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rahulm Sep 26th, 2008 12:20 PM

Travel Insurance?
On our trip to Israel, do you think we need to get travel Insurance? Whats your advice? When I buy tickets from Travelocity/BMI they offier it for ~$35. Thanks!

sandi Sep 26th, 2008 12:36 PM

It is strongly suggested if you've prepaid for your trip - air, land (hotels, tours, vehicle, etc.) you purchase insurance to cover cancellation and/or interruption.

You can find information at for

1) Comprehensive coverage for cancellation and/or interruption, flight and baggage delay, baggage loss, medical/dental, medical evacuation and even car rental.


2) Medical/evacuation only

Review the various policies available on the above site to find what meets your particular needs and situation. Be sure to read the various drop-down menus for inclusions and exclusions. As example: if any in your party has a pre-existing medical condition, payment has to be made for the insurance within 7-, 14- or 21-days from time you've made your deposit.

If only air is what you're prepaying, determine what the $35/fee being offered from Travelocity actually covers and whether you require either #1 or #2 above.

However, it's always a good idea, even if paying for your hotels, tours and car rental once in-country, I feel that, at minimum, one should have medical and evacuation coverage "just in case." While health care is excellent in Israel, if something major happens, having to pay out of your own pocket can be a big chunk of cash. If you need to be evacuated home, that's also very costly.

Whether young or old, accidents or illness can happen anytime, anywhere to anyone.

So, it's your decision.

rahulm Sep 26th, 2008 12:51 PM

Thanks, Sandi. We've not paid for the trip yet. I'll look into the insurance offered.

jbella Sep 26th, 2008 02:28 PM

We always get coverage for any pre-trip expenses and medical evacuation coverage.

We were on a trip with our pastor & his wife to Israel. Because their trip was "free" as leaders of our group, they did not get the insurance offered thinking about the possibility of canceling only.

The pastor's wife fell and broke her elbow upon arriving in Tel Aviv from the US and after an emergency room and hospital trauma story, they had to go home. Of course this was at their own expense.

We've had to file a claim once and feel the peace of mind worth the 7-8% cost of insurance worth the price.

rahulm Sep 26th, 2008 02:54 PM

jbella, Thanks. Where do you get your insurance from?

skibumette Sep 26th, 2008 04:42 PM

Several years ago DH and I went on a European ski trip; the group that organized our trip automatically added on travel insurance. Yes, you could opt out, but it wasn't easy. We'd had to cancel a couple of ski trips at last minute for variety of reasons, so we left it on.

The next to last day of our trip I fell and fractured my spine. Fortunately, I didn't have permanent spinal cord damage -- but I did have 3 days in hospital and had to return home after the group left. Once I agreed to wear a nasty full torso brace, I was allowed to fly home in business class rather than by air ambulance.

My private medical insurance paid the hospital costs, but my travel insurance picked up cab fare to/from the hospital for DH ($100 each way), extra hotel costs for DH after the group left, private car with fully reclining seat for 3 hr. trip from hospital to airport, overnight at airport hotel, and new return tickets for both of us. (The policy only covered new economy seats but it was still a big help.) I'm a convert and wouldn't take a big trip without it. Be sure your policy covers getting you HOME (often called repatriation) -- not just to the nearest place with "adequate care."

PS - my screen name is a misnomer because I don't ski any more!

jbella Sep 27th, 2008 07:58 PM

In the past I started by checking coverages and costs with

Now, since I've the experience with the way our claim was handled, I'm sticking with CSA.

cary999 Sep 27th, 2008 08:46 PM

Follows my 2 cents on insurance. You may have seen it here before. If so, never mind :-)

Insurance is to protect you from losses you can not afford to lose. Insurance is a gamble and you have the odds stacked against you because the insurance company makes the odds. Most insurance is sold/bought because it makes the buyer feel good. Not because of a rational cost analysis.
Do not insurance something (anything) if its loss will not greatly impact your life. For example, if my luggage is lost the $$$ value of it is not significant in my life. Even if my $5,000 trip were canceled what I have actually lost is the trip. The $5,000 was spent/gone/lost the day before I started the trip. On the other hand, if I had a medical problem and had to be flown back home that could cost $50,000. Causing me to lose my house, I hate when that happens. Insure what you can not afford to lose.

regards - tom

rahulm Sep 28th, 2008 05:16 PM

Thats great advice. thanks to all.

mpkp Oct 1st, 2008 09:06 AM

We have a fairly expensive trip coming up. I insured the down payment back when we made it and that gave the added benefit of insuring preexisting conditions. In talking with Travelguard, we don't have any preexisting conditions. I have just finished paying the balance due on the trip and was going to cover it all. However, I already have primary medical coverage and medical evacuation coverage of $1,000,000. Although we are using ff miles, the trip interruption insurance will cover us up to 150% of what we paid. This includes reimbursing us for the nonrefundable portion and the return air.

So, for example, if the trip cost was $10,000 and we covered $3,500 of it; then the most they will pay to get us home and for the nonrefundable travel costs is 5,250. However, the medical is covered higher and the medical evacuation is still the $1,000,000 and the primary medical coverage is $50,000 each -- this does not change with the amount I choose to cover.

So, if you do not have a preexisting condition (in this case they require that you insure the total trip cost to cover this) you can cover what you cannot afford to lose and enough to ensure you can get back home.

uscmolly Oct 1st, 2008 10:08 AM

I'd highly recommend medical insurance at the very least. Most US based insurance companies will not pay for medical treatment when abroad or medical evacuation. We unfortunately have personal experience with dealing with a medical emergency abroad...

On our last safari in May 2008, we were in a Cessna plane crash which left me paraplegic. I had to be evacuated from Namibia to Johannesburg for emergency surgery. If we had not had medical coverage, we would have been out well over $100,000. I think the medical insurance cost me around $ money I've ever spent!

mpkp Oct 1st, 2008 01:59 PM

Wow! How very difficult -- how are you doing now?

We have lots of small plane rides scheduled . . .

Temba Oct 1st, 2008 02:17 PM

I woner how often these samll plane accidents occur. I recall reading of a Sefofane Air crash at Chobe or Savuti last year. Wilderness Safaris tried to hush it up but word got out anyway. Transparency seems somewhat lacking.

uscmolly Oct 2nd, 2008 08:48 AM

mpkp--I don't want to "hijack" this thread, so I'll be brief...I'm recovering and getting used to my new life with a spinal cord injury. Can't say it is easy, but I'm moving forward.

Temba--Our crash is actually one of many this year in Namibia...none of which have been reported here at Fodor's. Here's a link to an article about the multiple crashes this year:

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