Is travel insurance worth the money? Expert weighs in

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you're planning or finalizing a spring break vacation you may be wondering is travel insurance worth the money?

The issue has many people torn. On the one hand, some people say they wouldn't travel without insurance. On the other, some people choose to just wing it so they don't have to pay the extra cash.

Whether you're traveling overseas for the trip of a lifetime or you're planning your annual family vacation for spring break, chances are you've been presented the option to purchase travel insurance.

One couple from Mundelein said recently their insurance company refused to issue a refund for their cancelled trip.

RELATED: Mundelein couple says travel insurance company wouldn't pay claim after disaster forced trip cancellation
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One Mundelein couple says they were out $1,500 and when their travel insurance didn't back them up.

Nadonna Goldman, a travel agent with R&N Travel and Tours, said she always advises her clients to insure their trips for more reasons than one.

"People think it's just about cancellation of trips, but a lot of times it covers many other things," Goldman said.

She said many policies cover lost, stolen or even damaged luggage, lost IDs and passports and most importantly, many provide medical coverage.

"It's very important to make sure you have that coverage in case you end up having to be hospitalized or even airlifted from where you are," Goldman said. "And with the coronavirus now, it's spreading rather fast and so any travel happening between now and say the next year. It's imperative they insure those trips."

She says some travel insurance policies will also cover flight interruptions.

"Say you've got that connecting flight and you're running through the airport trying to get to it, a lot of times the insurance will cover your new ticket to make sure you get to your destination," Goldman said.

Fear of travel can be a tricky one. While some insurance policies may not let you cancel just because you are afraid, some will work with you.

Goldman said last year's Dominican Republic travel warning had a lot of clients on edge.

"I did have actually four people book to the DR during that time period and three out of the four decided to change their travel destinations and they were able to do so because of their insurance," Goldman said.

But what about the insurance companies that aren't standing by their word and refuse to pay a claim?

Goldman says if you paid for your trip with a credit card, you can usually send your credit card company your insurance policy, dispute the charge and have them fight on your behalf.

"Sometimes it's about getting the insurance companies to stand behind their promises," Goldman said. "But If you didn't have insurance, you wouldn't have a leg to stand on."

It's so important for consumers to read the fine print. You may see a line that says cancel for any reason, but even with that, there are usually stipulations.

You can also check with your credit card company. Sometimes, they already offer you travel insurance and you may not even know it.

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