Travel Insurance a Good Value or Not?

Travel insurance has become a must-have in recent years. Consumers pay higher retail prices for goods and the increasing costs of medical care are making it a more of a necessity.


Here are some guidelines for travel insurance:

• Find out what travel insurance covers. It could be a trip cancellation, death or dismemberment, medical and dental services, medical transport services, luggage loss, and indemnity against cruise liner bankruptcies.

• Check your homeowner/renters' policies for what travel coverage they provide. Also your auto/life insurance policies' coverage for travel outside the country.

• Credit cards routinely offer travel coverage for accidental death and dismemberment, so check it out.

• Don't buy travel insurance from travel agents, tour operators, or cruise lines. They can go broke.

• Find out the specifics of coverage. Does it exist for earthquake or hurricanes, for example? What is the process for reimbursement?

• Is trip cancellation coverage necessary? If a natural disaster or other uncontrollable event forces cancellation, a refund should typically be given.

• Don't buy flight insurance from airport machines. Rely on your term life insurance policy or credit card.

• Be cautious about buying cancellation waivers. They offer little protection and are a bad deal generally.

• Do you need extra coverage? Pricey electronics, jewelry, or other expensive items can be covered with a rider on your homeowners/renters' policies, a more cost-effective option.

• Consider emergency medical assistance coverage for accidents and long-term care in a foreign medical facility. Check to see if coverage exists, including transportation back home.

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