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USA Today, June 18th 2010 – Travel insurance: To buy or not to buy?

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After spending close to two weeks in Italy, Bob Winningham’s trip was extended unexpectedly earlier this year. Three days before he was to leave Florence, many of Europe’s airports were closed because of a mammoth ash cloud from an Iceland volcano.

Winningham, an analyst for Nationwide Insurance from Columbus, Ohio, says he was held up in Italy for five days. He needed a hotel only for a night because his family was renting an apartment. Without the apartment, he says he would have had to pay for five nights in a hotel out of pocket because he was flying on a U.S.-based airline. Though the European Commission says U.S.-based airlines must compensate travelers for accommodations if their flights are delayed or canceled, most American carriers dispute the claim.

While he considers himself lucky compared with many traveling to and from Europe in the first few weeks of April, Winningham says the experience was enough to make him consider getting extra protection the next time he travels. “After that trip, I would definitely think about getting trip insurance now,” he says.

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