Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

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Will do good
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Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by Will do good » Fri May 19, 2017 11:24 am

We are retired and begin to travel overseas few times a year, we have been buying optional travel insurance as many BHs suggested and do.

But... why should we do that if some credit cards (such as Chase Sapphire Preferred) offer travel insurance coverage for free with the card, what am I missing?

TravelGeek
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Re: Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by TravelGeek » Fri May 19, 2017 11:42 am

I don't know that you are missing anything. Understand your needs (what do you need to cover) and understand what your credit card(s) offer under what circumstances and see if you need to fill any gaps.

Yossarian
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Re: Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by Yossarian » Fri May 19, 2017 12:26 pm

CSR and CSP offer coverage for traveling companions outside of immediate family. Most other cards don't, so this is one reason why someone might want to buy insurance separately.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri May 19, 2017 1:09 pm

When going outside the US, even if only to Canada, I pay what's usually very little for medical and medical repatriation insurance. If my credit card offered the same thing for no additional charge I would use its.

I never buy trip cancellation or interruption insurance, because I only insure against financial risks I can't absorb. If I decided to take the trip in the first place, obviously I can afford to carry on without the money it cost.

PJW

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Will do good
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Re: Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by Will do good » Fri May 19, 2017 4:52 pm

Are the credit card insurance coverage as good as the purchased ones? I mean is it legit and easy to make claims?

Hogan773
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Re: Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by Hogan773 » Fri May 19, 2017 5:41 pm

Don't buy that junky Trip Cancellation insurance from the airlines (Allianz)

We had a family member buy it and actually try to use it, and it was a living h-e-double-L trying to actually get any blood out of that turnip.

GAAP
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Re: Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by GAAP » Fri May 19, 2017 5:59 pm

Chase Sapphire Rewards basically provides limited Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption protection.

A travel insurance policy (at least the ones I buy) provides:
  • medical insurance, potentially even for more adventurous pursuits like base-jumping.
    dental insurance
    emergency medical expenses -- notably cash for hospitals requiring a deposit prior to providing services
    medevac if needed
    assistance with locating any of those medical services
    theft of belongings


Most medical/dental insurance that I've seen will only reimburse you after you get home, travel insurance will pay on the spot.

Medicare basically doesn't cover overseas travel, which could be a concern since you're retired.

TravelGeek
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Re: Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by TravelGeek » Sat May 20, 2017 12:16 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:When going outside the US, even if only to Canada, I pay what's usually very little for medical and medical repatriation insurance. If my credit card offered the same thing for no additional charge I would use its.

I never buy trip cancellation or interruption insurance, because I only insure against financial risks I can't absorb. If I decided to take the trip in the first place, obviously I can afford to carry on without the money it cost.
I have bought travel medical/evacuation insurance (yearly plan) for a few years because it was relatively inexpensive and we were going to places that would have essentially required evacuation for anything significant. The company I used no longer offers insurance to US residents, so I am evaluating new options (but it isn't urgent; no current "exotic" plans).

I have bought trip cancellation insurance for one trip in the past (Lindblad Expeditions Galapagos/Peru) because we booked it a long time in advance and it was fairly expensive. I am currently looking at Antarctica and would probably buy insurance for that. Not because I could not survive the loss, but because I think there is a non-negligible risk (we would book easily 12-18 months in advance, we have aging parents,...). But I will have to look at the cost.

Regarding credit cards, the US Amex Plat card has evacuation benefits, I recently came across this thread on Flyertalk.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american ... tinum.html

When relying on credit card coverage, be sure to review under what conditions you are covered. E.g., do you have to pay for the trip with the card? The Amex benefit is quite generous in that it covers the card holder and certain family members just for having the card.

ResearchMed
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Re: Why buy travel insurance when some credit cards offer it for free

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 20, 2017 12:33 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:When going outside the US, even if only to Canada, I pay what's usually very little for medical and medical repatriation insurance. If my credit card offered the same thing for no additional charge I would use its.

I never buy trip cancellation or interruption insurance, because I only insure against financial risks I can't absorb. If I decided to take the trip in the first place, obviously I can afford to carry on without the money it cost.
I have bought travel medical/evacuation insurance (yearly plan) for a few years because it was relatively inexpensive and we were going to places that would have essentially required evacuation for anything significant. The company I used no longer offers insurance to US residents, so I am evaluating new options (but it isn't urgent; no current "exotic" plans).

I have bought trip cancellation insurance for one trip in the past (Lindblad Expeditions Galapagos/Peru) because we booked it a long time in advance and it was fairly expensive. I am currently looking at Antarctica and would probably buy insurance for that. Not because I could not survive the loss, but because I think there is a non-negligible risk (we would book easily 12-18 months in advance, we have aging parents,...). But I will have to look at the cost.

Regarding credit cards, the US Amex Plat card has evacuation benefits, I recently came across this thread on Flyertalk.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american ... tinum.html

When relying on credit card coverage, be sure to review under what conditions you are covered. E.g., do you have to pay for the trip with the card? The Amex benefit is quite generous in that it covers the card holder and certain family members just for having the card.
Well... we hadn't realized that type of coverage was available through Amex Plat. Nice!

But it's not helpful (enough) for us, for two key reasons.

First, and most importantly, it excludes pre-existing conditions.
"Pre-existing conditions" can be defined a variety of ways, but the bottom line is that at this age, we have enough of a medical history that we would not want to get into a dispute about whether or not something was due to a pre-existing condition (even when that is defined relatively narrowly).
Either there might be a dispute while we are trying to get evacuated (NOT a good time) or it could be if they later try to collect what they paid, also not good (who knows if we would have selected that particular service/cost).

Second, we don't want to be dependent upon either the beancounters deciding whether it is "medically necessary" or the local medical team needing to determine that they are "not satisfactory" for the "condition", or to possibly being taken to a "nearby but better" facility or such.

We've started using MedJetAssist, which only kicks in once one is already an inpatient (not ER, not "observation") at a hospital at least 150 (I think) miles from home.
Importantly, they will evacuate you to the hospital of YOUR choice in your country. That could be your "home hospital", with medical records and physicians who know you, or it could be a specialty hospital elsewhere.
Obviously one must be medically stable enough to be moved, but they'll use an air ambulance, fully staffed, if necessary.
Or send one home in business class, with an accompanying RN. Or in between.

We get the annual policy (just a bit more than the cost for a single 3-4 week trip), so it covers all of our travel.
This happens to include shorter domestic travel to friends or for business, as long as it's at least that minimum distance, which it always has been.

RM
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