Consumer advocates are warning travelers to beware of “travel ‘protection’ insurance policies, which are often worthless to consumers.”
The National Consumers League did a study last year on trip-cancellation insurance. The group found that form of insurance is “aggressively marketed during the airline ticket-buying process.”
How aggressively? Quite frequently, there is one of those check boxes that is pre-clicked “for your convenience.” Consumers must actively decline the option (un-click the box) or they could unwittingly add the insurance to their tabs.
The study found that the exclusions — loopholes that relieve the insurance company from its obligation to pay — are also the most common reasons a consumer cancels a trip. Some examples: illness involving an existing medical condition, pregnancy or childbirth, termination of employment, date changes on a student’s test or a rescheduled business meeting.
Good advice: Never buy an insurance policy without checking and double-checking exclusions.
Another observation: Any company that tries to sneak into your shopping cart a worthless insurance policy probably has other tricks in store as well. It might be a good sign that it’s time to shop elsewhere.