Consumer Alert: Should you buy travel insurance?

Many Americans will be traveling this holiday season, and many say that they consider purchasing travel insurance when they go away.
But is travel insurance necessary when planning a trip? Some consumer experts say that it could be a good idea.
“If you or someone in your family becomes ill and all of a sudden your nonrefundable trip has to be canceled by you, this travel insurance policy is going to pay those moneys when you have no other recourse,” says Michael Barry, with the Insurance Information Institute.
But a recent survey found that only 45 percent of travelers who submitted travel insurance claims were happy with their results.
Here are some things to consider when purchasing a travel insurance policy.
  • What is the price? Travel insurance should typically cost between 4 and 10 percent of the total travel costs.
  • What time of year are you traveling? The better the chance of bad weather, the more sense it makes to purchase a policy.
  • Traveling overseas? Make sure your health insurance will cover you. If not, consider a travel policy that includes medical coverage.
Barry says that some credit card companies already include travel insurance for a fee. But he does say to read the fine print on the policy.
“Maybe before looking at your travel insurance company, you should call your credit card company and look to see what the policy limits are and what your coverage limits are,” he says.