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Travel Insurance - Who needs it?

We all do. As one who has filed travel insurance claims on two different occasions, I've become a real believer in buying travel insurance for every major trip. But if you already know that, here's where to compare policies with a single click. And the coverage your credit card may already offer.

A good travel or holiday insurance policy will cover all the things that can possibly go wrong, which goes far beyond mere trip interruption or trip cancellation protection:

Here's a sample of what can go wrong.

Delayed flights

Not a serious problem if you're staying at a resort but if you've booked a cruise and literally missed the boat, what happens?

Unless you have trip interruption insurance, any hotel and travel costs to catch up with your ship come out of your pocket. That can be expensive.

And what about any lost luggage?

Illness or injury

Regardless where you live, consider the words of the U.S. State Department--which deals with the medical complaints and problems of American travelers all over the world. Read their advisory about the importance of medical travel insurance.

So, what happens if you or a family member becomes ill ? Or there's a traffic accident on the way to the airport and you miss your flight?

If you're injured in an accident while horseback riding, snorkeling or engaged in any activity, does your present insurance cover the costs of being treated locally -- or to be medically evacuated back home if necessary?

You may have an elderly relative who is not well, and what will you do if they become ill just before your departure? Cancel? Or still take your vacation because you would lose all your money?

Actually, you could still receive a refund if you have Cancel for any Reason insurance, a policy type not offered by all companies.


Hurricanes pose a threat for any Caribbean travel from about August 1 to October 30. For instance, one recent hurricane shut down all airports in Central and South Florida for two days, making it impossible for some travelers to reach their destinations in a reasonable amount of time.

Furthermore, the itineraries of some ships were so disrupted that passengers on some ships were incensed and threatened legal action.

Hurricane damage frequently close hotels and interrupt normal day-to-day living for weeks and months.

In some instances travelers were able to postpone their vacations or receive partial refunds, but not all.

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