that they do.  Consider what things are most likely to pose a problem for you personally on your trip, and ask whether the insurance you have already covers those things or not.
     
  • How dangerous is your trip destination?
    There are some places that are prone to extreme weather conditions, while others are notorious for thievery and violence.  Again, consider what the biggest risks are for you when travelling when deciding on your insurance plan.
     
  • Did you read the fine print?
    Again, we know that a lot of people don't like doing it and/or don't bother doing it.  But a lot of people who complain on the Internet about the travel insurance plans being useless probably didn't realize that there are specific situations in which they do or do not apply.  For instance, some of them only reimburse you if you outright cancel your trip instead of changing it, and only for a medical emergency verified by a doctor.
     
  • Are you getting value for money?
    This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the other points made so far.  There are some places where you will be able to buy travel insurance at a lower rate.  Also, in some places, you may be able to get travel insurance that is more expensive, but has more covered scenarios and/or doesn't have as many restrictions in the fine print.  Do a bit of shopping around to find a good balance of price versus broadness of coverage.

 

And that’s how Expedia's Travel Protection Plans work. If you’re interested in learning more about what you may be entitled to when you book with Expedia, check out our article on the their cancellation policy here.

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