Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
MtnTravel
Posts: 373
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2022 7:26 am

Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by MtnTravel »

I need some advice on purchasing travel insurance for an upcoming trip.

We have business class seats on Lufthansa that are "business basic" which are non-refundable, but they can be rebooked and you only have to pay the fare difference. The tour itself is fully non-refundable.

Insuremytrip.com seems highly recommended, but when I read the insurance contracts I have a couple concerns.

1. The policies only cover non-refundable travel. Does this mean that my airline tickets will never be considered non-refundable since I can always rebook for an additional fee? If that's the case, I obviously don't want to purchase coverage for them.

2. I don't see any that cover COVID 19 or another "pandemic." I think that's important coverage to have, given how many people lost money in March of 2020.

3. It asks for the "per person" cost of the trip. I paid for all four of us, so do I just divide the cost by 4?

For anyone who has purchased travel insurance, can you give me some guidance? We are purchasing a medical plan through GeoBlue separately.
snic
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2023 11:37 am

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by snic »

MtnTravel wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:31 am I need some advice on purchasing travel insurance for an upcoming trip.

We have business class seats on Lufthansa that are "business basic" which are non-refundable, but they can be rebooked and you only have to pay the fare difference. The tour itself is fully non-refundable.

Insuremytrip.com seems highly recommended, but when I read the insurance contracts I have a couple concerns.

1. The policies only cover non-refundable travel. Does this mean that my airline tickets will never be considered non-refundable since I can always rebook for an additional fee? If that's the case, I obviously don't want to purchase coverage for them.

2. I don't see any that cover COVID 19 or another "pandemic." I think that's important coverage to have, given how many people lost money in March of 2020.

3. It asks for the "per person" cost of the trip. I paid for all four of us, so do I just divide the cost by 4?

For anyone who has purchased travel insurance, can you give me some guidance? We are purchasing a medical plan through GeoBlue separately.
1. If you need to cancel the trip for a covered reason, tell the airline you are canceling and do not want the travel credit. The insurance company will ask for a letter or other proof from the airline that they have not given you a credit. Airlines are used to this request (or should be) and will provide such a letter. (I canceled a trip for a covered reason. The trip involved 2 or 3 airlines, and all of them provided me with what I needed.)

2. Potential costs related to covid entail several things: medical expenses for treatment, extending flights due to having to isolate, etc. It's best to come up with a list of possible things that could happen: e.g., you get a positive covid test before travelling; you get such a test during travelling and have to isolate and will miss a flight or tour; etc. Then ask insurance agent how each situation would be handled. Almost certainly, you will need a physician to say you can't/shouldn't travel, and then the expenses would be covered just like any other illness. However, if hotels, tours, etc are cancelled because of a covid flare-up at your destination, that is a totally different situation. As is the case where you are at the destination and you are not sick, but there is a lockdown due to some illness that's going around, so flights or tours or hotel reservations are cancelled and/or you need to spend extra money to stay at the destination until travel restrictions are lifted. There may or may not be language in the policy regarding those situations; read the policy carefully and ask questions.

3. Yes, divide by 4.
User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 16827
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:25 pm

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by ResearchMed »

I suggest that you contact

www.TripInsuranceStore.com

But CALL them; don't rely upon the online policy summaries. There is too much 'fine print' that might depend upon each specific traveler's situation.

They are a broker, and sell polices from several vetted insurers.
They'll also help with a claim, if that is ever desired.

We are among quite a few here on BH who use them. They are *very* patience with "newbies".
And in our case, we've had several claims, including a few large ones, and all were paid promptly without any nonsense.
(We used TIS to purchase policies from Travel Insured, the actual insurance company.)

Another place to do some background might be www.CruiseCritic.com
Here is a link to their travel insurance section:
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/4 ... insurance/

Most travel insurance issues are not cruise specific.

Note: To get the best choice of coverages, one should *start* the policy within 10-20 days of making the *first* payment. (deadline depends upon state of residency)

If you've missed that, there are still quite a few very good policies, but one or two "add-ons" might not be available. And not everyone wants those, anyway.

Enjoy your trip!

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.
OpenMinded1
Posts: 1588
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:27 am

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by OpenMinded1 »

MtnTravel wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:31 am I need some advice on purchasing travel insurance for an upcoming trip.

We have business class seats on Lufthansa that are "business basic" which are non-refundable, but they can be rebooked and you only have to pay the fare difference. The tour itself is fully non-refundable.

Insuremytrip.com seems highly recommended, but when I read the insurance contracts I have a couple concerns.

1. The policies only cover non-refundable travel. Does this mean that my airline tickets will never be considered non-refundable since I can always rebook for an additional fee? If that's the case, I obviously don't want to purchase coverage for them.

2. I don't see any that cover COVID 19 or another "pandemic." I think that's important coverage to have, given how many people lost money in March of 2020.

3. It asks for the "per person" cost of the trip. I paid for all four of us, so do I just divide the cost by 4?

For anyone who has purchased travel insurance, can you give me some guidance? We are purchasing a medical plan through GeoBlue separately.
It would be nice to get a refund for flights and tour packages, but the real risks to your financial well-being probably fall in the healthcare realm. If you are going to another country, do you have health insurance that will provide coverage there? Also, medical evacuation to get back to your home area can be very expensive. You probably should put a special emphasize on the healthcare aspects of insurance for your trip.
User avatar
1hotjava
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:09 am

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by 1hotjava »

Check your credit card to see what coverage may be with it. Some have trip delay and trip cancellation coverage standard as long as you used that card to book the trip. We have two cards that have this, one is a Visa through our CU and the other is the Amex Delta Reserve card. The Amex I think has the better coverage although it is limited to a dollar amount, so check to see what the max coverage is.
- Paul | Kansas City | "Dont look for the needle in the haystack, just buy the haystack" -Bogle
adamthesmythe
Posts: 5801
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by adamthesmythe »

It doesn't make sense to insure the air travel that can be rescheduled because the cost of insurance increases with the total amount insured.

In the past I insured trips because of the possibility of an elderly relative becoming seriously ill. Now that is no longer a concern so I am going with the credit card insurance which covers me for illness but not relatives.

Curiously I had a happy experience with cruise line insurance which shows that conventional wisdom does not always apply.

By the way, cancel for any reason insurance is usually unreasonable in price and doesn't cover the entire cost anyway.
snic
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2023 11:37 am

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by snic »

adamthesmythe wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 10:36 am It doesn't make sense to insure the air travel that can be rescheduled because the cost of insurance increases with the total amount insured.
It can absolutely make sense to insure the airfare. Usually you have to reschedule the trip within 1 year of the date you purchased the ticket. This doesn't always offer enough flexibility. Moreover, the OP has deep-discount Lufthansa business class tickets. Those sorts of tickets are not always offered - so the OP could have, say, a $1500 ticket credit and find themselves facing new tickets that cost $4500. And in some cases, you might use several different oddball airlines (e.g., a transatlantic flight plus a couple of intra-europe flights) and it may not make sense to use those same airlines when you rebook (e.g., because the fares on your new dates on those airlines are much higher than when you booked, but other airlines have more reasonable fares).

Finally, certain parts of the insurance are based on total trip cost. For example, trip interruption insurance. If you leave out the airfare, you may not have enough of a benefit to cover your cost of getting home if you have to cut the trip short. (And you might not even have this benefit if you don't insure the cost of getting to your destination.)
snic
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2023 11:37 am

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by snic »

ResearchMed wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:05 am Note: To get the best choice of coverages, one should *start* the policy within 10-20 days of making the *first* payment. (deadline depends upon state of residency)

If you've missed that, there are still quite a few very good policies, but one or two "add-ons" might not be available. And not everyone wants those, anyway.
I find the most valuable "add-on" offered by buying insurance soon after booking is the pre-existing conditions waiver. This is usually free of charge - but you do have to buy the insurance soon after the first payment.
User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 16827
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:25 pm

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by ResearchMed »

snic wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:00 pm
ResearchMed wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:05 am Note: To get the best choice of coverages, one should *start* the policy within 10-20 days of making the *first* payment. (deadline depends upon state of residency)

If you've missed that, there are still quite a few very good policies, but one or two "add-ons" might not be available. And not everyone wants those, anyway.
I find the most valuable "add-on" offered by buying insurance soon after booking is the pre-existing conditions waiver. This is usually free of charge - but you do have to buy the insurance soon after the first payment.

Right. To get a waiver of the exclusion of pre-existing conditions is essential for us.
And with our type of policy/insurer, that also includes *non*-traveling family members. This was especially important for us when we had a very elderly (late 90s) parent still around.

There are other differences in policies, and some quirks, that make in imperative, in our minds, to talk directly with an agent or broker. They can ask some key questions about issues we never would have thought to ask about when we were just starting out with travel insurance.

Something else to keep in mind is trip interruption, if one wants that. The coverage for that is sometimes 150% of the base coverage for cancellation. That's because one might still have some non--refundable expenses plus some *more* expensive last minute travel charges (hotels, last minute air fare, or one-way international airfare, etc.).

We *do* want those "cancellation" costs. Thus far, of all of our claims, almost all of them, and almost all of the $$ claims, have been for trip cancellation or interruption, and not the actual medical expenses. The one overseas hospital stay...? They refused to accept any money, and when we protested that we don't pay taxes there *and* we have travel insurance, they smiled and said that they have NO way to accept any money. (How different! :shock: )
And for the cancelled trips, all medical care was still "at home", so paid by our regular medical healthcare.
ETA: If even one of those medical claims had been overseas, that would have "paid for" most of our premiums right there.

The total of our claims to date is slightly more than the total of all of the premiums we've paid, and that includes an extra cost rider that we've never used [yet!]: CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason). But that has given us a LOT of SWAN (Sleep Well At Night) over the years, and a couple of times we came incredibly close to using the CFAR.
The CFAR we get only pays 75%, but it's cash, not some credits with restrictions or deadlines.

But everyone has their own risk profiles as well as their own risk preferences/aversions/etc.
The important thing is to *understand* the Terms & Conditions of whatever policy one is getting.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.
snic
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2023 11:37 am

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by snic »

ResearchMed wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:57 pm The one overseas hospital stay...? They refused to accept any money, and when we protested that we don't pay taxes there *and* we have travel insurance, they smiled and said that they have NO way to accept any money. (How different! :shock: )
If I remember right, New Zealand actually sets aside money for its national health service as insurance against visitors' emergency medical expenses, which is paid for by various tourist taxes. For countries with socialized medicine that attract a lot of tourists, that approach makes a lot of sense.
Bobby206
Posts: 671
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by Bobby206 »

I self-insure all that stuff. Not worth the hassle, the premiums, the deductibles, etc....
snic
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2023 11:37 am

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by snic »

Bobby206 wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 10:10 am I self-insure all that stuff. Not worth the hassle, the premiums, the deductibles, etc....
Premiums are pretty low (I've never spend more than $300 to insure trip costs in the $5-$8k range) and deductibles are $0 ('ve never heard of deductibles with travel insurance). The hassle factor is undeniable - you have to read the fine print very carefully, and filing a claim isn't always easy; you have to be detail-oriented and persistent. While self-insuring a $5k trip makes some degree of sense, what makes me choose insurance is the typically very large evacuation benefit. If I (or a family member) is hospitalized in the middle of nowhere, I don't want to have to spend our life savings to take an air ambulance back home. Yes, the probability is very low, but throw in all the other things that travel insurance covers and I consider it a reasonable deal.
Bobby206
Posts: 671
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: Travel insurance for expensive tour: questions

Post by Bobby206 »

snic wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 11:00 am
Bobby206 wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 10:10 am I self-insure all that stuff. Not worth the hassle, the premiums, the deductibles, etc....
Premiums are pretty low (I've never spend more than $300 to insure trip costs in the $5-$8k range) and deductibles are $0 ('ve never heard of deductibles with travel insurance). The hassle factor is undeniable - you have to read the fine print very carefully, and filing a claim isn't always easy; you have to be detail-oriented and persistent. While self-insuring a $5k trip makes some degree of sense, what makes me choose insurance is the typically very large evacuation benefit. If I (or a family member) is hospitalized in the middle of nowhere, I don't want to have to spend our life savings to take an air ambulance back home. Yes, the probability is very low, but throw in all the other things that travel insurance covers and I consider it a reasonable deal.
I hear ya. To each their own. I have heard of many people doing the air ambulance insurance. I agree it's probability is low... probably well below that... but it's cheap. Anything that helps you sleep better! :)
Post Reply