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Travel insurance and help if you have to cancel, but read the fine print

Karen Grunenfelder's emergency surgery in Italy forced her to miss most of her trip but travel insurance helped her recoup her losses. Loren Grunenfelder photo

SEATTLE - A big challenge with travel insurance is finding a policy really works for you, instead of mainly making a commission for the person who sells it. Some travel providers only offer insurance through one or two companies when there are many to choose from.

So, don't just go with what your agent, airline or tour operator suggests.

Compare features and coverage at a number of established travel insurance companies and pay close attention to the fine print that dictates pre-existing conditions, documentation and claims procedures, and other terms which can affect your payout if you need to file a claim.

There are a number of travel insurance comparison sites that can give you an idea of costs and features.

Researchers at Consumer Reports recommends InsureMyTrip.com.

Just be aware that many, if not most of these sites are linked to companies that also sell insurance. So be mindful of the information you provide when you're shopping around, and read the privacy policies before you start.

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