Is getting travel insurance a good idea?


Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:18 AM
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Is getting travel insurance a good idea?

I have been to Europe 4 times and I have never purchased travel insurance. I am considering it now.

I have gotten a quote of $351.00 for 2 people with Travel Guard Insurance.
(thank you Ira for the recommendation)

I dont mind paying the money if it is neccesary.

Your thoughts?
JandaO is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:32 AM
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There's no way to tell if it's necessary--it's only necessary if something happens and you need to make a claim, but there's no way to predict that. Travel insurance, like all other insurance, is about risk tolerance. Look at what it covers, what your potential losses are, and whether you are willing to take that chance. For example, if you paid $1000 for nonrefundable tickets and have to cancel the trip, some people would rather take the chance of losing the $1000 and not pay for insurance, while others would not be able to afford a loss of $1000 and would want to buy the insurance to protect themsleves.

You have to add up all of your non-refundable costs in the event you have to cancel last minute (airline tickets, potential hotel deposits, etc.), see how much that comes to and decide if you can afford to lose that or want to buy insurance to protect yourself. If your non-refundable costs are, for example, $750 and the insurance costs $351, you have potentially saved $400 by spending an extra $351. If you bought expensive non-refundable plane tickets, and spent $3,000, it may be worth it to pay $351 to protect against that kind of loss.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:45 AM
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Always get full medical insurance especially if you are leaning towards the aches & pains stage! (like me).
I also insure everything else for peace of mind - holidays are expensive and I want to relax and enjoy mine.
tod is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:13 AM
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Read the exclusions carefully as some policies don't necessarily cover some pre-existing medical conditions immediately.

Know what is and is not covered and the circumstances to include what constitutes a "valid" reason for cancellations, etc.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:30 AM
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Yopu'll need to elaborate why you think it might be "necessary" for this trip, when it wasn't for other previous trips...

... need to protect yourself from the unanticipated costs of...

1. trip cancellation or delays?

2. illness or injury? (are you on Medicare? or have inadequate insurance for similar expenses at home?)

3. the need for medical evacuation? (a very rare occurrence - - there are very few conditions that can't be treated in Europe)

What destination(s) will you be visiting this trip?

I have been abroad 25 trips and have never seriously contemplated (throwing money away on) travel (trip cancellation) insurance or medical evacuation insurance. Until I am over 65 years old, I can't foresee wanting to change that.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:35 AM
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I was certainly glad that I bought travel insurance for my last trip when my 41 year old travelling companion suffered a broken leg 23 days before departure. Travel Guard paid off all our non-refundable expenses and now we're going to use that money for a longer trip next summer. I'm definitely a believer in trip cancellation insurance.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:51 AM
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As others have stated, it depends on how much you are paying for your trip vs how much tolerance you have for loss.
If you have a trip of a lifetime with thousands $$ paid (or any other trip with lots $$ upfront and non-refundable), it may make sense to spend a few hundred for the insurance.

If you are thinking of trip delay or baggage loss in response to recent events, the amount you get reimbursed vs the cost may not really be worthwhile. Often times if there is a mass disruption, the airlines will step in to help.
Read the exclusionary clauses carefully. Some policies specifically EXCLUDE acts of terrorism and bankrupt agencies/airlines.
Pre-exisitng conditions can be waived if you buy TI within a certain time period after initial trip deposit. Again, read the fine print.

I almost always get annual medical insurance because I tend to do adventure travel with a real risk of injury. My regular health insurance has a high deductible so the TI covers this and covers any evacuation that may be needed.

Also my parents are getting older and health declining. So I get TI in case I have to cancel for THEIR health needs.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Absolutely! Even a minor injury can cause havoc with your plans if it involves impaired mobility.
Underhill is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:04 AM
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I never used to buy it because I had to travel on a tight budget. However, now that my father is 90 years old, I never know when I might have to cancel at the last minute, so have been buying the insurance the last couple of years.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Hi Janda,

We didn't buy travel insurance until we got up into our late 60's.

We are mainly interested in evacuation insurance.

You might want to look at

We found a plan for as low as $141.
ira is online now  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:47 AM
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I just bought last-minute insurance for my trip in about 10 days. No trip cancellation, just need baggage/misconnection, etc ($200-$1,500) plus medical ($25K) and evacuation ($300K).

The cost for the 7 day trip through $24. Twenty-four bucks! With flight delays and lost baggage so common these days, I can rest a lot easier by just paying under $4 a day.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:58 AM
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We have used travel insurance twice now, within a year apart. It never used to be, but lately my motto is "expect the unexpected"!

We used Travelex through on both occasions, and promptly received refunds! This last time, it cost us $130, but we got $1260.00, back, and the time before, $70, received $1450 back. Well worth it for us!!!
Jayneann is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Speaking from a standpoint of someone who works in the industry, insurance, for the most part, isn't worth getting. That's one way insurance companies make money (you pay in, insurance companies only pay out if you make a claim. They bank on you paying more than the total of all your claims).

However, on that odd occasion in 7 years that you do have an accident, the bills can be fairly hefty and you may face potential financial ruin.

It's all about risk.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 01:24 PM
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to answer a few questions...

I will be spend 4-5K for my trip. I am 51. I do not have any major health issues. My sister has severe arthritis. She is mobile only because of her medication Arava. We will not be checking luggage..We will be going to Italy and Holland.

My sister is going to Europe with me for the first time and she is concerned that with all the problems with flight cancelations and terrorism she thought I should ask you guys if it is needed.

This will be my 5th trip to Europe. I never felt the need before.

JandaO is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 01:37 PM
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With regard to cancellation insurance, how much you are spending, per se, is not the issue. The issue is how much is non-refundable if you have to cancel the trip for a covered reason (and mere worry about terrorist attacks is not one of those reasons).

If you are buying non-refundable airline tickets, and aren't a frequent flier on that airline, that is a big consideration. Often times, you can exchange the tickets for a fee, but you have to be able to exchange them for a ticket that you want, and that isn't always easy.

With regard to lodging, are you paying landlords in advance, purchasing pre-paid rooms through Priceline, or some other non-refundable method? If not, and you are instead merely booking conventional hotel rooms with a credit card guarnatee and 24 hour cancellation policy, then that doesn't point in favor of trip cancellation insurance.

The bottom line is: how much money will you have paid BEFORE you leave, and for which refunds will either be difficult or impossible? If it's not a large amount, then cancellation insurance is probably not for you.
twk is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 01:40 PM
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I bought trip cancellation insurance, and was able to use it when my mother was unexpectedly hospitalized during a time in which I'd planned to go away. The policy covered the eventuality of the hospitalization of a family member, even if that person was not scheduled to accompany you on the trip. By doing so, I saved a lot of $$$, was able to take the trip about a month later when my mom was doing better and in a nursing home, and am darned glad I spent the cash to buy it!

bookchick is online now  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 01:54 PM
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Don't leave home without it
almcd is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 02:40 PM
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I posted this yesterday with no acknowledgments and repeat it here.

Page D1 of the WSJ of August 22 has an excellent article on travel insurance with the title "The Exclusions and Illusions of Travel Insurance".

They give two websites, and, for comparing policies.
jsmith is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 02:51 PM
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Sometimes WSJ articles are available on the web to non-subscribers. You can try this. Good luck.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Alas, it doesn't work: one must subscribe.
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