What an awful thing to happen to people: they are booked and paid up and the tour company goes bankrupt. If paid by credit card, and not stranded overseas, most people get their $$ back.

I have just booked a trip with my husband’s college and the college requires payment by personal check. So how do I protect my money?

Some travel insurance policies do protect against bankruptcy. But here is what consumers do not know: they do not cover all tour companies and airlines. Even a national airline can be excluded as was Aer Lingus some years ago. So you need to call the insurer and ask about the company and airline you chose.

Bankruptcy coverage is not available for most cruise line insurance. A general rule is if you are not paying the insurer directly and are asked to pay the vendor, you are probably not covered if they go bankrupt or just close.

And yes, some companies can just close and not actually go bust. They you will have to hunt down the owners and make their life uncomfortable or force them into bankruptcy. Not easy to do.