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 InsureMyTrip.com, 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 bankrupt.