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May 21, 2009

Layoff Insurance Is This Summer's Vacation Essential

Memo from Cubeland

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LEFT: Dress, $9995, Michael Kors; sandals, $760, Gucci. CENTER: Dress, $778, Emporio Armani; sandals, $695, Gucci. RIGHT: Dress, $188, French Connection; shoes, $640, Christian Louboutin; bag, $2990, Gucci.

Photo Credit: Philip Gay

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Antsy employees, worried they'll have to bag their pricey getaways in the event of a downsizing, are shelling out for layoff insurance (a feature of many travel-insurance policies), which reimburses nonrefundable expenses, like airfare and hotel deposits. "People are feeling vulnerable," says Chris Harvey, chief executive of travel-insurance site SquareMouth.com, where sales of policies have doubled over the last year. Even blue-chip outfits like Norwegian Cruise Lines now offer their own layoff-insurance programs.

Before buying a policy (which can run as high as 8 percent of the cost of your trip), check the fine print. Some require that you've been with your firm at least a few years; others mandate you be a full-timer. Many provide coverage if, say, your tour operator winds up filing for bankruptcy—and there's not a Piña Colada on earth that offers that kind of peace of mind.

-Xiomara Martinez-White


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