March 27, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lizzie Lewis
Consumer Affairs Office Urges Careful Consideration In The Purchase Of Travel Insurance
With the prevailing uncertainty accompanying war in the Middle East and ongoing cautions over domestic terrorism, the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation recognizes that consumers planning trips abroad or domestically may be fielding more offers for travel insurance to minimize the likelihood of lost investments due to trip or tour cancellations.
Consumer Affairs Director Beth Lindstrom strongly advises consumers to look before they leap into a travel or trip insurance contract. "These products can vary widely in terms of coverage and cost. Make sure the type of coverage you're considering fits with your travel needs. Review the fine print carefully for exclusions or coverage limitations and ask questions before you buy," said Lindstrom.
Insurance Commissioner Julie Bowler urges consumers to take a closer look at their existing insurance policies to better understand their coverages. "Some of the coverages one might buy in a travel insurance package may already be provided for in insurance policies a consumer already holds, such as reimbursement for personal belongings under a homeowner's policy," Bowler said.
Buying travel insurance can be confusing as there are many packages and a wide range of prices. Common types of travel insurance include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, emergency medical/evacuation insurance, and baggage insurance.
Since purchasing this type of insurance can be perplexing, the Office of Consumer Affairs recommends consumers do their homework and ask the following questions before making a purchase:
Consumers should be aware that travel insurance costs can vary greatly depending on coverages selected, age and the cost/length of a trip. Trip destination is usually not a factor in the cost of these policies. Trip cancellation/interruption insurance generally costs between $5 and $7 dollars per $100 of coverage.
"Just as you would shop around for the best deal on a cruise or airfare, consumers should identify the coverages they need and compare prices," urged Director Lindstrom.