Trip insurance that covers operator default

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Jul 8th, 2012, 02:22 PM
  #21
 
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I think on sandi's recommendation, we bought the 1-year family policy from MedJet before we went to SE Asia last year. I' m pretty sure we'll just keep renewing annually - their coverage is exceent, and the price comparable to others. My BIL and SIL had TravelGuard a few years ago when my BIL had to be evacuated from the Amazon and eventually flown to LA first ass (because he had to be flat on his back ( is that prone or suppine?) the whole way). TG paid the entire bill.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 02:30 PM
  #22
 
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sf7307 - not sure about the prone or suppine, but I chuckled at the fact that your BIL had to be flow to LA first 'ass'
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Jul 8th, 2012, 07:20 PM
  #23
 
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Leslie this is a great conversation & probably has made a few people think. I would be shocked if Churchill went under they are an established company & it would take a big event to make them close.
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Jul 9th, 2012, 05:36 AM
  #24
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Hey Jules, thanks for the reassurance. I keep going back & forth about this. I HATE to throw away money on a tiny possibility of them going under.

It seems from the response here most people don't ever consider that when booking - and since a lot of in-country operators don't accept c/c's anyway that's not an option. My take is that trip insurance would not cover that kind of situation. Still don't know what I'm gonna do. Maybe just have faith in things going well!
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Jul 9th, 2012, 06:31 AM
  #25
 
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Sandi
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Jul 9th, 2012, 08:06 AM
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sf7307 - yup!
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Jul 20th, 2012, 06:35 AM
  #27
 
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The travel insurance benefit you’re referring to is called “financial default,” which is the complete suspension of operations due to financial circumstances.

There are a few things that are important to note about this coverage.

First, some policies require an operator to have filed bankruptcy in order to claim the benefit. Others do not require bankruptcy, as long as all operations have ceased. Be aware that many policies have a limit on the time between making the initial trip deposit and purchasing the coverage. Many policies also require that a minimum amount of time passes between purchasing the coverage and the financial default of an operator. Finally, review a policy's definition of “common carrier,” “travel provider,” or “tour provider,” as there may be differences in coverage based on this.

Now, to answer your question: In the event that you need to make a travel insurance claim under the financial default benefit, you would need to obtain some sort of statement or record which gave evidence of financial default. If you were able to book travel with a business prior to leaving home, chances are that they were legitimate and there should be a record of their financial default. Remember to keep receipts for all prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses because if you file a claim, you will be required to provide proof of payment.

All of the information you need regarding coverage stipulations and definitions can be found in your policy’s certificate.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 10:00 AM
  #28
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squaremouth - i think that would be the problem: "you would need to obtain some sort of statement or record which gave evidence of financial default" if booking with a foreign company. So, that pretty much means trip insurance would not cover default in that scenario.

I'm feeling more & more like Tom, life is simpler without insurance!
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Jul 20th, 2012, 06:10 PM
  #29
 
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Trip insurance is essentially useless IMHO. It does not cover operator default and has been explained above, insurance companies require proof of actual bankruptcy filing, something virtually impossible to get for a local operator in Africa. Your best bet is to charge everything to a credit card as the Banks are actually quite good in covering you in case of fraud.
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Jul 21st, 2012, 06:30 AM
  #30
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Yes, but then you run into credit card issues -- do operators take them or not? Mine took only visa not mastercard. I ended up paying by paypal using my mastercard as the fund source in the hopes that it provided some protection vs. just doing a wire transfer. It will show up on my c/c as a charge by the safari company, not paypal and the c/c should treat that the same as a direct payment with the card. Fingers crossed this is all just for the sake of slight peace of mind and not really tested. Not sure how it would actually play out if default occurred.
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Jul 21st, 2012, 11:08 AM
  #31
 
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When picking an operator, just strike off anyone who will not take a credit card. I refuse to wire money anymore given a bad experience a friend had last summer with an Operator in Kenya. Even the smallest local TO can find a way to accept a credit card, often through other larger merchants- of course the client has to pay the credit card swipe fees which vary by location. As long as the legal name of your TO is on the credit card receipt you will have a good chance of getting your money back if the TO defaults.
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Jul 21st, 2012, 12:11 PM
  #32
 
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I'm thinking operators don't like CC because they have to pay a fee. Three percent?? Offer the operator who doesn't want CC an additional 2-3% and they might not have any more problems. I know we think using a CC is "free", same as cash. But any business that accepts CC adds a fee to the cost of their merchandise whether you pay by CC or cash.

regards - tom
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Jul 21st, 2012, 02:20 PM
  #33
 
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I paid Lady Egypt by credit card, and was told in advance I'd have to pay the fee on top of the cost of the trip. I decided it was worth it to me.
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Jul 22nd, 2012, 09:33 AM
  #34
 
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cary999 - it's not only a service fee for use of plastic that an in-country tour operator considers, but also their country's banking rules/regulations. And, for those who will accept upon a client pushing them, often require a copy of the credit card - front & back. Does a client really want that info floating around for anyone to see?
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