Q: My fiancee and I are booking a Mediterranean cruise for this fall. My 10-year-old dog is not in the best of health, and I'm concerned that we might have to cancel at the last minute. Would trip insurance cover that situation

A: We were in a similar situation some years ago. We purchased cancel-for-any-reason insurance. It was more expensive, and we didn't have to use it, but we were glad the option was there. Most trip insurance plans cover cancellations only in the event of illness or death, either your own or a family member's. Some may cover work-related cancellations. It is highly unlikely that a pet's illness will be covered - even if we consider them family members - so if you are truly concerned, a cancel-for-any-reason policy is probably the way to go. Your travel agent or insurance agent can help you find an appropriate policy.

Travel insurance typically costs between 4 and 8 percent of a trip's prepaid, nonrefundable cost, with cancel-for-any-reason policies running 10 percent or slightly more of the nonrefundable cost. These policies have certain requirements. Usually, they must be purchased within one week to one month of making the initial deposit for the trip. Cancellation usually must be made 48 hours before departure. You may also be required to notify the airline, hotels and cruise line within that time frame. Read the policy carefully before purchase and make sure you understand all the requirements.