Consumer Report: Travel Insurance

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

Planning a vacation? Whether you book online or use a travel agent, expect a pitch for travel insurance. And given all the perils that could derail your trip—including medical emergencies, natural disasters, and even political upheavals—travel insurance can be worth considering. But Consumer Reports cautions that travel insurance isn’t always a great deal.

For instance, don’t buy insurance that covers small losses, such as lost luggage. And if you’re worried about dying in a plane crash, skip flight insurance. Instead think about term life insurance. It covers you no matter what the cause of death.

Before you buy travel insurance, first check the insurance you already have. Medical emergencies may be covered by your health insurance, a fender bender by your credit card.

If you’re traveling overseas, you might need additional health insurance, so consider medical travel insurance. And if you decide you want travel insurance, it’s better not to buy it from a travel agent who may be more swayed by high commissions than by what
the best policy is for you.

Instead go to an online broker such as, which sells coverage from 21 carriers, including CSA Travel Protection, Med-Jet Assist, and Travelex. Consumer Reports suggests that you think twice before purchasing travel insurance from a tour operator or cruise line. The coverage might prove worthless if the company goes

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  • by craig corey Location: lansing michigan on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM
    Thank you for bringing "travel insurance" into the spotlight, especially in this age where airlines and other suppliers of travel no longer take care of their customers who find themselves in peril either before, and during a trip. However, the story suggests that consumers should not purchase their insurance through "travel agents" because sales are driven by high commissions! SO WHAT! The insurance premium is the same wherever you buy it anyway, and GOOD for those travel agents who offered their customers the very sound advice to insure their trip investment. Anyone who has ever found themselves on the other end of not having insurance will tell you they'd never again go without it. And in the majority of cases the cost to insure is far outweighed by the cost of the trip, making it well worth the investment under any circumstances in this post 9/11 2001 world in which we live. The story has some holes, and I suspect that's because it was not well researched in the first place.
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