Aruba – You've carefully planned your dream vacation. Your bags are packed and you're about to jet off. But did you remember your traveler's insurance?

"Often when we're planning our vacations, we only want to think about the fun adventures we're going to have," says Matthew Smillie, owner of Aruba Villa Vacation Homes. "Very rarely do we want to think about what might happen should some type of accident occur while we are away. But it's a smart investment to purchase insurance before leaving home."

There are many different types of insurance to consider, says the Aruba vacation rental expert. There is flight and trip cancellation insurance, travel health insurance, baggage coverage and even medical evacuation insurance.

So why would you need each of these types of insurance? Smillie offers a few reasons:

  • Your flight is canceled.
  • Your bags are lost and you have prescription medication in it.
  • Your passport and wallet are stolen.
  • You're involved in an accident
  • You've become ill and need to cancel your trip.
  • You experience a medical emergency while in a foreign country.
  • A terrorist event occurs in the city you've planned to visit and you want to cancel your trip.

"The bottom line is you simply can't plan for these events," says Smillie, who offers trip advice and vacation rentals. "Aruba Villa Vacation Homes always encourages our clients to be informed of their travel insurance options should an unforeseen event occur."

Trip cancellation insurance can protect you should your flight or cruise gets canceled, or even if you get sick and have to cancel. It also covers you should the company you use go bankrupt.

Health insurance is very important for people traveling abroad. While in the United States, most health insurance plans will cover medical events or emergencies. Traveling to Aruba or another destination abroad, however, may require additional insurance. This medical insurance will ensure that you can be treated should a medical need arise, and will allow you to have prescriptions filled, if needed.

It's also important to look into Medical Evaluation and Repatriation insurance. If you become seriously ill or injured while traveling out of the country, this policy will ensure you will be treated, stabilized and flown back to the United States.

We've all heard horror stories about airlines losing traveler's baggage and vacationers having to run out to purchase essentials while they wait, sometimes a long time, for their bags to arrive. Avoid this when you rent one of Aruba's beach villas. Baggage insurance covers you should your bags become lost, damaged, delayed or even stolen.

You can also research non-refundable insurance. In the event that you've purchased a non-refundable airline ticket, but then can't use it, this can prevent you from paying expensive airline change fees.

There is even golf travel insurance and adventure/extreme sports travel insurance. Golf insurance can cover equipment loss or delay, or fee refunds. Many basic travel insurance plans have limits when considering adventure travel, which is where adventure insurance comes in. If you're planning scuba excursions, mountain climbing or other adventure/extreme sports while on vacation, consider looking in to a third party insurer who will cover you.

"Just as with anything, when making the final decision about whether or not to purchase additional insurance, weigh the cost of the trip versus the cost of the policy," says Smillie. "Always do your research and find a reputable company before purchasing insurance. Read the policy carefully to be sure everything you are expecting to be covered actually will be covered."

With a little careful planning and research before leaving for your trip, you can ensure that no matter what might happen while you're away, you'll be taken care of.

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Posted on Oct 20, 2013.