If you're planning an expensive trip, travel insurance might spare you some sleepless nights. Just make sure you know what you're buying. Some tips:
--Expect to pay 4% to 8% of your trip cost for premiums on standard "bundled" policies. These cover trip delays, cancellations and interruptions due to illness, weather and other unexpected events.
-- Compare different policies on websites such as InsureMyTrip.com, QuoteWright.com and Squaremouth.com.
--Read the entire certificate of insurance, not just the summary. You can often find these documents on insurers' websites, or your travel agent can provide a copy.
---Pay close attention to policy sections on "covered reasons," "limitations and exclusions" and "pre-existing conditions." You can collect only for listed reasons.
-- Purchase insurance promptly. Unless you buy your policy within two weeks of making your first trip deposit, you may lose coverage for pre-existing health conditions.
--If you have any questions, call your insurer ahead of time, and ask for answers to be emailed to you.
---Make sure you're covered for trip disruptions from the Icelandic ash clouds. Some policies won't cover you if you bought them after the volcano's April 14 eruption. Others may not pay unless flights are grounded for a full 24 hours.
--Check with your insurer before you take any major actions, such as canceling trip arrangements, to make sure you're covered.
--Don't expect travel insurance to cover every possible situation. It won't.
--Save all your trip documents.
--File claims promptly, with plenty of documentation.