The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Crowded airports and winter highway conditions can make for some stressful travel moments.

If travel is on your holiday list, one way to give yourself some peace of mind is to protect yourself with travel insurance. Here are the top three reasons you shouldn't leave home without it.

1. Emergency medical coverage: you never know what could happen!

It's wise to expect the unexpected. No one enjoys imagining being involved in an accident or crisis while on vacation, but it's never out of the realm of possibility. That's why it's always a good idea to carry travel insurance with emergency medical benefits.

There are many benefits of medical insurance beyond coverage for the costs of treatment. Services like foreign language translation, the coordination of payments (including direct billing if allowable) and verification of your coverage details to hospital employees are often included. This could help reduce some stress in the event of an emergency. 

2. Baggage benefits: don't lose those presents!

There's nothing quite as frustrating as getting off a flight and waiting at the luggage carousel only to realize your baggage is missing. Even more so during the holidays when you're likely travelling with precious presents in tow. If you're in Cancun but your bag took a detour to Kansas, travel insurance with delayed bag benefit could reimburse you for the items you'll need to buy to tide you over (i.e. necessary toiletries and clothing).

Or it could be worst case scenario and your bag is damaged beyond repair or simply gone for good. Unfortunately, airlines have limited liability when it comes to lost or damaged luggage. The protection in your travel insurance policy could reimburse you for your belongings, including the gifts.

Photo of a scene outside an airport. A man is pushing a redheaded woman on a baggage cart along with their bags. They are both smiling, she has her purse in her lap and her feet lifted up.

3. Flight delays: don't let bad weather steal your joy!

Describe the weather during the holidays and you might say it's inconsistent at best. It would be disappointing to miss even a day of the special trip you had planned (and paid for), let alone having to fork out extra money for an unplanned hotel stay or extra meals.

Having travel insurance with trip delay and cancellation coverage could cover expenses like food, transportation and accommodation. Certain plans can also help with adjusting your itinerary or rebooking to get you on your way to your destination as smoothly as possible.

There are a variety of travel insurance plans to protect your health, your belongings and your trip. If you're deciding what coverage is suited to your needs, we've got answers to help you understand more about the travel insurance question.

Once you've found the policy that suits your needs, you can be off on your merry way.

Buy emergency medical coverage online or call 1.877.885.2847 for optional plans including trip interruption and baggage.

Travel insurance does not cover everything. Please refer to the certificate for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators group of companies, and administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.