Q: I am planning to take a group tour in Europe this summer. The tour is limited to ten people, and the fine print says that if they don't get enough participants they reserve the right to cancel and refund my money. But here's my question: if they cancel, and I buy nonrefundable airfare, which is now running about $1000, to meet the tour, and make other nonrefundable arrangements pre- and post-tour, will travel insurance protect me? I would hate to be stuck with a useless $1000 ticket to Europe, because the only reason I'm going is to participate in this tour.
A: Standard travel insurance, such as policies issued by Access America or Travel Guard, will not cover cancellation by a tour operator. You need to look into a policy that allows you to cancel for any reason. These policies are more expensive than standard policies (the premiums are at least 30 percent higher) and you cannot cancel within 48 hours of departure, but they have far fewer loopholes than other insurance programs. One provider is Travel Safe Insurance ( www.travelsafe.com or 888-885-7233).