What's the Deal: Is travel insurance worth it?

There are different kinds of trip insurance, so before you automatically click yes to buy, Checkbook Magazine wants you to be aware of exactly what you're getting.

When you're booking a vacation and checking out online, you often get offers to "protect your trip." Phrases like "peace of mind is only a click away", and "don't miss out" are designed to get you to pay more.

"What they've done is they've ramped up the anxiety. They made you think oh I'm spending all this money on this trip, I better protect that money," said Kevin Brasler of Checkbook Magazine.

Brasler said in many cases, that so-called "total protection" isn't really "total".

"If you dig into the policy, what you are going to find is a 15-to-20 page document that is filled with reasons for why it won't pay," he said.

The list of what some policies don't cover includes: hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic activity, nuclear disasters, floods, wars, terrorist attacks, epidemics, and pre-existing medical conditions.

"They will cover injuries, not if it's done in a competitive sporting event. So let's say you hurt your ankle or your knee while running, well you're going to have to prove it to them that you hurt it while running but not in a race," he said.

So read the fine print. In many cases, Checkbook said you'll find it's more cost effective to gamble and pay the airline's fee to change your flight if you have to. And as far as hotel stays or vacation packages, Checkbook said in many cases, you can simply call and ask to change your date.

"What do they care, they are in the business of accommodating people," he said.

Checkbook magazine also has advice on when and who should buy additional medical insurance when traveling. That link will remain active until June 30th.
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