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Consumer Confidential: Volcano insurance, Goldman profit, missing iPhone

April 20, 2010 | 10:04 am

Here's your teetotaling Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Let's say you have a trip planned, and let's say -- I don't know -- that a volcano erupts, putting the kibosh on air travel. Are you necessarily covered for all unexpected costs? The answer is no, unless you had the foresight to plunk down some cash on travel insurance. Such policies typically allow for reimbursement of otherwise nonrefundable expenses, and can allow for up to $250 a day for meals and accommodations (not a bad deal if you're stranded at some European airport). But travel insurance isn't cheap. It can cost as much as 8% of your trip. And you can't buy it after a volcano erupts, so maybe you'll want to consult a psychic first.

--Goldman Sachs, which has been charged with fraud by federal officials, reported $3.46 billion in quarterly earnings and said it's set aside 43% of net revenue for employee pay and bonuses. But I'm sure Republicans are right that we don't need more regulation in the financial-services sector.

--Losing a cellphone is bad enough. But our friends at Apple are experiencing a whole new level of anxiety after an employee left a top-secret version of the company's supercool next-generation iPhone in a California bar. Seriously. And not surprisingly, it didn't take long for photos of the missing device to start appearing online. Applemeister Steve Jobs is reportedly working to get the prototype back. But the damage is done. On the other hand, the fact that Apple is hard at work on a nifty new device is hardly a news flash.

-- David Lazarus

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