Frequently asked questions about travel insurance

Should I buy travel insurance - or not? / Photo by Horrigan S - Flickr
Travel insurance used to be a small segment of the insurance business that protected people against the loss of a non-refundable deposit on a big-ticket vacation such as a safari or a round-the-world cruise. But the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and a series of natural disasters in the early 2000s pushed it into the mainstream. Today, it’s hard to find a travel agent or travel site that doesn’t try to sell an optional insurance policy as part of a trip.

But should you buy one? That depends. Here are the most frequently asked questions about travel insurance:
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The Insider: Ask these questions before renting a car

Editor’s Note: Over the next few months, I’ll be publishing a series of posts on weekday afternoons about becoming a better traveler. This week we’re turning our attention to car rentals. By the way, if you see something I’ve missed in this post, please tell me in the comments or email me.

Do you need a rental car?

It seems like a no-brainer, but it really isn’t. Any time you’re traveling somewhere and you’re not in your own car, you’ll need to ask: rent or not?

The right rental vehicle can get you to your destination quickly and can give you freedom of movement when you’re on vacation. But an unnecessary car can also add to the expense of a trip, not to mention insert a layer of worry that you can probably do without.
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