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Top Tips for Buying Travel Insurance

Credit Cards, Make sure you're not already covered

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Make Sure You’re Not Already Covered

Your regular health plan—and even your homeowner’s policy or credit cards—may offer coverage for things like medical care or lost baggage. Homeowners’ policies often cover loss of personal property (though perhaps not overseas), and your health plan may even offer basic care around the world. “Many health policies will cover you partially overseas, though you may still have gaps—maybe covering only 60 percent of your expenses,” says InsureMyTrip.com’s Evans. Before you buy any coverage, he says, “your first stop is to call your health-care provider and say, ‘I’m going to Greece,’ and ask what coverage you’d have there.”

Many credit cards, meanwhile, offer perks to members for nominal or no charge, such as help finding a doctor while you’re on vacation, or getting a replacement for a lost passport. With American Express, for instance, card members automatically get some coverage for lost bags, assuming you pay for your ticket with your Amex card. If you pay an extra $10 per airline ticket, meanwhile, you get Premium Baggage protection—a “primary” plan that means the insurer pays you first, so you don’t have to wait to see what the airline will offer up if they lose your skis.

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