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A Little Insurance Against Online Anxiety

September 10, 2000

Nervous about bidding for airline tickets online? Priceline.com is trying to counter the all-sales-are-final anxiety of Internet auctions by offering travel insurance. So far, says Brian Ek, spokesman for the giant online auction company, it's a "popular item," although he did not give figures.

The insurance, which costs a flat $10 regardless of the airline ticket price, offers modest coverage. It will refund the ticket if illness, injury or death prevents travel; cover up to $1,500 for emergency medical treatment and up to $50,000 for emergency evacuation; reimburse up to $500 for luggage loss or damage; and pay $10,000 in accidental death coverage.

The insurance is optional. But if you want it, you must sign up at the time you bid. If your bid is rejected, the $10 is refunded, according to Ek. The site is http://www.priceline.com.

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