We have not traveled very much. I've noticed that many of you insiders are experts. So I am asking for your advice in choosing the right travel insurance. Just booked air, hotel, and cruise reservations to Europe for June. Please give advice on how to choose the right travel insurance. Please share your experiences, both good and bad. What do I need? and what is fluff?
Thanks for your help.
Here's my two cents worth. First, I travel a lot, more than 100 nights a year, many abroad. I very, very rarely buy insurance. My family is with me a lot too. I have a belief that if you can't cover a rough patch in travelling, you probably shouldn't be travelling. For example, in the back of my mind, I believe at some point I may just have to drop $ for 3 or 4 last minute international tickets because of some issue: health, poor planning on my part, national disaster, etc. or paying out of pocket for a doctor. It's never happened, I've never lost my luggage, I've always found a place every night, but some time it could happen. If that happens, that I can just pay for the issue and deal. At this point, I see it like being self-insured.
Another issue with travel insurance is that many people never seem satisfied with their insurance when they actually need it. Once something happens, it seems like that their very situation happens to be one of the "exceptions" of the policy. The policies never seem to pay out as one as much expect. If I am "self-insured" none of my claims is denied :-).
If you have health issues that you think might want international health insurance, it might be worth it. I travel a lot with my 69-year-old mom. Sometimes I get some insurance for her, sometimes I just forget and it's all good.
For me, the interest in travel insurance is only for health reason and most regular health insurance covers major emergencies (Medicare doesn't, I believe). I don't worry too much about small issues because paying out of pocket for a doctor outside the US is often pennies on the dollar to what we pay here, so a $70 doctor visit is less than the insurance will cost and likely you won't need it. But if you have a lot of health issues or just old, you might look into it. However, as you get older, insurance gets more expensive--they aren't fools.
Lastly, check out all of your credit cards. They have a lot of insurance built into them. I've never tried to use them, but again, I've never really had anything big enough that I've wanted to deal with. To me, some inconveniences are the price of seeing the world.
We buy it on nearly every international trip-from Allianz. Very affordable and to supplement our health insurance for what isn't covered-or isn't easily covered out of the country. However, we have actually made claims three times-twice for trip delay. (Both due to blizzards that hit on return to the US.) and one time on a trip canceled when my mom died.
My wife battled breast cancer this year. Pre-existing conditions are covered. We will continue to get insurance for international. I am happy we had it when we did.
For us, its not too expensive. Our leisure travel is almost always booked on points. So, that allows me to keep the trip value low. We pay about $150 for a two week trip total for both.
something tker mentioned worth being more explicit about is that usually when you are offered insurance as an addition to a reservation, it's rarely the best price. If you look for it yourself, the price will drop 30% for usually 130% worth of coverage you are offered.
If you are going to travel a lot (and something I probably should do), there are some good travel/medical insurance programs out there that cover you for multiple trips over the course of a year. That might be useful for others who do a lot of traveling, which is just about everybody on this site, since most of us are platiniums
I have never taken out a travel insurance policy for any of my trips. I do however try to book the majority of my travel with my Ritz Rewards Card which includes some excellent Travel protections for unexpected situations.
I buy for out of the way trips like international and Glacier Bay. Mainly for Medivac if something happens that can cost $100,000 and more depending on where you are going. I have had a bad experience when stranded and no coverage. Had insurance and had to pay $1000 for last minute air when I missed a flight. I was not happy.
another point relates to the cost of the trip. When taking a cruise or planned vacation that cost a lot we usually get trip insurance which can cover medical and trip cancelation . the cost tends to be reasonable considering what you might lose if you have to cancel at the last moment
I bought some for an upcoming trip. MAINLY for cancellation reasons or delays... I wasn't too worried about medical but for the price, I want to get my money back if things are cancelled. Like jerryl said, if you have to cancel and you have a lot to lose, it would be worth it.
My day-to-day credit card has an excellent 60-days travel and cancellation insurance on it, among other insurances (even extending my warranty on cell phones or electronics for an additional year). Yes, it comes at a hefty 130$/y, but the points program makes up for it (saved up 600$ in points in roughly 2 years).
Even my Marriott cc should have some nice coverage, but the 2pts/$ on plane tickets is less interesting than my 1,5-2cts/$ (+20% bonus at the end of the year) on my other card.
Your only problem is: you already booked your tickets. Normally the insurances that come with your credit card require that you pay for the plane tickets with that card. So you'll be doing your shopping in preparation for your next trip.
Yes, thank you all for making me think, and wait before making any decisions.
The travel agent keeps calling me to tell me that I have a "good deal" and that I need to purchase their travel - now.
I did learn from you all that there is some kind of travel insurance on the MR card, which I did use to purchase plane, cruise and hotel tickets. I called MR for the exact coverage and MR would not give that info over the phone and they also said that I cannot find the info on the web, so they will send me a snail mail info on exact coverage. Hopefully it will be good. Also, since I made each travel purchase on a separate charge, I am hoping that each ticket will be a "separate trip" and can extend the amount of coverage without paying any additional fee. I will let all know what i learn,
has anyone else done this? And what have you learned?
I don't recall the details on travel insurance, but I can speak to the rental car insurance coverage.
During one of my trips this year, a rock kicked up by a truck on the highway cracked the windshield of the car I rented. Naturally the rental car company sent me a bill. Actually a third party processed it on their behalf, but it amount to the same thing. Total due was $199, more than twice what I paid for the 4-day rental. We always hear that we should decline the rental car coverage because Visa will take care of any damages. The fine print is pretty detailed, but the actual process isn't too cumbersome. To cut to the chase, the coverage provided by the my MR visa card paid the entire $199. Nothing out of my pocket or claims again my auto insurance. Boom, done!.
Oh sure there were some forms to upload, but the company handling the claim on behalf of the rental agency provided most of the details including the two photos of the windshield damage required to process the claim. So if you're wondering whether it's really okay to forego the CDL coverage on a rental car, I would give an emphatic "yes." There are some restrictions, so I'd urge reading up on the benefits.
This is the first time I've had to take advantage of this. It won't change my behavior (I never opt for the extra coverage anyway) but it will make me feel more confident about doing so on future rentals. Nice to know that it really does work as advertised.
Maybe I was talking a bit too fast, but from the brochure (not the full T&Cs):
- auto rental collision damage waiver
- emergency medical / legal assistance while away from home
But with the big push to buy plane tickets with the Marriott cc, I would not be surprised that there is some sort of travel insurance included.
But, hey, this is just the Canadian Chase Marriott cc.
SeaTexan - I have the Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and United Credit cards. The Marriott Card has some travel protections but the Ritz & United Cards definitely have more benefits.
The Marriott Premiere Visa (US) offers the following travel protections:
--Secondary Insurance for Rental Cars
--Lost Luggage Insurance up to $3,000 per passenger ($500 max for jewelry & electronics)
--Trip Cancellation/Interruption up to $5,000 for pre-paid & non-refundable expenses for covered situations
--Trip Delay-- When delayed over 12 hours or an overnight stay is required --up to $500 for unreimbursed expenses
Both the Ritz Carlton Visa & United Explorer Cards have the following travel protections:
-- Primary Insurance for Rental Cars
-- Lost Luggage Insurance up to $3,000 per passenger ($500 max for jewelry & electronics)
-- Trip Cancellation/Interruption up to $5,000 for pre-paid & non-refundable expenses for covered situations
-- Trip Delay-- When delayed over 12 hours or an overnight stay is required --up to $500 for unreimbursed expenses
-- Baggage Delay-- 6 hour delays or longer up to $100 per day for 5 days
-- Travel Accident Insurance Accidental Death (Common Carrier--One Million Dollars)
-- Travel Accident Insurance Dismemberment& Loss of Speech, Sight, and Hearing.
-- Emergency Evacuation & Transportation Coverage in the event you become injured or ill up to $100,000.
-- Emergency Medical & Dental Coverage for expenses not covered by medical insurance up to $2,500.00
-- Emergency Roadside Assistance (must be in excess of 50 miles from home) $50 coverage per event
If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
Decline the rental company's collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $1,000,000.
If you or a member of your immediate family are injured or become sick during a trip far from home that results in an emergency evacuation, you can be covered for medical services and transportation up to $100,000.
If you or your immediate family members' checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you're covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over six hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for five days.
Chase United card (as opposed to Sapphire or other cards, includes:
Baggage Delay Insurance
If you experience a baggage delay, you can be reimbursed for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 3 days.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If you or your immediate family members' checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you're covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses made with your MileagePlus Explorer Card, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses made with your MileagePlus Explorer Card, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
Travel Accident Insurance
When you pay for your air, bus, train, or cruise transportation with your MileagePlus Explorer Card, you're covered for accidental death or dismemberment during your trip, from the moment you leave home until you return.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Decline the rental company's collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your MileagePlus Explorer Card. Coverage is primary and is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad.
Thanks to all who helped me figure out the travel insurance situation.
As per your suggestions, I did not purchase travel insurance through the travel agency. Thy did call me twice a day for 3 days with the hopes that I would change my mind.
I also called Chase/Marriott card to see the benefits that were associated with the card. I just received the benefit booklet in the mail. I was pleased with the benefits, much more than I had expected. Not as good as the sapphire card, but adequate for my needs. I plan on taking the booklet with me when I travel. Now, all i have left to do is buy a small medical plan since medicare will not provide out of the country coverage.
I purchased air, hotel, cruise all on separate transactions. So I think that by doing this I have actually 3 trips and 3 separate "each occurrence"
I actually do not like to have a "surcharge" of insurance added to my costs of travel. But the peace of mind is worth it when it gives me less stress and more options for enjoying my trip.
Thanks to all who saved me from spending about $800 more than I needed.
Recommendations: call MR and ask for the benefit booklet to be sent. Take it with you when traveling. Don't accept benefits as explained on the phone. Get everything in writing first.
My answer is simple. Save your money. Use a quality CC to pay for your trip. Most of them have some basic trip insurance included. Then don't buy any travel insurance.
I have over 3 million air miles under my belt. Lifetime Platinum at Marriott. Close to life time on 2 different airlines. Yes, I travel a lot (as do many others here). I have never purchased Travel Insurance, never had a reason to use it.