PhotoA report by Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site, shows U.S. consumers are spending more for travel insurance. The authors suggest there's a simple explanation: it costs more to travel these days and consumers are taking more expensive trips.

The report says that for the first time since 2013, U.S. consumers spent more per trip from one year to the next. The average amount consumers spent on a trip last year was close to $4,000, with the most expensive trip insured in Squaremouth costing over $146,000.

South Carolina consumers spent the most per trip, with an average of just over $5,000. Arkansas consumers spent the least per trip -- $2,351.

Since travel costs more, and consumers are taking more expensive trips, Squaremouth says more people are seeking protection through travel insurance. Consumers in nine states spent 30% or more on travel insurance last year than the year before.

What it covers

Before buying travel insurance, consumers should understand what it covers and what it doesn't. According to Investopedia, there are five main areas where travel insurance may prove useful. It will cover trip cancellation, though the reasons for covered cancellation may vary from company to company.

Many travel policies will pay if the traveler has a sudden business conflict and is unable to travel; there is a delay in processing needed paperwork; the traveler is injured or gets sick; or if there is a weather-related delay. Some policies even pay if the traveler changes their mind.

Most policies will provide extensive medical coverage for injury or illness while on a trip. This can be important for international travel, since many healthcare policies don't cover their policyholder outside the U.S.

Other common areas of coverage include emergency medical evacuation insurance, which covers ambulance services, and accidental death and flight accident insurance. It pays a benefit to surviving beneficiaries, just as life insurance does.

There are also different terms of coverage. Most policies are sold on a per-trip basis, but multiple trip policies are also available for frequent travelers, covering travel made during a 12-month period.

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