Top Tips for Buying Travel Insurance
Don’t Buy It from Your Tour Operator
There are two reasons not to buy trip insurance from your tour operator or cruise line:
- In these economically volatile times, you don’t want to buy a plan from any entity that might go under, which would likely render your plan obsolete.
- A plan from a tour or cruise company typically covers only the time you are on the boat or the tour and not any legs of your trip that might come just before or after the main event.
Some say you shouldn’t buy plans from travel agents either, since they earn commissions that might influence their offerings. New York travel agent Caryl Halpin laughs. “We do make a commission, but I do better in the long run giving a client back $20,000 when a claim comes through, as opposed to making an extra $30 for selling the plan to begin with.”
“You’re not talking about a big commission for agents,” agrees Scott Richardson, from South Carolina’s Department of Insurance. “I think most travel agents earn their keep and have experience to tell you what you need to be aware of on a trip.” At the very least, shop around and compare offerings before you buy from either an agent or an online provider.