Do you buy travel insurance? Have you ever had to use it? I have asked this question before (about a year and a half ago), but want to ask it again. I buy it for international trips, but not for domestic trips and thankfully have never had to use it. I'd like to get feedback again.
I too asked this question last Oct. I get travel insurance each trip out of the country (not to Canada, for some reason). I have never had to use it for health, but did put in a claim for luggage. I didn't even get a response to my claim.
Here's my question with some nice answers from Oct. 2012
That's both a big question and a good question. What types of coverage are you specifically interested in? Luggage, personal medical or cancellation insurance?
I have never taken out travel insurance of any kind, but now in my 50's and with loved ones aging too, at the very least, cancellation insurance is becoming more and more of a concern with me. In the last three overseas trips (plus one coming up in about a month), there have been health concerns of loved ones (as well as military orders for loved ones) that have threatened the possibility of trip cancellations. I am finding that as I age, the potential health concerns of loved ones more and more must be taken into consideration. I honestly never thought about my own medical concerns while traveling abroad. In 2010, my mom got very sick with a cold/flu, and was thoroughly treated at a hospital in Barcelona. It didn't cost her anything.
Another concern I have with insurance is that there seems to be disclaimers and fine print, etc. I just wonder how much of a hassle it might be to actually follow a claim through and if it's worth it (that you get the coverage that you think you're getting). Are most insurance policies comprehensive, in that they cover all of the above - luggage, medical, cancellation, etc. - to one degree or another? I have a lot to learn in this area.
Pluto, I, too, have a lot to learn about travel insurance and all the fine print. It usually just makes me mad when I try to understand all the fine print. I am particularly interested in medical and cancellation insurance. We are doing 2 bike and boat trips and a week of cycling on our own. We are also doing a cruise. When I think about how careful I was being when I broke my wrist, I want to make sure we have the medical insurance. I am going to call our insurance company tomorrow to ask specifically what they cover. I have asked our insurance department when I was working and was told they cover any accident, but I want to hear it from the company. I also want to know if they cover the transportation.
Cancellation is a biggie, too.The flights are using Skymiles and most of the hotels are reward stays, but the bike trips and the cruise would be expensive to cancel.
I'll post my results.
We just about always buy it from the same company. One of my travel friends worked for an Internet Startup Company that did Travel Security for large corporations and international organizations. They had a teaming partner in insurance, that has a very quality product that we just about always use.
The one caution is that for cruising most travel insurance does not cover onboard ship medical expense, or US ports, just the international ports. After one of my friends got very sick on board, and we did the medical package instead of the spa package, I have taken to buying the cruise line insurance package. Some cruiselines, if you buy their premium insurance will even let you cancel the trip for a bad hair day (they don't really look at your reasons). Most cancelations on the standard package need to be due to illness and require verification from a doctor.
Anyways the link below is for one of the better travel insurance companies for ex-US land based
For cruising I would use the cruiseline delux
If you are driving, I generally take the car company insurance. If you do not, and have any problems with the car, they will not collect off your insurance. Instead you must pay them cash on the spot, and collect later from your insurance company or credit card. They can even prevent you from boarding your flite. I would also do a walk around inspection, and take pictures of the car in case of any disagreements later.
p.s. Just recently our ship returned late. We were delayed out of the last port due to a medical event, and then again when when we were near our home port. We were actually 4 hr late which has never happened before. Luckily I was on the NJT home, but my friend was on Amtrak, and had to pay a huge amount of money for a later train.
The travel insurance covered the fare difference.
We were just thinking about what if this had happened on our last European cruise and we missed our return flites home.
We would have had to pay a huge differential. I believe this insurance company has a 24hr number you can call anywhere in the world and have travel problems taken care of like this, or if you forget or lose your presecriptions, have legal issues, need translation, etc.
I worry about having to use an air ambulance if I will be in an area with no hospital or if out of the country.
While at the Marriott on Kauai, I meet a couple who told me that He was having chest pains and called 911. The paramedics came and took him to the hospital however they didn't have the equipment to properly diagnose him so sent him in an air ambulance to Oahu. They found that he was fine. They then had to pay for flights back to Kauai at last minute fares. They had no idea what the cost would be but expected $50K or more. They said they would only go to Oahu when in Hawaii in the future.
This has made me think.
I do get travel insurance, and generally buy it to cover my travel with Marriott and from Marriott. A few years ago, one could buy an annual policy, and I did that gladly because it covered all of our trips for the year, as long as a Marriott stay was involved somewhere along the line. Of course, that annual policy opportunity has gone the way of all flesh, but I still use individual trip coverage, even in the states.
I know that seven or eight hundred dollars may not seem like a lot to some folks, but at least it will buy a decent haircut A few years ago, we had flown to Providence for Christmas. There was a huge snow storm that kept us stranded for three extra days, and we ended up taking Amtrak back to D.C. because flight schedules were so devastated. The travel insurance covered the extra nights in a Residence Inn, the cost of food for the days we were stranded, and the train fare home. I must say, I was very pleased to be reimbursed for everything, although it took a bit of doing and a Marriott rep came to the rescue and finalized our claim.
We are heading out on a Mediterranean cruise in May, and I took out the cruise line policy (we are using Destination Points for the cruise and Marriott Rewards Points to stay in Rome for a few days afterward). I feel much more secure knowing that there is some protection in place, but I am a belt and suspenders kind of person, anyway. Just my thoughts.
Missing a plane or train connection can be costly as you need to pay full fare.
And if you need to stay in a hotel longer than expected due to weather or health, it all adds up.
Domestically, I tend to use the travel vendor insurance.
Some of the scariest travel incidents I am aware of are
when i pay with my Visa card, i have all insurances includet. for cancel a trip. when i rent a car. and 330000 euro for medical
healthcare, the insurance from my credit card pay direct the hospital. last year i stay 5 nights in the Phuket International hospital
i pay nathing there.. all my insurance includet in the price from my credit card..125 euro.
you know visa u.s.a and visa europe are 2 differente compagnies. from the usa you are in the stock market, europe not, same
name yes., but seperate for the money.
I too depend upon my credit card to cover insurance except when booking a cruise. I take out cancellation insurance.
My overseas travel is mostly paid for with my corporate credit card which covers health, cancellation, etc... but I believe my personal cc does not cover cancellations.
if you ask me. i stay with the bank Bnpparibas the Visagoldcart cost per year 125 euro. no fee for you credit not same in the USA
and plus all insurances are includet ,with the 125 euro, for 90 days per trip. cancellation. if you rent a car,, and very importanr ther healthcare insurance.
Do you know if your credit card ends up paying, or do they collect off of your national health insurance?
One of the problems I had in France is that for US citizens they want cash up front for all medical, as they know the US does not have national health insurance. If you are Canadian, British, or any country that has a national health insurance, then they treat you, no upfront payment, knowing they will collect off your government. I am wondering about the foreign bank credit cards, if they are collecting on the back end from the national health insurance of the country their cardholder is covered through.
As far as I know, Cuba is the only country that will treat even foreign travelers without charging or worrying about bill back to insurance.
NYT article on which credit cards are the best to carry for international travel
I think all countrys are different, with the same credit card. in french i get what i explaine bevore. and this insurance is valid worldwide.
if you have probleme in same coutrys, this is not the fault from the country, but from your credit card.
first you have to know what is includet and not in your credit cart. possible nathing , if yes you have to know if you have to pay
first the hospital or not. if you have to pay first is not good for you, later the insurance make you probleme for get your money
back. for me the insurance pay first direct the hospital, and then when i cam back home the private insurance ,send me the bill
and this bill i send to my national insurance in france. if the privat insurance pay 5000 euro for me and the national insurance
give me back only 3000 euro, i loost nathing, but the privat insurance includet in my credit card loost 2000 euros.
go on google , and look what insurance is includet in the french gold or infinite visa card .. possible in germany is different
in french visa work with EUROP ASSISTANCE, but good in all the world, not only in europe
I think the issue is more which country you reside in, as the insuance comapnies (and policies from 3rd parties like credit cards) negotiate who is paying. Usually the primary is picking up the tab, so if you have national health insurance the CC insurance will pass a certain percentage on to the insurance carrier.
I was looking over some family medical bills, where the family member is covered under blue cross blue shield which is usually a very good coverage. What I found was that 75% was being billed to Medicare as they were old enough to qualify, and only 25% went to Blue Cross Blue Shield. This changes drastically what an insurer directly or indirectly offers via a credit cards, travel vendors, etc.
One of things I like best about them are the services...they are really geared to the global corporate travel & international organizations ...will also post $$$ coverage
* The $500,000 medical benefit option is only available to U.S. residents traveling outside the U.S.
Interesting article by Rick Steve where he mentions these companies offering comprehensive coverage, and strategies for using them as a base, but also using other insurance to reduce out of pocket expense.
We do always buy travel insurance for cruises and international travel. I tend to look for policies that waive pre existing medical conditions if purchased within 14 days of booking, or cancel for any reason policies. I've used several different companies and always read the fine print carefully before signing up ....there are a lot of exclusions. The company Gem Princess mentioned is not available for residents of Washington State. I have no idea why. Most policies will not cover any mental health issues . We found that out the hard way when a family member was hospitalized and we had to cancel a trip. Fortunately the tour operator (Rick Steve's ) allowed us to reschedule to a later trip.
On a cruise with friends one of my suitcases never showed up, until a couple of weeks after I returned home. I ended up buying makeup, toiletries, a jacket, and a few items of clothing, along with a bag to carry it all in. The insurance covered every penny of it. My friends suitcase was delayed for several days, and she was able to buy the items she needed, and it was covered.
ironically as I write this, we were supposed to be on our way to the airport to begin our two week trip to Amsterdam and Belgium, but have had to cancel for health reasons. Our hotel stays were on MR points and I love that they allowed cancelation up until 6 pm today. The airline is allowing us to use the tickets within the next year, so we will be able to reschedule our trip and don't need to file a claim with the travel insurance. But, if my husband's pneumonia hadn't shown up until several days into the trip and he needed to be hospitalized or we needed to return home, that would have been a whole different story and we would definitely have needed that insurance.
good to know travel vendors are flexible about health.
would think they prefer not to have you around if you have something contagious like pneumonia, that everyone else could catch.
that is what happened to my friend and I on one cruise.....2 days after boarding she came down with a severe respiratory problem. I was having problems that I thought were allergies, but just to be safe that I didn't pick up something and give it back to her, I went along to medical, and we both did the tests. It was quite interesting as they xray machines and labs right on board. They cam eup with a diagnosis for her of pneumonia, and me, just allergies as I thought. Had we been on a Central American or Mexican itinerary, I would have skipped the test ($700/each) and picked up some zithromax or cipro, as both have a label for both pneumonia and bronchitus, so no need to do tests, but alas we were visitnig the english speaking islands on the British and American system requiring scripts, so used medical on the ship. This is when I found out that most travel medical packages do not cover this. My insurance through work would pay 50% for out of network service, but I didn't hit the minimum deductible, so got nothing. Her medical insurance paid it all, so clearly she has better medical insurance through her office. Rather than be on pins and needs, or worrying about a serious condition requiring medvax, we take the ship policy.
When I posted my question, Pained replied that he had asked a similar question. When I looked at his post and the replies, I noticed that AAA was mentioned in several comments. When I went to the AAA site, it said that you had to call or stop by an office. I went to the office in Baton Rouge today and was extremely pleased with the agent I spoke with. As Gem has mentioned, they offer insurance from Allianz. Their quote was within a few dollars of what my travel agent had quoted. You must purchase the insurance within 14 days of your original trip deposit. I am going to study all the fine print this week-end and make my choice on Monday. I thank everyone who has commented on this issue.
Several years ago, after hearing about some horrific medical emergencies from friends while abroad and the expenses incurred, we signed up for the American Express Platinum card. Yes, it has a pretty steep annual fee, but is it the only card that actually will cover medical evacuation back to the States. Luckily, we haven't had to use it, but we have heard from others that when they had, the service was outstanding. Additionally, car rental coverage is excellent, so no worries about having to take extra car insurance when abroad, you receive a $200 airline credit for upgrades, luggage or drinks, and we signed up for "Global Entry" which allows for quicker re-entry into the US when coming home from our trip. If you think of the annual fee as your annual premium for your travel insurance and the other services as additional perks, it just made sense.
That is great information!
I just checked on my AMEX, (Centurion), and found all of these hotel "Perks", I have never know about. 4 PM check-out, free upgrades, etc. The ones that really catch my eye ate the Ritz-Carlton ones, free breakfast for two, and other things.
Have never stayed at a Ritz-Carlton, but have dined at them, and never been disappointed!
Thanks for bringing this to our attention!
Please keep posting informative posts!
I had a platinum AmEx for many years when I traveled more frequently for business. The benefits (airline clubs, car rental memberships) more than compensated for the annual fee. Also loved their twofers on business class for many of the foreign carriers. When you have a steep economy class ticket price, sometimes business is not that much more, especially if you get the 2nd seat for the cost of taxes, and then just divide by2, its less than the cost of the economy ticket
Used SquareMouth site recommended in the NYT Travel section to compare TravelEx (used extensively), TravelGuard (used occassionally through vendors) and Allianz (AAA) based on a trip I took last summer to the UK (6/28/13-7/10/13). Interesting concierge benefit under Travel Guard that I was previously unaware of and bears further investigation. Has anyone tried it? sounds similiar to some platinum amex benefits
Travel Guard Allianz Travelex
$150/day $200/day $200/day
>5 hr delay >6hr delay >5hr
>12 hr delay >24 hr delay >12 hr delay
$500 1st item $500 specific item limit $300/pp
$250 subsequent items $600 specific item limit
$599 specific items limit
Note: Concierge is a service I was previously not familiar with but definately worth looking into for Travel Guard
Gem, thank you for this comparison chart. I had looked at squaremouth and insuremytrip.com. The concierge services are interesting. Since AAA and our travel agent both recommended Allianz and it got good reviews on squaremouth and insuremy trip, that is most likely our choice. I still have a week before the 14 day limit on covering pre-existing conditions; however, I plan to get the insurance tomorrow just in case something unforseen should happen. I really appreciate all your help.
I used the exact duration (Jun 28th through Jul 10th) except I took the trip last year, but entered into the search engine as this year.
On that particular tirp, since I had so little land travel, I just both the cruiseline insurance as I was on the ship most of the time.
Here are the bills from some of my previous trips where I have used TravelEx. I usually don't take trip cancellation, as this runs the price up, and its more trip interruption or missed connections I am worried about. This is a policy from awhile ago and it was $42. Price has gone up to $49 for about the same period of time.
Number of Travelers
Deductible, if applicable
Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts & Nevis, US Virgin Islands
Country of Origination:
12/27/2005 - 1/9/2006
Was mainly comparing it for my own information, as we have gone back and forth between TravelEx which really has the highend medical coverage, and Travel Guard which we have used a couple of times because a cruise reseller repackaged it with the cruise insurance, and its a great deal.
Our last trip when the ship was 4 hr late was our 1st experience with rebooking (outside of our business travel, which the office pays for).. Even though the minimum requirement with TravelGuard is 5 hr, they did re-imburse for the increased cost on the train ticket. That, along with the concierge service, may have us rethinking the choice and trying TravelGuard instead of TravelEx. I have never really checked out the AAA insurance, so it was a good opportunity to compare them.
TravelEx may still get our business though as neither TravelGuard nor AAA have the upgrade Medical, Travel Delays, and car rental coverage, the 3 things I am most concerned about as they have happened to us or people we know traveling internationally.
I've been traveling internationally for over 40 years and have never seen need for travel insurance for trip cancellations. However,. If you're concerned about health insurance, you should check provisions of your policy to see if or what level of coverage is available. If you're concerned about auto rental coverage, and you're using Marriott Visa Premium Card, you don't need to worry about this. If you're concerned about air travel cancellations, you have a year to redeem unused travel vouchers, but might have to pay penalty to rebook flights. I can't speak about insurance regarding cruises as I've never been on one, and not too interested in such, particularly with all the recent problems on several cruise lines.
We get insurance all the time. We purchase annual insurance from the CAA for the family that covers all trips up to 14 days in duration. (We have credit card insurance and home medical insurance.)
This plan is far less expensive that purchasing a plan each time we travel. We have used it in a clinic for a minor complaint with no trouble, but have had nothing major to claim.
You might want to check your insurance policy and charge card (such as Visa or AMX) to see what type of coverages they offer before purchasing personal insurance (travel and/or health). For instance, if you're a Medicare person - as we are - this usually doesn't offer any coverage internationally,but our supplemental insurance does offer some. If you don't take out travel policy you might make sure your charge cards have sufficient credit limits to cover any unsuspected mishap abroad, or that you have access via ATM bank machines,or other means, to your back-home finances.
If you're concerned about "travel insurance" to protect against flight-hotel cancellations due to sickness, or inclement weather, this is another matter, and usually a personal one,in my opinion.
Yes! I always buy travel insurance. I went on a cruise once with my grandmother and she got sick. I bought the insurance with American Express and there was no way to use it. Once the emergency comes up, nobody knows anything and the information is not clear.
However, I keep buying it.
I had never bought travel insurance until a trip we took in February and March. We were packaging together a 10 day Collette tour to Portugal through MVCI, a one week stay at the MVCI Marbella Beach Resort in Spain, and a few days in between. We were concerned, primarily, about the health of my wife's aged parents and whether something would happen to them that would force us to cancel the trip at the last minute or to interrupt it in the middle. Nothing did, so we did not have to use the trip insurance.
However, on our Collette tour, one of the other travelers got so sick that he almost died (the illness had nothing to do with the tour, it just happened during the tour). He spent about a month in Portuguese hospitals, was eventually airlifted home, and I think he is still recovering 5 months later. Anyway, the point is that this couple would have been faced with astronomical costs, especially for the airlift, but apparently it was all covered by the travel insurance. This experience was enough to make me a believer, for any international trip.
I've always bought travel insurance for international travel, not domestic travel. It's worth it just for the medical coverage. If you need a doctor or hospital care, your US coverage might not cover your expenses. If you use Medicare, Medicare does NOT cover medical costs outside the US. Some countries (Croatia for one) require medical coverage although no one has ever checked to see if we have it.
Here in Europe, travel insurance is much more common, a quick trip on the Eurostar puts us in France or Belgium.
Europe does have a reciprocal health scheme between EU members, but in the event of an issue I'd prefer to be flown back home for my treatment and that doesn't come within the EU scheme.
I choose annual travel insurance, that mainly covers medical and repatriation expenses but also covers emergency dental and air delays, theft, etc and renew it each year without even thinking. To me, and many Europeans, Travel Insurance is as important as buildings, contents and car insurance.
Over the years I've only claimed once, in the late 1990's when I had to cancel a holiday after my wife suffered an ectopic pregnancy. The insurance refunded the entire cost of the holiday, which at the time of diagnosis and treatment was only days away. Last year my step-brother had a heart attack whilst mountaineering in Switzerland and was very glad of his annual travel insurance policy which kicked in and had him repatriated as quickly as possible after his emergemcy surgery.
The CAA in Canada, and likely the AAA in the US, sell travel annual insurance for as many trips as you like for as long as 2 weeks at a time (perhaps 16 days). They will also sell the additional days at a reasonable cost. The total for a healthy family of 4 is around 250. CAD for the entire year.
We have purchased travel insurance for longer, extended international trips. We've used it only once, and that was to cover a hospital visit in Bangkok for a bad flu/virus. It's comforting to know it's there for emergency evacuation, etc. The company we used is called World Nomads.
How do you all feel about the travel insurance that comes with credit cards?
Few of my cards have, what seems like pretty comprehensive travel insurance,
Ritz card for instance:
I thank all for their information on Travel Insurance. I have never purchased it, but as we are getting older and our medical status is changing, I have recently purchased it for an overseas flight and cruise (I have booked this flight using Marriott Reward Points and Marriott Vacation Club points for the cruise). Hopefully, I will not have to use it, but supposedly it covers for any delays or cancellations.
yes I am going on a cruise this summer with my wife and bought the travel insurance . I didn't buy in 14 daysjust bought on open market. There is always a question as to whether you are covered overseas and with Medicare you are not so I think my supplement thru my old employer might cover. There is a good Rick Steves article on what types of stuff insurance might cover and I used insure my trip.com which you put in all your stuff and they spit out about 25 options for coverage that you compare. One suggestion look at reputation of the company you select
I like all the feedback I have received. When you spend $5000+ for a vacation it just gives me peace of mind in the event something happens. I have really good health insurance as a retired employee of our school system (found out just how good when they covered all my knee replacements charges minus deductible/out-of- pocket) and they assure me we would be covered anywhere we go, but I don't want to take any chances. The trip cancellation and emergency medical transportation coverage are biggies for me.
On a rather sad note, but it does involve trip insurance, I have a short story to relate. I made reservations (using miles) to go through Phoenix on our way home from an Alaskan cruise this summer to see my aunt on Friday night. We were notified Sunday afternoon that she had passed away. If I had decided on and paid for a more comprehensive insurance plan when I made the reservations, the change fee and frequent flyer miles redeposit fee would have been covered but I was waiting to finalize the last leg of our trip and I knew I had 14 days to work with. We will still go through Phoenix, but if I had gotten the coverage, we might change our mind.
Are you sure that would have been covered? The death coverage is usually for one of the travellers or, in some cases, if a family member dies so you have to cut the trip short to return home. If you're going to visit a family member but that person dies negating the need for the trip, I'm not sure that would qualify.