Consumer Reports: Should you buy travel insurance?

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Consumer Reports: Should you buy travel insurance? Nydia Han reports during Action News at 4:30pm on March 13, 2018. (WPVI)

To buy or not to buy trip insurance, that is the question. And considering it's spring break season, it's on the minds of many.

In an uncertain world with natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and personal injuries - trip cancelations are a reality and could mean money out the window.

Paulette Mann and her family love to travel and were understandably disappointed when their ski trip was canceled only two weeks before departure after Paulette tore her knee and had to have surgery.

"The first thing I thought was: Oh my God, I have travel insurance!" she said.

Paulette had prepaid everything for the trip - from airfare, hotel, ski lifts, rentals, excursions. She also paid 10 percent of the trip's cost to her insurance company.

"I think the insurance company probably paid back about 80 to 90 percent," she said.

Premium insurance policies like Paulette's are more expensive but allowed her to cancel for any reason and gave her the most flexibility.

"It's really important that consumers read the policy carefully so they understand exactly what is and isn't covered," said Margot Gilman, Consumer Reports Business Editor.

Know if the policy offers a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions, whether it provides healthcare coverage or covers medical evacuations for more adventurous trips.

And research carefully. Travel agents may have preferred relationships with only a couple insurance providers.

So instead, use comparison websites like and Each sells more than 100 policies from a variety of companies.

And stick to insurance that will cover potentially bigger losses.

"It makes you feel like you're not at risk for losing a whole chunk of change. Absolutely gives you peace of mind," said Paulette.

You can also call comparison websites like They can clearly explain coverage and determine exactly what you need. And don't forget - many credit card companies also offer travel insurance, so it's good to check with them, too.

To read the full story from Consumer Reports:

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