Most Americans don't understand travel insurance, study shows

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  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    June 30, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    I wish they sold travel insurance that compensates you if your airplane seatmate hogs the armrest. I would buy it.

    I can sort of understand why someone would buy travel insurance for medical emergencies. If you need to be medically evacuated back to the U.S. or have your remains repatriated (God forbid), insurance might make sense.

    Trip cancellation insurance is not always a decent deal. You can't just cancel your trip on a whim because you suddenly decide to stay home and watch a beauty contest on TV instead. You must often have a rock-solid reason for canceling and you must often prove that the cancellation is beyond your control (e.g., you're in jail.)

    I use Southwest whenever I can because there are no change fees. Once I changed my Southwest travel plans several hours before a flight when I already had a boarding pass, and it was a breeze. (Disclaimer: I own 100 shares of LUV.) Unfortunately, more and more hotels and car rental companies tempt me to purchase non-refundable, no-change reservations, and when I am forced to change my plans it really stings. But that's the way free enterprise works.