Swine flu update: Free hotline for travelers with questions

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Now here's a great service.

Any traveler can phone a hotline set up by insurer Travel Guard if they need medical referrals, questions about symptoms, or updates on areas affected. You don't have to be a policyholder to benefit from the free service. The number is 866/644-6811 (US and Canada toll-free) or collect at 1-715/295-1209 (for international callers). Travel Guard is the largest seller of travel insurance in the U.S. and is a company that Budget Travel recommends for policies, among other companies.

Don't run out and try to buy a policy against swine flu, though. It won't be covered as a justified excuse for canceling a trip for most policies issued by major providers, reports Michelle Higgins of the New York Times. One exception: If you bought a "cancel for any reason" option.

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