taylorqobrien

Travel/trip Insurance

39 posts in this topic

Hello everyone!

As many of you know, my husband and I finally booked our first trip to Africa (Rwanda and Tanzania). Woot! Our trip does provide enrollment "for AMREF Flying Doctor’s insurance for zone one (mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya). This enrollment does not replace traditional travel insurance but augments your coverage for emergency transport from your safari to Nairobi for onward medical evacuation."

 

We've never purchased travel/trip insurance for a vacation before, so we're at a loss for where to start. As such, I've got questions (naturally)!

 

What exactly does travel insurance cover (I realize this will vary with the company and plan you choose)? Perhaps a better question is what do *you* think ideal travel insurance should cover?

 

Is travel insurance worth it? Do you always buy insurance?

 

What is the average cost (again, I realize this will vary, but we've gotten quotes ranges from $600-$2000)? I think this is a lot of money, which is probably why I'm on the fence about how to proceed.

 

If there is any other information about insurance that is important, please let me know.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Taylor

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Oh, I've searched this in the forums, but I didn't find a similar topic. If I've missed it, please let me know.

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Go to insuremytrip.com and enter the details about your trip and yourselves. You'll get several different quotes from reputable companies, with the entire litany of things that are covered or not, things you can additionally opt in for, etc. Read all that as it's very clear about what is covered and what you have to pay extra for.

 

For me, because of my ailing parents my first thought is always "what if I have to cancel because of something happening to them" and not so much my own health or well-being, so I look for something that will cover that eventuality. I insure the full value of everything that I pay up front that I might lose if I have to cancel, so airfare and camp costs. I also make sure I insure within 14 days of making the trip deposit to cover the one "pre-existing condition" that I have.

 

You should know that you can just insure whatever you've paid for now to get insured within the 14 day window, and amend the policy to cover airfare if you're purchasing airfare later.

 

For safaris I take, it's usually about $300-400 for the insurance for a 2 week trip. I've used Allianz and Travel Guard before but have never needed to file a claim (knock on wood!).

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I always take travel insurance including an uncapped medical cover and a cancellation cover matching my airfares and the cost of my safari

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In most safari lodges Travel Insurance is a requirement of travel and even the AMREF insurance will claim their costs back from your travel insurance company should you need to use it. Unfortunately travel insurance for US citizens and residents is a lot more expensive than from many other countries.

You should absolutely buy insurance and should never travel without it as you never know what might happen at home or in country from lost baggage to cancelled flights and curtailment for many other reasons including illness and hospitalisation. Make sure you have repatriation included and a good level of medical coverage as hospitals are very, very expensive and travelling in remote areas, medical evacuations can be very costly, you would definitely not want this hanging over you should one of you become ill.

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@@amybatt

 

Thanks for bringing insuremytrip.com to our attention. I wasn't familiar with the site, but by using it, we found a policy that offered much better coverage than the policy I initially was considering, and the premium was $300 lower.

 

Great resource!

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Thanks everyone!

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the agent where I book my airfares requires people who are going to Africa and have not taken insurance with unlimited medical cover, to sign a statement saying that they have been told of the possible consequences and accepting full personal responsibility

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I've never seen an insurance policy that doesn't have limits of liability. If you have a link to a policy that offers "unlimited"medical coverage, I'd certainly like to see that.

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I've never seen unlimited either, @@Alexander33

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Posted (edited)

Australia agents offer it and people going to Africa and the USA are advised to take it

 

I use COVERMORE , if their open to customers from USA residents I am unsure

 

Looking on their site they have a UK division

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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I've had clients use InsureMyTrip.com as well as other similar sites. Fortunately, none have ever actually submitted a claim, so not sure how hard it is to get a refund. Others who have traveled with me have used the travel insurance that is included with premium credit cards Like Amex Platinum and some of the cards offered by airlines. Read the fine print closely!

 

In general, I've found that it really depends on what events you want covered but travel insurance will run from 5% to 15% of the total trip cost.

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I looked at Covermore USA and they cap medical at $50,000 a day. Also not included with it that is included with the same level plan at TravelGuard and Allianz is having to cancel due to work reasons (either you're needed at work or have had a severance from your employer and cannot travel). You pay extra for that with Covermore. Otherwise, they came in at about the same price as what I paid for Allianz on my last trip (I entered the same trip details as a comparison).

 

I've not made a claim personally, @@buddy4344 but older traveling friends of mine have had to use both evacuation from a cruise ship as well as cancellation due to medical reasons (within a month of departure) and as long as they document it properly, it's a pretty quick reimbursement (within a couple months). They swear by TravelGuard and only ever use that.

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As an FYI, sopme credit cards also include a limited amount of cancelation, medical and lost bag coverage when you use the card to book flight/accomotations. I don'tknow that I would rely solely on this but it may mean one could get a a cheeper travel insurance policy with lowere coverage (i.e., which costs less).

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My Chase Sapphire card provides the same insurance limits as Allianz. One less thing to have to buy.

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yes I was just about to post the same as @AmyT I just recently got the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and was really excited to see that it covers cancellation and interruption at the same, or even higher levels than my TravelGuard policy usually does. And you only have to charge any part of the trip on it--i.e., the airfare and it will cover the entire trip, even what you may have paid in cash or by wire transfer (as we usually cannot charge safari trips.) However, it does NOT cover evacuation/medical. (I think the higher level, more expensive Chase Sapphire Reserve card does cover evacuation.)

 

But I can get a policy for only Evacuation/Medical from TravelGuard for only about $70 so I am still saving considerably over the $500-$700 I usually pay for the TravelGuard Gold or Silver policy.

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Thanks for the update @@janzin... I checked my card benefits (I got mine earlier in the year) and my card includes medical evacuation. Love the benefits of this card!

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@@AmyT and @@janzin, thanks for letting me know this. We have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but when I called them to inquire, they told me I had to book the whole trip with the card. I'll have to investigate further for future trips, as I've already booked coverage for the trip (next week! I'm overwhelmed!)

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@@AmyT and @@janzin, thanks for letting me know this. We have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but when I called them to inquire, they told me I had to book the whole trip with the card. I'll have to investigate further for future trips, as I've already booked coverage for the trip (next week! I'm overwhelmed!)

@@taylorqobrien I'm pretty sure that's wrong. I'd call again. I was told the exact opposite and I also found that info somewhere in their documentation. I'll see if I can find it.

 

Okay, found it:

 

"Covered Trip means any pre-paid tour, trip or vacation when some

portion of the cost for such travel arrangements less any redeemable

frequent flyer miles, points, coupons or certificates, or other types of

redeemable Rewards has been charged to your Account:"

 

The full document is here: https://www.chasebenefits.com/sapphirepreferredVW17

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My advice is to be careful when relying on any credit card for immediate action. They are a credit card company not an emergency evacuation company. They will not have the expertise to handle an emergency situation like a dedicated insurance company. There are a number of stories about people using their credit cards for rental car insurance and it taking months and months for things to get resolved. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card but I still buy additional coverage. I would hate to be in the middle of Kenya and needing to get my wife out and having a discussion with someone at Chase. I want the peace of mind to know that a company like Travel Insure will make it happen. Trust me I am frugal and will try everything to save a $..ie use air miles, green season safari, used camera equipment, but I will not scrimp or rely on someone outside of the travel insurance business.

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@@SSF556 brings up a good point. Any coverage by a credit card company would be after the fact, not during a crisis.

 

I did just get off the phone with Chase, and my card benefits cover a trip, of which any portion has been charged to the card (including a trip that I'm not on! ... say, if I paid for my daughter's solo trip.)

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I have never purchased travel insurance before, as I viewed its main benefit being trip cancellation coverage. Given the cost of the coverage, I am willing to take my chances. Over the years, I have been fortunate to never have had to cancel a trip and have saved more from not purchasing trip insurance than what my average trip costs. I consider myself ahead for not having purchased insurance, although I fully understand that the first time I do have to cancel a trip I will wish I had the insurance.

 

Looking ahead to our trip to Africa next year, I was considering biting the bullet as for this trip my main concern is emergency medical and evacuation coverage. In researching the different options, though, I was surprised to discover that just the emergency medical and evacuation portion will cost just $77 for two people (AIG MedEvac plan). From this point forward, I will take that coverage for most international trips and rely on whatever I can get out of the credit card companies if I do need to cancel a trip rather than pay the additional $1000+ for that insurance.

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I'm with @@cjt3 on this; the evacuation insurance is what I'd not want to trust to the credit card insurer (which is, btw, a real insurance company of course--you aren't dealing with the Credit card company for claims, but with the insurance company, in the case of Chase its Federal Insurance Company, a very large corporate insurer.) In the case of my Chase Sapphire Preferred card, as I mentioned it doesn't include evacuation insurance but I can get that from TravelGuard for around $70. I will take my chances with the included insurance for trip cancellation/interruption which the card covers. I just paid $800 for insurance for my Zambia trip, which was paid for before I got the Sapphire card. :( Being able to save that cost is fantastic--could give me another trip day ;)

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These are all good things to consider for my future trips!

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