Notices

Do you buy trip insurance?

Old Aug 31st, 2006, 08:11 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do you buy trip insurance?

I am at the point where I need to decide on trip insurance. Up until now I have never bought it. But, this is probably the most expensive "non refundable" vacation I have planned. Most of my vacations are with Frequent Flyer Miles and hotels/cars booked independently so I really never had anything to risk as I could always cancel at the last minute. This includes trips to China as well as India and of course all around the US.

I have taken cruises that costs upwards $3000 but we decided to take a chance and not buy insurance. So far 6 cruises later I think we saved enough for another cruise! But, this safari is around $8,000 without airfare.

Anyway, how many of you buy the insurance? If not the whole package, how many just but the medical packages?

Thanks,
Duane
Duane is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2006, 08:38 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I buy travel insurance. What is the payment/cancellation/refund policy of your agent? How risk-adverse are you about losing your payment, should something happen? Those would be some of the considerations to keep in mind. At the least, you should have some type of medical evacuation coverage. You can easily compare travel insurance policies and their various components at a couple of websites: www.insuremytrip.com and www.travelinsurancecenter.com.
ShayTay is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2006, 08:39 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I bought trip insurance for my recent trip to Rwanda and Kenya. It only cost me $100 due to the fact that I bought it late...and this insurance company gets cheaper as your departure date gets closer. Also, I didn't qualify for insurance if the operator defaulted, since I didn't realize you had to buy insurance within a certain amount of days of making your initial trip payment.

This $100 covered baggage, trip delay, trip cancellation or interruption, medical (including evac), etc. I think it's worth it, if only for peace of mind.
Lucia78 is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2006, 09:08 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I buy the whole package. Planning so far in advance, you never know. The medical and evacuation is necessary as you're so far from anything and theft/interruption is a small part of the payment. I've had to file one claim and it more than made up for the premium.
matnikstym is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2006, 10:14 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks,
Yes I do plan on at least buying the Medical/evacuation insurance. Sorry, didn't make that clear.

It's the other stuff that gets so expensive. I don't have to commit any real money until 60 days out, so I am OK until then. But, if I wait until then they do not cover pre existing. Don't have anything right now - that I know of . Honestly it is my in-laws that I am thinking of. Father in law is not doing to good. I'll have to see if a policy covers something happening to them.

Thanks,
Duane
Duane is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2006, 10:40 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am struggling with the same quandry. FYI, if you are concerned about pre-existing conditions and missed the early window, take a look at the HDH policy (on insuremytrip.com). It says (I think) that it waives pre-existing conditions if you buy the policy within 24 hours of the FINAL trip payment. I have no idea why it's that way, but it might be an option for you.
hguy47 is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2006, 11:21 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,104
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Duane,
Trip cancellation/interruption insurance covers injury or illness of family members. However, I'm not sure how pre-existing medical conditions are treated in this situation. I don't know if the insurers are referring to pre-existing medical conditions of the traveler(s) only or non-traveling family members as well.
Patty is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2006, 04:48 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hguy47,
you're right. HTH's pre-existing conditions are within 24 hours of final payment. That is much better than the other policies. I have sent them an email to discuss trip cancellation/interruption due to an in-law illness.

Thanks for the heads up.
Duane
Duane is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2006, 07:10 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Travel insurance is compulsory with my agent (in Australia). So I've had to produce evidence that I've taken out a policy before every safari. It hasn't been a problem for me because it's such a sensible step to take and I make sure the policy applies from the moment I pay a deposit.

John
afrigalah is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:00 AM
  #10  
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
At minimum you should have medical and medical evacuation; most safari outfitters in-country will ask for it. Technically, their countries do not want to be responsible for these expenses. Of course, a cut, bug bites or upset tummy can be handled and you can pay the local medical person direct. For anything major you should considere Flying Doctor's (small fee of about 15/$25 person, which will evacuate you from out on the plains (reserve/park/lake) to NBO or Arusha; from where your personal med/evac insurance takes over. Most likely you will not need either, but I wouldn't leave home without it.
 
Old Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:55 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello,

If you travel often, you may want to look into an annual policy -- this can save quite a bit of money over multple per-trip policies.

Personally, I never travel without trip insurance, and most reputable agents selling safaris require it.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2006, 05:03 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Sandi,
Yes, at a minimum I plan on buying medical insurance and joining Flying Doctors. I am struggling with the trip cancellation/interruption part of the insurance. That part is strictly a financial decision and I know what the loss limits are. With medical, who knows what that could end up costing.

It's not just the money, it is the general fact that I never buy this type of insurance. I have very high deductibles on my homeowners and auto insurance, I never buy extended warranties, I never take trip insurance on cruises,etc, so it just goes against my nature It's not like if something goes wrong the insurance fixes the trip. All it does is maybe give me my money back after the fact, it doesn't make my vacation better.

But, I could live with the above. I think what bothers me the most is that after I pay the premiums they still might not cover my loss. There are such limited reasons why they will allow you to cancel. There are many reasons we might not be able to go; work, relatives health, dogs (my kids), etc, but the insurance will not cover any of that. I know I could buy insurance that allows me to cancel for any reason insurance but shoot, I might as well buy another safari for the cost of that.

Since so many people buy the insurance and I am struggling with it, am I missing something here? Why do some of the tour companies require trip insurance? They don't gain anything by me having it, do they? It only reimburses me for the money I already paid to them, right? It doesn't reimburse them at all, does it? I am using Good Earth and they do not require me to have insurance. If I have this right, if I cancel after my deposit, I would only get my deposit back from the insurance and Good Earth would not get any additional money. If I cancel after making my final payment, I would get that back from insurance and Good Earth would not get any additional money, right? I must be missing something here or they wouldn't require it. They really shouldn't care as they have nothing to gain.

Ugh! I can decide on a major vacation with no problem. It is decisions like these that drive me crazy! I will probably buy it, but am still struggling with it. This is such a unique area of the world that it is probably worthwhile. As you can see, I am really talking to myself here, but seeing it in print makes it more real. I could buy a cool camera with that money (without extended warranty)

A sincere thanks to everyone for listening and for your advice,
Duane
Duane is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2006, 05:44 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 157
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We are leaving this month for Kenya, and we definately purchased trip insurance. Our agent required it, although 1 member of our group says he will not get insurance, so it will be interesting to see how our agent handles this. I felt relieved to have it, just in case...you never know!
Cindy
cindysafari is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2006, 02:16 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, it's always been an easy decision for me. Despite owning some expensive camera equipment, I'm not what many people would call well off, so I can't afford to lose any of the resources I put into my Africa trips. Travel insurance covers me for something should things go wrong, making it just that little bit easier to go again.

John
afrigalah is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2006, 03:26 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 47
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have an annual policy with American Express that covers evacuation insurance and medical insurance for a reasonable rate.
bholson is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2006, 07:16 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I never bought trip insurance and then about three years ago I had an amazing trip planned to Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya. The trip combined Scuba diving and land adventures. I was going to be gone for four weeks. Three days before I was supposed to leave my father (who we all thought was perfectly healthy) passed away. I decided that I'd postpone the trip a week, but pick up the rest of it. Then I caught a bug (102 fever) and cancelled the whole thing. The operators I was using agreed to refund about 50% of my trip. But all in all it was an expensive lesson. I now buy trip insurance.
sjh88 is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2006, 08:10 AM
  #17  
santharamhari
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I only get a Mediclaim policy as part of health insurance for travels. Dont insure my trips....

Hell, i dont even take anti-malaria pills prior to my trips. I only got the yellow fever shot, but, even that is valid for 10 years or something....

Hari
 
Old Sep 9th, 2006, 03:54 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 81
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would recommend the trip insurance. Three years ago my husband & I and another couple on a very expensive safari trip to South Africa, Botswana and Vic Falls, I fell seriously ill in on our first day in Capetown. I had to have surgery and then fly back home for more treatment. All four of us would have forfeited all the money we had paid for safari camps, air transfers and hotels if it had not been for the travel insurance. I never spent a day in the hospital prior to this and considered myself to be really healthy. I think it just goes to show you can never be sure what will happen and it depends how much tolerance you have to risk losing the cost of your vacation. Good luck with your decision.
chelsea2 is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2006, 09:42 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Know what you are buying. Trip Interruption does not cover airline tickets. They get around this because it only covers the unused part of your trip. It happened to me. On the first full day of our vacation my wife's father died. We returned the next morning. We purchased a 10 day 9 night vacation from Vacationtravelmart with the travel insurance. We received payment for 7 nights unused at the hotel. The reason given for not covering more was that we had used the airline portion of the trip and 2 nights at the hotel. Even the person at the travel agency was surprised at this. She like I thought that the whole trip was insured and we only got one day of our vacation and assumed that we would get 90% or so of the expense back so that we could take our vacation another time. So, in effect the travel part is not covered when it comes to trip Interruption
Larry1220 is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2006, 01:05 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Larry-not every insurance company is the same. my travel company refunded me on unused airfare for trip interruption. I used travelex, maybe yours was not good, but no sense in you telling people what isn't necessarily true for all insurance companies.
matnikstym is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO