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Do you get trip insurance when you buy from a tour company?

Do you get trip insurance when you buy from a tour company?

Nov 7th, 2002, 09:48 AM
  #1  
Sally
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Do you get trip insurance when you buy from a tour company?

We have always planned our own trips before, but we are thinking about getting the air/hotel package for a trip to Rome and Florence from Tourcrafters. Their price is so good that I don't think I can beat it on my own. $649 for 7 nights in 4* hotels including air and train.


Do you get insurance from the tour company or from a travel insurance company?
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:14 AM
  #2  
charles wilson
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The tour company will offer it to you at an added cost. You can also buy your own. You want to make sure what the coverage is and the restrictions. A good travel agent could help you choose the right insurance package. The rules and restrictions have changed a lot since Sep 11 on what is covered and the reasons they will pay for canceled trips. Be careful that what you buy will cover you as you think you will need to be. Good luck.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:17 AM
  #3  
Rex
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I personally wouldn't buy from either source, but the answer depends on what risks you are trying to insure yourself against.

some further thoughts, excerpted form a previous, recent post:

Author: Rex ([email protected])
Date: 10/30/2002, 09:40 am
Message: It depends on what you are seeking. Coverage for travelers over age 65 is a fairly different kettle of fish than for those under 65 with "regular" (private) health insurance.

Your own medical insurance may provide more benefits than you think.

And many companies provide "trip insurance" which can provide "medical evacuation" benefits. but beware that there are just a few, highly specific situations for which this actually provides the evacuation benefit.

Trip interruption insurance might provide a better likely "return" for the (rather outrageously) high premium you are going to be charged. More likely to be true if you are on a tour with a company (where re-joining "downstream" is important to you), than if you are traveling independently.

You might do well to start by talking in greater detail with the benefits specialist of the health insurance you currently have.

I have traveled to Europe 22 times, including roughly 60 other people, ages 11 to 72. With the exception of a group of fifth graders, none ever purchased any insurance (the company organizing the school trip required it, in the case of the kids), and I have never dealt with the need - - though I have encountered some mild-to-moderate illnesses on a few of those trips. Each resolved, basically by taking it easy for a day, or over-the-counter remedies.

I did have the experience of five people having their trip seriously interrupted because of needing to go home for a funeral. I don't know if any insurance benefits would have applied (though I think one did try through her homeowners insurance) - - they had to pay for one unplanned hotel stay at CDG (Paris), waiting for an available flight the next day. There were no added charges levied by Delta Airlines for their unscheduled return, based on gate agent action for their bereavement.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:21 AM
  #4  
ed
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Rex good advice. Of course I think most people are more concerned with something happening prior to departure so that they have to cancel trip. They hope to be able to get back their payments in that case. I agree it is rare that once the trip is undertaken for it to be interrupted but it does happen. Unless I had paid big bucks up front I would not worry about it too much.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:32 AM
  #5  
Ira
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Sally,
Are you sure about those prices. I looked at their website. The price you quote for the Rome/Florence tour seems to be per person/land only.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:45 AM
  #6  
norm
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I had an unfortunate experience using a trip insurance. I had to cancel a trip because of an illness. The insurance company kept asking for the same medical report over and over. The person I needed to call was never available. This went on and on for 8 months, until I had a lawyer write a letter to the insurance company. Then unexplicably I got a check for about $1400 when it should have been over $2200. All the phone messages asking why the check amount was less than the price paid were unanswered. Reading Conde Nast ombudsman article, it looks like I should be happy to get back any money at all. The insurance was from the tour company.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:51 AM
  #7  
Patrick
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I've never taken travel insurance. If I had taken it, with the amount of travel I do, I could now easily take an extra trip with the money I would have spent.
But friends of mine took a three week package tour and opted for the "full" travel insurance. On the last day of the trip one got very sick and entered the hospital. They had to remain behind for over two weeks while the one was hospitalized. All they could ever collect from the insurance was 1/20 of the original trip cost, because they claimed that's how much of the tour they lost. Needless to say the medical expenses and housing costs for the other one, plus the return home cost them a small fortune. READ THE FINE PRINT AND KNOW WHAT COVERAGE YOUR'RE GETTING!
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:52 AM
  #8  
hannah
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Buy insurance from a 3rd party like Travelguard. Don't buy insurance if you can cover the cost of emergency evacuation, hospital stay in Europe or illness before you travel. I personally could not afford to kiss off a couple of grand but many on this board think that is peanuts. I am not aware of any US health ins. co that covers one abroad.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 11:03 AM
  #9  
george
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I will always buy insurance. I had a car accident in Italy and broke my leg is 3 places. The hospital stay, doctors and first class ticket home were all paid promptly by the insurance company. No way I could afford the almost 12,000. in cost. If you are sure nothing will happen to you or your family, take Rex's advice, if you are rich, take Rex's advice. Otherwise shop around for a good policy and company and enjoy your trip.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 11:04 AM
  #10  
Mara
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A friend and I were taking a trip to Egypt/Israel in 2000 - when the problems got much worse there, she wanted to cancel. Luckily we had bought extra insurance directly from the travel co. (Gate 1) that enabled you to cancel up to 72 hours prior to leaving. We got every penny back except the $50 we each paid for the ins. Of course this trip was over $3000 each so it would have been a big loss if we had to cancel. Ordinarily I don't buy ins. as even with ticket penalties it not too expensive to change your flight compared with the cost of the policy.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 11:07 AM
  #11  
Gretchen
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I can't imagine why Patrick thinks his friends are entitled to more than 1/20th of the tour--they took the tour for 20 days. I also can't imagine why the medical portion of their insurance didn't cover their costs--unless there was no medical component. Know what you are getting when you buy insurance.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 11:17 AM
  #12  
Christina
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It has those prices for air plus land packages the way I read it--air from NY, Boston or Philadelphia. It's in the "last offers" section. A very good price, I agree. The dates are limited, of course, 11/16 until Dec 14 and then Jan 5-31 only. They've also got a package during that time for 5 nights in Venice for only $419 including air (from even more cities) and room. I suppose there might be some taxes to add on.

I wouldn't buy insurance for a package of that price myself, but I suppose it depends what it would cost and if you have any reason to believe you couldn't go for a reason it would cover. I never buy travel insurance because I don't prepay anything usually, but even my air ticket is more than that in summer, and I don't buy it.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 11:36 AM
  #13  
Christina
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oh, BTW I have a master's in statistics and am a consultant in the health insurance field, so I assess risk my own way, perhaps differently than others would. And even though someone above never heard of any insurer covering you abroad, many health insurance policies do cover their beneficiaries abroad. Some people want to pay a lot of money against the low probability of something happening. It isn't stricktly an issue of whether you can afford to pay these costs or that insurance pays them for you, but the facts are that the amount of money you would save over many years of not paying for travel insurance you didn't use would pay for any event that occurred, statistically. That's why these companies make money, believe me they aren't paying out more than they take in. Over the number of years you travel, you would be ahead not buying insurance. Also, I think you get some insurance on airline tickets from certain credit card companies, I know mine has that (if you buy the ticket with the card). I think there are differerent considerations for the elderly or those who prepay many expenses or someone who thinks they have a higher probability of serious illness.

People have to do what makes them comfortable, however. For example, I do pay for extra auto insurance when renting a car abroad even though my credit card should cover it because I am very averse to the hassles of that problem and it's not a major expenditure on my part because I don't rent cars a lot--I don't buy it in the US, however, because I am more familiar with the driving conditions and laws here and would be able to iron out problems better if they occurred.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 11:46 AM
  #14  
hannah
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Christina, statistically, how can I be sure that nothing will happen to my family at home, or me, when traveling abroad. I am 50, with some medical problems. My Mom is 75 and Dad 80. My husband has a heart condition. Would you suggest I buy insurance? Or take the chance and lose enough money that I may not be able to travel again for many years?
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 11:50 AM
  #15  
Patrick
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Gretchen, you misunderstood me. I don't think my friends were entitled to any more than that -- but they did. Obviously they had not studied the fine print and thought the insurance would cover all kinds of things. That's why I shouted the part about Reading the Fine Print.

Incidentally, I normally might buy travel insurance, but I have an inexpensive rider on my regular health insurance which pays all expenses -- zero deductible in case of accident. Sure enough I got to use it after a boating accident at Lake Tahoe. It not only paid all the medical expenses and the hospital bill, but they sent me an additional check for "disability" as if I were unable to work for those days while I was actually on vacation anyway. If I wasn't covered for accidents anyway, or if my own health insurance wouldn't cover me outside the country (which it does), then I'd probably opt for the travel insurance.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 12:03 PM
  #16  
jpm
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On a recent trip to China another couple in our group had to leave the trip after 10 days due to one of them contracting a severe allergic reaction. They had travelguard insurance which covered their trip interuption, early flights home, etc. The $400 spent on Insurance covered nearly $10,000 in expenses (mainly for the flight home).

But then again, I've travelled many times without insurance. It is simply a gamble, go with what you're comfortable with.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 12:59 PM
  #17  
Sally
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Thanks a lot for all the helpful advice! The only insurance that I am concerned about is the " if something happens and we have to cancel our trip" kind, so I guess I need to read the insurance info carefully. We have good medical coverage that covers us internationally, but I have a 90 year old mother in somewhat fragile health, and of course, there is always the prospect of war with Iraq, terrorist warnings, and and a nervous husband - I realize that I can't insure for all that. Normally I don't bother with extra insurance, but I have never bought tickets from a tour group before.

The price for the 7 night trip with Tourcrafters is a total of $814 per person including $649 plus $50 for cost of leaving from Atlanta, plus $115 airport taxes, and you stay in 4* hotels! Since they did not have the dates we requested, Dec 6- 14, they will let us go Dec 9-17 for the same price.
This is the first tour that I haven't been able to figure out how to do it cheaper myself.

 
Nov 7th, 2002, 01:30 PM
  #18  
Rex
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I didn't comment on the value/price of the trip before - - I had an initial skepticism, but all in all, it does seem like it will be hard to match, let alone beat these prices on your own.

The only hidden gotcha's I see might be missing out on FF miles (I couldn't tell who is the air carrier for this trip - - but they do use a charter company for at least some other trips).

Depending on whose math you believe in, that could be around $180 per person that you will forego - - but of course that is in future travel value - - and you have to spend money to actually reap that benefit.

The Genio in Rome gets favorable mention here - - and the Caluso in Florence gave me some pause ("at the edge of the historic center, near the modern ring road") - - until I actually looked at its location on a map - - and it really is not bad. Maybe six "blocks" from the Duomo. At the rates shown on www.venere.com, you would have spent 330 euros per person for the three nights there (i.e., 220 per double room per night). It just goes to show that these companies really can cut some good deals - - chances are, they are only paying the hotel 60-80 euro for what goes 220 at "full retail".

I trust you saw that you have to pay your own way to and from airports and train stations - - but you would have to do that on your own too.

All in all, I think it's a pretty good deal. It would have taken major good luck to get prices this good on your own.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 01:51 PM
  #19  
Sally
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Thanks for checking out the tour package information. It does seem like a good deal to me. I have it on hold for a couple of days. Now, if I can just convince my husband. He is not sure that he wants to go to Italy in cold weather.
We have always gone in fall or spring before.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 03:23 PM
  #20  
Connie
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I have used travelex for my last 4 trips and I highly recommend it. This summer, my son ended up in the hospital in france and they paid the bill. Another trip to turkey my son and I got horrible food poison and had to leave the tour and return to greece and they again paid. They are a great company.
 

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