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Personal and Business Banking

Specialty Insurance

StreetWise Insurance Guide

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Specialty Insurance

What is it?

This category covers a broad range of property and casualty insurance policies not covered in other categories. A sampling of more common types of personal specialty insurance (as opposed to business specialty insurance) includes travel insurance, car rental insurance, flight insurance, pet insurance and computer insurance.

Some examples of common types of special insurance

  • Travel insurance can have several components that can be included in a single policy or purchased separately. Because policies can vary widely, read them carefully (especially the fine print) to see what is covered and what is excluded. These are the major types of travel insurance:

    • Trip cancellation/interruption will cover you if the cause of the cancellation/interruption is on the policy's list of acceptable reasons. Some policies only cover medical reasons. Pre-existing medical conditions may be excluded. Make sure the policy includes supplier default which pays if the company that you booked the trip with goes out of business.

    • Baggage insurance/personal effects will cover you if your baggage or personal effects are lost, stolen or damaged during the trip. This is very expensive insurance — about $50 per year to insure $1000 worth of personal belongings for a week. Before purchasing this insurance check out what other coverage you may already have such as off-premise theft in your homeowners/renters policy. If you are taking expensive equipment on your travels, look into adding an endorsement to your homeowners/renters policy.

    • Emergency medical assistance/emergency medical evacuation covers medical treatment and transportation elsewhere for treatment. Before purchasing check out what your health insurance already covers particularly for traveling abroad.

  • Car rental insurance covers damages to cars and people if you are in an accident while driving a rental car. Check the coverage provided by your own auto policy. Your credit card may also offer some type of rental car coverage—check it carefully for any limitations. Knowing what coverage you already have helps you make an informed decision about accepting or declining the rental company's loss damage waiver (LDW) and collision damage waivers (CDW).

  • Flight insurance pays if you are killed in a crash. Some policies cover dismemberment as well. This is expensive insurance. You should already be covered by life and health insurance.

  • Identity Theft insurance covers the time and money you spend restoring your identity and repairing credit reports if your identity is stolen. Covered items may include attorney fees, mailing costs, reapplication fees, phone charges, and lost wages for time taken off from work to deal with identity recovery. These policies don't provide reimbursement for fraudulent credit card charges. Check your card and account disclosures. At most financial institutions, you are not liable for fraudulent use of your account if you report it. Identity theft insurance can be obtained as a separate policy, as a rider to your homeowners, renters, or condominium policy, or possibly from your employer.

  • Pet insurance covers veterinary bills for your family pet. Pet insurance works like human health insurance. Premiums depend on the pet's age, type, coverage, and area of the country.

  • Computer insurance comes in a variety of plans with choices of coverage. Before buying a separate policy just for your computer(s), look at the computer coverage provided by your homeowners/renters policy.