Q. My daughter is going on a school trip to Europe. The tour organizer has requested $147.00 for insurance, but we can opt out if we wish. Do you think this is necessary?
A. It's hard for me to say if the insurance is a wise choice without looking at the policy, since there are often some glaring loopholes. In general, it's never a good idea to buy trip insurance directly from a tour operator. If that outfit goes out of business, you won't get your money back. Far better to use a third party insurer such as Access America or TravelGuard. And it really depends on the cost of the tour. If it's several thousand dollars and you can't afford to lose that kind of money in the event your daughter becomes ill before traveling or has to cancel for some other reason, then I'd buy the insurance. Also, what if your daughter becomes injured while abroad and needs hospitalization? Does your health insurance policy cover foreign hospitals? And what if she needs to be medically evacuated back to the U.S.? That could cost up to $100,000 in some cases, so make sure that any insurance policy you buy covers medical transportation. Not trying to scare you, but these are things to consider.