If you've ever bought travel insurance, a lingering question is always whether it'll actually protect you when you need it most. Benefits and claim limits vary widely from company to company as well as from policy to policy, and insurance lingo is infamously obtuse. Trying to figure out why certain common scenarios aren't covered by insurance -- or are only partly covered -- can be mystifying and frustrating.
To avoid nasty surprises in the form of teensy exclusions that can ruin even a fully insured cruise, Chris Harvey, chairman of travel insurance comparison website Squaremouth.com, advises combing through the fine print of a policy -- before, not after, you buy. "Your only real protection against a bad refund is good insurance," Harvey sums up, "but you really need to know exactly what a policy will protect you for."
To give you some idea of typical inclusions and exclusions, here's a cheat sheet to travel insurance's finicky fine print.