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Summer Insurance Tips


When summer comes, accidents are usually not far behind. Heavy traffic and summer fun seekers often don't mix well together, and the results could drive a hole through your wallet as well as your vacation plans if you don't have adequate insurance. Sure, your own car is insured, but what if you're driving a rental car?

Your auto insurance policy may cover the damage if you're in an accident with a rental car, say insurance experts, but it's best to check with your insurance company to make sure. You should also check on your deductible and figure out whether you can afford to pay it. Another option is a collision damage waiver through your credit card. About four out of five gold cards from Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and Express provide this coverage, but you should check before you rent. A last-resort option is to pay the damage waiver surcharge that the rental car company offers you, which can set you back as much as $13 a day.

If your summer travel takes you out of the country, an insurance policy that covers medical care can be invaluable. Most health insurance policies offer meager coverage in foreign countries, so you should review your policy to see exactly what's covered. To fill any gaps, a travel insurance policy can give you an extra measure of protection. Without it, you could be asked to pay for medical service out of pocket or even be denied treatment. You can get travel insurance from a travel agent or at a number of online sites, but policy terms can vary widely, so check the fine print to make sure you're getting what you want.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice