trip cancellation insurance

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Mar 2nd, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #1
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trip cancellation insurance

My husband and I are planning a trip to Botswana in November and are planning to get medical evacuation insurance, but is trip cancellation insurance really necessary? The cost of the insurance skyrockets once you add cancellation. The one policy we looked at went from $78 to more than $500 when you added in cancellation insurance.
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:41 AM
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Its only necessary if you believe there is a reasonable chance that you will cancel for one of the permitted reasons enumerated in the policy.

If you're elderly and have medical issues, then the insurance is more worthwhile than if your younger and less likely to suffer an illness that prevents your vacation.

I've never purchased it, and I think its a waste, but I'm 40 and have never canceled a vacation for medical reasons (I have canceled because of work-related reasons, but in those few instances, my law firm reimbursed me, and ultimately charged the client, with their permission).
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 08:38 AM
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Trip insurance covers you while you are flying to Africa, if your bags don't make it, if you get food related illnesses too. They cover many situations where because of an injury or delay your trip cannot be completed. One person, from this board, recently who went to South Africa had abdominal pains and discovered she had a very serious illness and had to return home. She was flown first class and the insurance company made all of the arrangements. When I first went on my first safari years ago, the company who booked the trip required that everyone purchase insurance as the camps and places in Africa don't cover those things. Its a personal decision but once you need it, you'll never be without it regardless of your age. Liz
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 09:56 AM
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The OP indicated that they are getting medical evacuation insurance.
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:34 AM
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We rarely purchase trip cancellation insurance, opting instead to self insure. The money we've saved over the years is enough to cover what we would lose in prepaid costs if we ever had to cancel at the last minute (which hasn't happened so far). Do you anticipate needing to cancel for a covered reason? If you think so, then it may be worthwhile. Also consider what your total prepaid costs are and the cancellation policies of each to determine what you would lose in case you did need to cancel last minute. Keep in mind that most air carriers will allow you to make changes for a small fee, so you could postpone or use it for another trip without losing the entire value of your air tickets. This is for tickets purchased directly from the airline. There might be exceptions when it comes to consolidator tickets or tickets purchased through tour operators.
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:50 AM
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Which would bother you more - you have to cancel and lose some money or you pay a lot of money for insurance that you never use. Pick one, and your decision is made. Have a good trip.
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 11:25 AM
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As Liz pointed out, the policies also offer insurance for delays and baggage. Last year I had weather delays of 24 hours - which might have caused me to miss part of the safari if I hadn't had a day in Jo'burg. I met other people who were impacted by the same delay and weren't able to get into Zimbabwe until 4 days later. Where I feel that I don't need trip cancellation insurance, I just can't predict trip interruption and baggage.

In terms of costing and comparing, you might check insuremytrip.com. I haven't used it yet, but it seems to offer a variety of policies and allows you to compare costs and coverage.
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Wow, that sure sounds steep. I went to insuremytrip. com and for medical, dental, life, cancellation, delay of trip and other various coverages is not even close to the second price you quote. On this website they list multiple carriers and what they cover based on your trip price and your ages. I went to a few other sites and the quotes were the same. Good luck.
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 01:18 PM
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As someone else has said on other posts, it all comes down to whether you can afford to lose the money invested in a trip. We used it quite a few times - to cancel a trip because of a family death, an open heart surgery for my husband, a helicopter ride off an island in Fiji because of a cyclone and the theft of all our money and passports which required a stay over in Turkey. Granted, the last two probably didn't come to the cost of the insurance but that is just an indication of you never know what might happen. I am happy to pay the cost of insurance for the peace of mind it brings me.
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Mar 2nd, 2005, 01:27 PM
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sandi
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I no longer travel without trip insurance, whether to Africa, Europe, Asia or elsewhere. It has nothing to do with whether I will cancel... probably not, whether my flight will be delayed or baggage losts... all are possible (hasn't happened yet), or even whether I will need medical care of evacuation... not to date. An immediate relative can die or take ill, there can be a delay or accident just getting to the airport, a slip or fall can cause a broken arm or leg before departing or at your destination. Any of these can occur, regargless whether you're young or old, with or without pre-existing medical conditions, and on and on. Though airlines will probably allow you to rebook, for a fee, what do you do about your outlay of prepaid expenses. Your African safari will have to be paid for at minimum 60-days before departure, and by 15-days prior arrival, there are no refunds. When you're spending in the range of $5,000 - $10,000 per person, go with the insurance. It provides peace of mind, and you'll probably never need it. As Liz mentioned above, it's when you don't have it and "anything" happens prior to or during your trip, you'll wonder where to get the funds to pay for First Class tickets because there's a cast on your leg and "it" needs the extra space.
 
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 07:48 AM
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Your stories help confirm for myself why I do purchase the insurance for expensive trips, like Africa. Thanks.
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Check out the travel insurance through STA Travel. It was only around $100 and it had sufficient coverage. I think when we went to Botswana in 2003, trip insurance was required.
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:36 PM
  #13
africa_lover
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I don't know a lot about insurances, but it seems Mastercard covers cancellation costs of a trip up to 8000 dollar , even if you haven't paid your trip with MC.
Maybe it is worth checking that out too.
 
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Mar 4th, 2005, 01:22 AM
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The key things for me from trip insurance are medical cover (most important) plus trip cancellation.

If anyone falls ill or is in an accident whilst travelling the last thing they want to worry about it whether they are going to have to sell their house to pay for potentially hefty hospital bills, extra hotel costs for their partner, new flight costs and so on.

And if I'm paying several thousand pounds per person for a trip that may have to be called off for events outside my control I definitely don't want to lose that money if those events are too close to the departure date to get a refund.

My dad had an accident on a golf course in 2003 only weeks before he was due to travel to Zambia. He suffered fractures in the bone that the eyebrow sits on (my brain's gone blank) and quite an injury to the eye itself and definitely couldn't travel. He did have trip insurance!

For me it's not as much about lost luggage (I'd be furious and upset but I could afford to cover the replacements if I didn't have trip insurance). It's about the more serious stuff...
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Mar 4th, 2005, 10:05 AM
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The STA Travel website has information about travel insurance. It says that any US citizen can buy it from them and it is very reasonable and competitive. i called the 800 number in Arizona and asked if you had to purchase air from them t get the insurance and rep said that if you did not you couldn't get pre-existing conditions waived even if you bought the insurance within the allotted time frame. He directed me to the administrator of the program at BerkeleyCare and they assured me you could get the ful coverage even if you did not buy any other product from STA Travel. Now I am very confused and don't really know who to rely on as to the correct information. The package is very good especially considering the cost. Any ideas from anyone would be appreciated.
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Mar 4th, 2005, 12:36 PM
  #16
 
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Go to www.insuremytrip.com. They carry all of the major brands and compare them. You can see all the things offered and the prices. We use Travelguard and are very happy with them. The policy I bought for this trip to Tanzania cost $880.00. If you remember I fell in Botswana last April crossing a muddy patch on a mokoro ride. Trust me, I bought the FULL insurance this trip after getting one of the cheaper policies last time. Yes it is expensive, but with what we bought this time, Travelguard pays first and completely. Do you know what back surgery costs? If so, you'd do the same. You get what you pay for as with most things. Liz
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Mar 5th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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We get the insurance mainly for trip cancellation beyond our means, and medical evacuation, which is very costly. Last year I paid $90 for $1500 coverage in Vietnam, this year $80 for the same in Egypt. Try travelinsurance.com, or Travelex. Good luch & have fun!
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Mar 5th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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Would be nice but appears neither of these are offered to U.S. citizens.
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Mar 6th, 2005, 03:52 AM
  #19
sandi
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Louise - Travelex is certainly available to US Citizens. Check out their products on the www.insuremytrip.com site. You will also find Access America, CSA, Travel Guard, Travel Insured for Comprehensive policies - interruption, cancel, baggage delay/lost, medical, dental, evaulation, etc.

For only Medical or Evacuation or these two only, there are different companies offering such policies - believe all available to US Citizens.
 
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Mar 6th, 2005, 06:14 AM
  #20
 
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Sandi - I was just referring to the $90 paid for trip cancellation and evacuation but I see now it was only for $1,500 coverage for cancellation - I usually insure for whole trip value. I have used insuremytrip for years and often recommended them - sorry for mistake.
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