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Travel Insurance--YES/NO??
Old 03-02-2011, 05:30 PM   #1
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Travel Insurance--YES/NO??

The last thread on this topic on this board, I could find was 2007.
We have a three week trip to Germany/Italy coming in May. Total out of pockets will be around 10-12k for airfares, tour and hotels with cancellation risks. Both of us in good health. While it would hurt, we could survive a complete loss but not happily. Insuance looks like it will run around $560-600 for just trip cancellation/interruption (no medical).
How about an update on members' experiences/recommendations?
Thanks
Nwsteve
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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from MSNBC...

Quote:
The following tips can help you determine what kind of travel coverage, if any, is right for you.
1. Familiarize yourself with what’s out there. Travel insurance can include trip cancellation, trip interruption, accidental death or dismemberment, medical and dental care, transportation to medical facilities, loss of luggage or personal possessions and protection against the bankruptcy or default of your cruise line or tour operator.
2. Determine whether you’re already covered. Many homeowners’ and renters’ policies provide coverage for theft and other losses away from home. Your medical and auto insurance may be valid in other countries. Your life insurance policy should cover you and your family while you travel. And airlines must reimburse you if they lose your bags.
3. Remember your credit cards and auto club membership. Check to see what travel protection you have from those little plastic cards in your wallet. The American Express Platinum Card is especially good about giving generous accidental death and dismemberment coverage, insurance for car rental loss and damage, and extra lost baggage protection.
4. Buy through a third-party insurer. Travel agents, tour operators and cruise lines sell travel insurance, but your safest bet is to obtain coverage through an established insurance company. This way your coverage won’t go up in smoke if your travel company goes bankrupt. You can compare rates at InsureMyTrip.com.
5. Ask the right questions. As you shop around, ask insurers: What disasters are covered? What restrictions apply? What type of assistance does the insurance company give in the event of a medical emergency or other serious problem? How does the reimbursement get determined?
6. Know the drill with trip-cancellation coverage. Here’s the biggest reason you may not need it: Even in the case of natural disasters and other dramatic events beyond a travel provider’s control, you’re likely to get a refund if your trip gets completely canceled on you.
7. Avoid flight insurance sold in vending machines. Have you ever spotted such offers in airports? They’re situated there to play on people’s fear of flying, but remember: The least expensive way to insure your life is through a term life insurance policy, which you may already have. And your credit card may provide such coverage as well.
8. Understand cancellation waivers. Many cruise and tour operators offer these waivers for about $40 to $60 as coverage in case you have to cancel your trip. While the waivers provide some protection, they often have many restrictions and are not regulated.
9. Consider extra coverage. If you must travel with expensive electronic equipment, sporting gear or jewelry, you could consider a floater for your existing homeowners’ or renters’ policy. This could be a relatively low-cost way to insure those items.
10. Recognize the value of emergency medical assistance coverage. This would cover you if you must be airlifted off a mountain, receive prolonged treatment in a foreign hospital or be flown home because of serious sickness or injury. Before you buy, find out whether your health insurer would cover you overseas and pay for your flight home if an emergency strikes. If you have Medicare, this coverage could be valuable because you’re probably not covered outside the United States.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:07 PM   #3
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I've purchased travel insurance to protect against cancellation twice. Once when DW's dad was near death (policies vary greatly regarding payment in the event of death of a relative) and a second time when I went to Africa and had a large amount of $$ at stake. The Africa trip ended up being delayed 24 hours in London and I got a partial refund that about covered the premium. DW's dad lived another year.

In general I don't insure against any loss that I can afford to take.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve View Post
The last thread on this topic on this board, I could find was 2007.
We have a three week trip to Germany/Italy coming in May. Total out of pockets will be around 10-12k for airfares, tour and hotels with cancellation risks. Both of us in good health. While it would hurt, we could survive a complete loss but not happily. Insuance looks like it will run around $560-600 for just trip cancellation/interruption (no medical).
How about an update on members' experiences/recommendations?
Thanks
Nwsteve

You can get a better price 350-475 range for 5 or 6k per person coverage. This would include the medical other coverage. Ask your travel agent to quote you a price not through the tour company.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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I have used travel insurance on several trips and so far I am ahead . I lost an expensive ring while snorkeling in Bermuda . Travel insurance paid . We were going to Huatulco Mexico and my FIL died . Travel insurance paid . We had an extended trip to all the national parks and my DH became critically ill . Travel insurance paid . So while I would shop for a cheaper policy I would definitely purchase it for an expensive trip.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
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I do not insure against losses I can afford, so I never buy travel insurance. I see no reason to (in the long run) line insurance company pockets at my expense.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:17 PM   #7
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Medical evacuation insurance is valuable when traveling abroad, IMHO. Medical care is usually cheaper abroad but many require that you pony up your credit card if you don't have evidence of medical insurance that will pay them for your care. It is really tough to challenge a bill from a distance.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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I never bother insuring against trip cancellation as I normally buy tix which are cancellable even if there is some penalty to pay.

However I would never step foot on a plane unless I had medical insurance to cover me.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:45 AM   #9
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I always get travel insurance when abroad.
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:27 AM   #10
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DW and I got travel insurance for a couple of expense trips recently because her father is in precarious condition. At other times we have foregone it figuring it is like extended warranties. If your policy is "no" you will likely do well or at least break even over the long haul.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:41 AM   #11
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Last over seas 2 week vacation, wife, I & daughter got travel insurance, principally to off set the risk of missing connecting flights due to weather condition. And we still had to spend 24+ solid hrs on the same plane due to international weather conditions and missed a connecting flight.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:42 PM   #12
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I always purchase trip insurance for non-CONUS (continental US) travel. I had a few close calls with scheduling pleasure trips against w*rk travel requirements and family illnesses. I never had to collect on it, but was very glad it was in place.
I don't bother with domestic travel.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:55 PM   #13
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I've never seen the point of cancellation insurance, but that's partly because when you're working, if you get ill enough to cancel, you won't get the time back. So if you pay $5K for a 10-day vacation and you'll be back at work on August 20, whether you spend those 10 days in Las Vegas or in bed with the flu, you'll be back at work on August 20. In other words, you were prepared to spend $5K on those 10 days, and you did. All you didn't get were the memories. It's not like car insurance, where if the car is totalled, you need another car.

Post-retirement, that might change. If I'm ill in August, I will be able to go away in September. Hmmm. On the other hand, I'm sure that over the last 20 years, I've saved more than the cost of a nice vacation by not taking insurance.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:46 PM   #14
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Generally don't buy cancellation insurance as we could afford any such loss. Also, I find these type of policies very expensive and I would hate to have to fight wih the insurance co to collect. I am suspicious of"pre existing conditions" for medical related cancellations.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:00 PM   #15
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Travel insurance has always looked like a scam to me. For that reason I have never taken advantage of it. Seems like a risk that I can assume myself.

I know that there will be folks that post her that will give me stories of how wonderful it was to have coverage when A, B and C happened on their cruise down the Danube in 2009, but to me it's like the old flight insurance that MofO used to offer at airports. The actual risks are unknown, so how can you really "insure" against it?
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:52 PM   #16
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..........I know that there will be folks that post her that will give me stories of how wonderful it was to have coverage when A, B and C happened ............
Right, to me it fits in the same category as extended warranties and towing insurance. Surely most of us here can afford to self insure but the emotional aspect drives us to buy additional security.

I may buy evacuation insurance for my upcoming Peru trip, but then I'll be 3 1/2 hours up the river by motor canoe and a helicopter may the only timely way to a real hospital.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:39 PM   #17
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I've never seen the point of cancellation insurance, but that's partly because when you're working, if you get ill enough to cancel, you won't get the time back. So if you pay $5K for a 10-day vacation and you'll be back at work on August 20, whether you spend those 10 days in Las Vegas or in bed with the flu, you'll be back at work on August 20. In other words, you were prepared to spend $5K on those 10 days, and you did. All you didn't get were the memories. It's not like car insurance, where if the car is totaled, you need another car.

Post-retirement, that might change. If I'm ill in August, I will be able to go away in September. Hmmm. On the other hand, I'm sure that over the last 20+ years, I've saved more than the cost of a few nice vacations by not taking insurance.
BigNick made this reply easy for me since he summed up my thinking almost exactly.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:04 PM   #18
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I'm in the market for evacuation insurance for Peru as well, but we didn't buy any kind of insurance at all for our trip to Mongolia that was in the same price range as your upcoming trip. I figured in the end that I'd suck up sunk costs if something catastrophic happened while we were gone.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:43 PM   #19
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We were in Peru two years ago. I agree you should buy medical evacuation insurance.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #20
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Brat, would you care to recommend the company you used for your evac insurance? Also, might I inquire if you had other vaccinations besides the yellow fever? Now that these ER.org worrywarts have suggested I get Hep A and B, I'm kinda thinking it might be a good idea since we'll be driving from one end of the country to the other.
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