Eye on Travel Insurance

To buy or not to buy: that is the question. Plus a quote from the former Consumer Reports Travel Newsletter, and how to deal with travel insurance sales techniques.
How to avoid travel to dangerous destinations not covered by travel insurance, plus recommendations on four good books on the topic of dangerous places.
Notification of change in travel insurance cost by STA Travel (see April 2006, page 52). Also, a tip on purchasing a little-known, zero-trip-cost policy, aka post-departure policy, which came to be known in ITN as The Betty James Travel Insurance Strategy (Sept. 2010, page 54). Also, “layoff” coverage and help in choosing a travel insurance policy.
A discussion of “Medivac,” who supplies it and what to do if you should need it.
Answers to questions received from readers regarding travel insurance. Read about ITN readers’ travel insurance experiences.
1. A discussion of the structure of the travel insurance business. The companies which we commonly refer to as travel insurance companies are only suppliers/providers (and administrators of travel insurance policies). They are backed up by underwriters, who are the actual insurance companies. 2. A Tennessee “travel insurance company” was selling not travel insurance but “travel protection plans” without a license. According to the Tennessee Insurance Commissioner, “this leaves policy holders in danger.” Advice on how to avoid this type of problem.
A further discussion of the topic first published in the August 1994 issue, page 37.
Insurance companies generally charge according to the cost of the trip (typically 4% to 8%). For example, at 6%, coverage for a 3-week trip costing $4,000 would cost $240. STA's charges are based on the length of the trip; for any trip lasting 16 to 22 days, coverage would cost only $100. (See June 2009, page 58, for changes for the over-35 traveler.)