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Travel Insurance (Something that will cover anything)

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Jul 4th, 2005, 06:17 PM
  #1
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Travel Insurance (Something that will cover anything)

Now that we have decided (thanks to the kind words of advice from fellow posters) to stick with our planned trip to Kenya. It is time to look into travel insurance. I have compared a few companies and am pretty confused by what is and is not covered. I would like to pick a company that will cover the worst case scenerio (lets say for example that the US halts all non-essential travel or puts out a another travel warning). It would really ease my mind if I knew if we had to cancel it would be covered. Does such a policy exist?
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Jul 4th, 2005, 07:09 PM
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Congratulations Meg...that is the choice I would have made! Re travel insurance: until someone with recent knowledge answers, you might do some reading on www.insuremytrip.com. The comprehensive policies do tend to cover cancellation due to terrorist acts...and some have language about travel warnings. But you will have to read them carefully, and probably call the company involved to absolutely clarify what their definitions are, and what their exclusions are... There is a helpful chart (do the compare policies function) but it just begins to describe the policy terms.

Hope someone who has done this recently will answer
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Jul 4th, 2005, 07:15 PM
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I purchased travelers insurance through Travelex. To be covered by cancellation there has to be a terrorist incident in your city of departure or your destination within 30 days of arrival in that city. Nothing is refunded for travelers warnings issued by the U.S. Of course death, hijacking, jury duty, assault, layoff and serious injury and illness are also covered. If you are friendly with your doctor, he may write a letter stating you are too sick to travel if you still feel uncomfortable about going. I've been reading your posts and I think you would be better off going to another safari destination (I'm sure to get crap for saying this) but I don't think you will get over the "jitters" about going to Kenya, and that would just ruin your trip.
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Jul 4th, 2005, 07:24 PM
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Hi Meg,

Congratulations- I think you made the correct decision (and I am a paranoid cop- so safety in another country is a BIG deal to me!!).
My travel insurance will cover most anything, I got it through the booking agency- (in my case Africa Adventure Co). I don't think it will cover travel warnings, but if they cancel the trip, or if there is a terrorist act at any location we will take on the trip, they will refund fully. Also the airlines may cancel in the case of serious travel restrictions, and your travel company will surely reroute you to another location, rather than lose the trip funds- You wont be the only one concerned!
Suzic
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Jul 5th, 2005, 04:06 AM
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We did sta travel because it had the best price for the coverage -- it prices by the length of time you are away, not the cost of the trip. Cost up to 20,000 per person is covered. Do a search for it here as that is how I found out about it. Cost for both of us for 22 days is $194.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 06:10 AM
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Rather than reading through all the policies offered, if you go to the www.insuremytrip website there is a place for e-mailing and asking your major concerns. They are very prompt in answering. I discovered through them that all the policies offered will not cover you if you are hospitalized with a serious injury and wish to return home. They will only cover your evacuation to the nearest suitable facility for treatment. To return home you will need to have something like Medjet Assist which the website also offers and would be extra to any other coverage. Just off the top of my head, I think Medjet is $75 per person per trip or $200 a year. I have checked out STA insurance and from what I understand, it will not cover anyone over 59.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 06:11 AM
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While checking www.insuremytrip.com also note what is covered for medical/dental and more imporantly "medical evacuation" should an accident happen. Accidents happen anywhere and you'll need at minimum $50K person, maybe even more.

The Comprehensive policies cover cancellation/interruption, flight delays, baggage delays/loss, medical/dental, evacuation based on the cost of your trip... what is prepaid.

If using FF miles for your air - free ticket vs ticket upgrade to say business class, you cannot include this freebie in the cost (but can the economy ticket that is upgraded w/FF miles).

Read the details on a few of the insurers listed - Access America, CSA, Travel Guard, Travelex etc. There are similaries, but each handles certain situations differently. If you have questions, call them direct for clarification.

And while you're at it, if your outfitters isn't including it in your costs - you should also get Flying Doctors coverage (should be only $25/person). Flying Doctors will fly you from wherever an accident occurs - out in the Masai Mara or elsewhere to get you to Nairobi. You can find Flying Doctors at:
http://www.amref.org/
 
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Jul 5th, 2005, 07:46 AM
  #8
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STA travel looks like our best bet. It should ease my mind as it covers many more areas in case the trip in cancelled. Has anyone used STA insurance before? Experience with their claims?
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Jul 5th, 2005, 12:56 PM
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For those who have purchased or are looking to purchase insurance through STA Travel, are you sure you're covered if you didn't also purchase your travel arrangements through STA? I called the Berkely Care number listed on the website and spoke with a representative there. She was very insistent that the STA Travel Protection Plan only covered travel booked through STA. Has anyone received a different response or filed a successful claim for travel NOT booked through STA?
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Jul 5th, 2005, 02:40 PM
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I called and asked the same questions before I purchased it and they said I was covered. It does say that if you are a foreign national and do not reside in the US then the travel must be purchased through STA travel.

It also states that Canadian and US citizens can purchase this insurance. There is no requirement that your travel be purchased through them unless you are
a non US resident foreign national -- that is a citizen of another country that does not reside in the US.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 02:58 PM
  #11
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I called and asked the same question and they said that you could purchase a policy even if you did not book through STA. Thank you for the info...I think I'll call again just to make sure. Thanks
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Jul 5th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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mpkp,
I did mention the part where it says "All US and Canadian residents who are traveling in the US or internationally may purchase coverage for the duration of their Trip" to the Berkely Care rep and she still insisted that only those purchasing travel arrangements through STA are covered. I could've gotten a misinformed rep. Did you speak with STA or Berkely Care?
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Jul 5th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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Patty,
I called the Berkly Care number but it was transfered to STA. Could I have the number you called so that I can call tommorrow?
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Jul 5th, 2005, 03:20 PM
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Here's the number that I called -
1-(800) 387-2427. Let me know if you get the same response tomorrow.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 10:28 PM
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Hi Meg,
I purchased travel insurance through STA for our recent Botswana trip ( no claims thankfully) and did a lot of research before my purchase.
Check out this thread:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34533068
BTW, I did not book travel thru STA.
Unless Berkley Care has changed their policy rules, it was not a requirement that travel be booked by STA.
Brenda
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Jul 6th, 2005, 07:26 AM
  #16
nkh
 
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You may also want to consider (in addition to insurance) a membership to Flying Doctors Society of Africa - it is not expensive and offers "on the ground" immediate medical evacuation back to Nairobi and other services that may take more time to co-ordinate through insurance or involve upfront fees. For the peace of mind we did this in addition to all other insurance. We also liked that our unused contributions went directly towards funding medical evacuation/care for locals.

http://www.fdsake.org/

Is the website if you want more information.
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Jul 6th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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wallybrenda,
Thanks for providing a link to that thread. Very informative, especially the part about the exclusion of coverage for terrorism, financial default and pre-existing conditions if travel isn't purchased through STA. For some, those items may be very important considerations.
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Jul 6th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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So Very Confusing.
Patty, I called the number you gave me above. And asked a) could we have the policy even if we didn't book with STA. and b) are we still eligible for their buy early features (terrorism, finanical default, etc) The answer to both was YES.
In their policy it is pretty clear that you don't need book through STA. The Terrorism and Financial default is a little less clear and I questioned and re-questioned it to the Berkly Care lady- the policy says
Buy Early Feature
If You purchase the STA Travel Protection plan in full (for the duration of Your Trip) within 14 days of Your deposit or initial Trip payment to STA Travel, You will be eligible to receive Trip Cancellation/Interruption benefits should You cancel or interrupt Your Trip for the following additional covered reasons:
I think it is poor wording since the plan was designed for STA. However, she said that as long as we are US citizens that YES we can be covered and YES we can have the additional features.
If you speak with them again...please let me know if they give you a different answer!
Thanks
Meg

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Jul 6th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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WallyBrenda,
Did a rep from Berkly Care tell you that if you did not book with STA that the buy early features (terrorism, financial default) would not be covered? Or did you assume that from the wording of the policy?
Should I request this in writing from them since we have all gotten differnt answers?
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Jul 6th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Megtr:
If it puts your mind at ease a bit I got the same information as you did when I bought my insurance with STA. I specifically asked about the terrorism coverage.

Although we did not book our trip through STA, we bought our policy within a week of our deposit with Roy Safaris so we are supposed to be covered for Terrorism. They did make sure to note that an "act of war" is NOT covered, only a terrorist act--guess they get to decide which is which!

Hopefully, we won't have to use the insurance coverage so I probably won't ever find out how they define these!
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