Traveling for the holidays? You might want to think twice before buying that travel insurance policy, says the National Consumers League. The group finds that insurers have little trouble saying no to claims, thanks to the plentiful exceptions in their policies, the Los Angeles Times reports. "The unfortunate reality is that these protection policies bring in big bucks for the airlines each year but offer very little real value for customers," says the organization's executive director.
It's hard to tell how effective policies are because companies rarely release payout records. Among the exceptions: Illness tied to a preexisting condition, pregnancy or giving birth, job loss, or the cancellation of a meeting. Even nuclear contamination and terrorist attacks are, for some companies, grounds to avoid payouts, the league says. Replies a trade group: "There is no insurance that covers everything under the sun," and policies with lots of exceptions are cheaper. (Read more travel insurance stories.)