Travel Insurance Demystified
A third of leisure travelers bought travel insurance last year. But do you really need it?
By Kate Ashford

(MONEY Magazine) – 'TIS THE SEASON TO WATCH vacation dreams vanish inside giant white swirls on the Weather Channel, the ones with names like Katrina and Andrew. Your travel planner may push insurance, which, for a percentage of whatever money you put down on the trip, can cover lost luggage, canceled flights, medical costs abroad and storm cancellations. Worth it? Consider...

• WHAT THE ODDS ARE Most bad-weather coverage makes sense when you're headed to a storm-prone locale, but only kicks in when the canceling is someone else's call (a cruise line's or hotel's, for instance).

• WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE Your regular home or auto insurance (or credit card if you charge the trip) may cover you for some problems, such as lost luggage or illness.

• WHAT IT COVERS Many policies reimburse you for almost any snafu. But not all. Compare at insuremytrip.com and squaremouth.com.

• BOTTOM LINE Insurance is worth it only if you're putting down a lot of money ($5,000 or more, say) on a costly trip. Even then, it should cost no more than 10% of any nonrefundable deposits.

...Ringxiety (ring-'zi-e-tee) n. Confusion when a cell phone rings but no one is sure whose; mistaking a faint sound for the ringing of one's phone...

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.