Travel Insurance Definitions


We know travel insurance can be confusing, and we're in the business of helping you Travel Smarter™. It's especially important that you understand what we mean by using certain words and phrases on this site and in the Plan Documents, so you understand what you really get with your travel insurance purchase.

Travel insurance definitions for key terms can be found below. You can also review a sample Plan Document for more definitions and details.

Also see:  FAQs  |  Coverage Details  |  View Plan Documents

Travel Insurance Terms Glossary

ACCIDENT means a sudden, unexpected, unintended and external event, which causes Injury.

ACCOMMODATION means any establishment used for the purpose of temporary overnight lodging for which a fee is paid and reservations are required.

ACTUAL CASH VALUE means purchase price less depreciation.

AIR FLIGHT ACCIDENT means an Accident that occurs while a passenger in or on, boarding or alighting from an aircraft of a regularly scheduled airline or an air charter company that is licensed to carry passengers for hire.

BAGGAGE means luggage, personal possessions and travel documents taken by you on your Trip, excluding items defined as Business Equipment or Sporting Equipment.

BUSINESS EQUIPMENT means physical property owned by you used in trade, business, or for the production of income, taken by you for use on your Trip, excluding software, data, and any items defined as Baggage or Sporting Equipment.

COMMON CARRIER means any land, water or air conveyance, with scheduled and published departure and arrival times, operated under a license for the transportation of passengers for hire, not including taxicabs or rented, leased or privately owned motor vehicles.

COVERED REASON means an event that might qualify for benefit payment if a claim is filed.

DOMESTIC PARTNER means a person who is at least eighteen years of age and you can show: (1) evidence of financial interdependence, such as joint bank accounts or credit cards, jointly owned property, and mutual life insurance or pension beneficiary designations; (2) evidence of cohabitation for at least the previous 6 months; and (3) an affidavit of domestic partnership if recognized by the jurisdiction within which you reside. 

ELECTIVE TREATMENT AND PROCEDURES means any medical treatment or surgical procedure that is not medically necessary including any service, treatment, or supplies that are deemed by the federal, or a state or local government authority, or by us to be research or experimental or that is not recognized as a generally accepted medical practice. 

EPIDEMIC means an outbreak of a contagious illness or disease that spreads rapidly and widely and that is identified as an epidemic by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


  • Traveling Companion(s) 
  • Insured’s or Traveling Companion’s Spouse 
  • Insured’s, Traveling Companion’s or Spouse’s: 
    • child; 
    • parent; 
    • sibling; 
    • grandparent, great-grandparent, grandchild or greatgrandchild; 
    • step-parent, step-child or step-sibling; 
    • son-in-law or daughter-in-law; 
    • brother-in-law or sister-in-law; 
    • aunt or uncle; 
    • niece or nephew; 
    • legal guardian; 
    • foster child or legal ward.

FINAL PAYMENT means the last pre-paid payment (prior to departure) of the most expensive part of the Trip, unless the Main Air Arrangements are added last.

FINANCIAL INSOLVENCY means the total cessation or complete suspension of operations due to insolvency, with or without the filing of a bankruptcy petition, whether voluntary or involuntary, by a tour operator, cruise line, airline, rental car company, hotel, condominium, railroad, motor coach company, or other supplier of travel services which is duly licensed in the jurisdiction of operation other than the entity or the person, organization, agency or firm from whom you directly purchased or paid for your Trip, provided the Financial Insolvency occurs more than 14 days following your effective date for the Trip Cancellation Benefits. There is no coverage for the total cessation or complete suspension of operations for losses caused by fraud or negligent misrepresentation by the supplier of travel services.

FORESEEABLE EVENT means reasonably known before the plan purchase. Once it is reasonable that people traveling to an area would know about an event, it becomes foreseeable. For example, if the airline you are flying announces that they are going on strike, the event becomes foreseeable once they make the announcement.

HOME means your primary or secondary residence. 

HOSPITAL means an institution that meets all of the following requirements: (1) it must be operated according to law; (2) it must give 24-hour medical care, diagnosis and treatment to the sick or injured on an inpatient basis; (3) it must provide diagnostic and surgical facilities supervised by Physicians; (4) registered nurses must be on 24-hour call or duty; and (5) the care must be given either on the hospital’s premises or in facilities available to the hospital on a prearranged basis. A Hospital is not: a rest, convalescent, extended care, rehabilitation or other nursing facility; a facility which primarily treats mental illness, alcoholism, or drug addiction (or any ward, wing or other section of the hospital used for such purposes); or a facility which provides hospice care (or wing, ward or other section of a hospital used for such purposes).

HOST means the person with whom you are scheduled to share pre-arranged overnight accommodations in his/her principal place of residence.

INJURY means bodily harm caused by an Accident which requires the in-person examination and treatment by a Physician. The Injury must be the direct cause of loss and must be independent of all other causes and must not be caused by, or result from, Sickness.

INSURED means the person named on the application form, for whom the required premium payment is received and a Trip is scheduled.

MAIN AIR ARRANGEMENTS means air to/from the main destination, compared to tickets for a side trip during the vacation.

PANDEMIC means an Epidemic over a wide geographic area that affects a large portion of the population.

PAYMENTS means the cash, check, and/or credit card amounts paid for your Trip, including but not limited to reservation costs, timeshare exchange fees, ownership dues (not including the cost of your vacation ownership) and maintenance fees. Payments also include the units of currency purchased from a travel or vacation club to be used as valuation in payment for arrangements and to access travel arrangements (including but not limited to points, credits or other values). Such currency units must be used in accordance with travel or vacation club rules and must be for travel under a membership or for a deeded real estate product. In the case of currency units, we reserve the right to replace, restore or replenish your currency units in lieu of reimbursement. 

PHYSICIAN means a person licensed as a medical doctor by the jurisdiction in which he/she is resident to practice the healing arts. He/she must be practicing within the scope of his/her license for the service or treatment given and may not be you, a Traveling Companion, or a Family Member of yours.

PRE-EXISTING CONDITION means a Sickness or Injury during the 180-day period immediately prior to your effective date for which you or your Traveling Companion: (1) received, or received a recommendation for, a diagnostic test, examination, or medical treatment; or (2) took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item 2 of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 180-day period before coverage is effective under this Policy.

SCHEDULED DEPARTURE DATE means the date on which you are originally scheduled to leave on your Trip.

SCHEDULED RETURN DATE means the date on which you are originally scheduled to return to the point where the Trip started or to a different final destination.

SCHEDULED TRIP DEPARTURE CITY means the city where the scheduled Trip on which you are to participate originates. 

SERVICE ANIMAL means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding persons with impaired vision, alerting persons with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing animal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

SICKNESS means an illness or disease of the body that requires in-person examination and treatment by a Physician.

SPORTING EQUIPMENT means equipment and devices needed to participate in a particular sport, taken by you for use on your Trip, excluding any items defined as Baggage or Business Equipment within this Policy.

SPOUSE means your legally wed husband/wife or Domestic Partner as defined by this Policy.

TERRORIST ACT means an act of violence, other than civil disorder or riot, (that is not an act of war, declared or undeclared) that results in loss of life or major damage to property, by any person acting on behalf of or in connection with any organization which is generally recognized as having the intent to overthrow or influence the control of any government.

TRAVELING COMPANION means a person who, during the Trip, will accompany you in the same accommodations.

TRIP means a period of round-trip travel at least 100 miles away from Home to your designated vacation destination associated with the purchase of this insurance, excluding regular commuting and local travel; the purpose of the Trip is business or pleasure and is not to obtain health care or treatment of any kind; the Trip has defined departure and return dates specified when you purchase the coverage; the Trip does not exceed 365 days in length; or a period of one-way travel that starts in the U.S. or Canada (except U.S. citizens may begin their Trip outside the U.S., if returning to the U.S.); the purpose of the Trip is business or pleasure and is not to obtain health care or treatment of any kind; the Trip has defined departure and arrival dates and defined departure and arrival places specified when you apply; and the Trip does not exceed 31 days in length.

TRIP COST means costs for your travel arrangments, that you paid before departing on your Trip, and would be lost in the event of a trip cancellation. This includes flights, cruises, accommodations, tours, entertainment and other costs that could be lost if prevented from taking your trip.

UNINHABITABLE means the dwelling is not suitable for human occupancy in accordance with local public safety guidelines.

USUAL AND CUSTOMARY CHARGE means those charges: (1) for necessary treatment and services that are reasonable for the treatment of cases of comparable severity and nature; (2) that do not exceed the usual level of charges for similar treatment, supplies or medical services in the locality where the expense is incurred; and (3) does not include charges that would not have been made if no insurance existed. In no event will Usual and Customary Charges exceed the actual amount charged. 


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