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Travel Insurance for Paris Trip

Old Aug 21st, 2009, 06:08 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 25
Travel Insurance for Paris Trip

I have been researching travel insurance and the options boggle my mind. There are two people in my party, one aged 60 and one aged 49. I explored "insuremytrip.com" and other sites. Has anyone recently purchased a trip insurance plan or used one recently that you were happy with? I wanted to get coverage for trip cancelation/trip delay, emergency medical evacuation and possibly medical (although my healthcare carrier here in the USA, says I must use DRs and facilities in "Blue Cross Blue Shield Worldwide," and this may conflict with trip insurance carriers' plans that require you to use their doctors. I'd appreciate any advice!
EmilyLalley is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2009, 07:13 AM
  #2  
tod
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
Hi Emily - Although I am not familiar with the Insurance Companies you mention, I congratulate you on thinking sensibly and taking out some kind of travel insurance.
I luckily have never had to rely on my travel insurance (touch wood!) but we always travel with the maximum one can buy and it is always done through a Travel Agent or my bank.
This past May we took out insurance at the bank although the insurance is a seperate company altogether.
As South Africans we are not permitted entry into the Schengen states without health insurance and a stipulated minimum amount of money.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 07:23 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 25
We purchased a Travelex policy through squaremouth.com primarily for the cancel for any reason coverage, but it also has trip cancellation/interruption, medical evacuation and repatriation, medical and dental, plus lots of other coverages. At the time we also checked with insuremytrip. I think squaremouth was a little less expensive.
azgirl is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2009, 07:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
When comparing policies on InsureMyTrip, consider whether medical coverage is primary or secondary and if that is important to you.

If your travel insurance for health coverage is secondary, they pay only after your BCBS coverage (deductibles, copays, etc.), so you'd have to comply with your BCBS requirements anyway. You can search for doctors, hospitals, etc., on the BCBS Worldwide website. Not all travel insurance plans with primary medical coverage require specific providers.

Beware of "pre-existing condition" exclusions, which are defined differently for various policies, but often waived if travel policy is purchased within a specified time from date of your first travel booking/payment.

Never rely on the plan recap or overview. You have to carefully read the actual certificate/policy and pay attention to definitions, requirements, exclusions, documentation required to submit a claim, etc. Be sure you understand the difference between "delay" and "interruption" and what circumstances actually qualify for coverage. Beware of policies that exclude weather delays. Most can be cancelled for full refund if a review indicates not what you had in mind or not worth the premium.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 08:06 AM
  #5  
twk
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,275
First thing you need to determine is what, if any, coverage you need. If you don't have a lot of non-refundable costs, then trip cancellation insurance may not be worth purchasing. So, if you're staying at a hotel where you can cancel reservations without penalty, and flying an airline that you fly regularly, where the only cost of late cancellation would be a re-ticketing fee, trip cancellation insurance isn't worthwhile. On the other hand, if you've made large deposits for rental accomodations and/or are flying an airline that you may never fly again, it makes more sense.

The medical coverage gets complicated--more complicated than I think can be addressed in the abstract on this site. You'd need to compare the language of your existing plan with the language of any trip insurance plan that you purchase to see how coordination of benefits would work.

The one area that is probably pretty cut and dried in medical evacuation insurance. If you want to be evacuated back home in the event of a medical emergency, and not simply to the nearest appropriate medical facility, there are plans that you can purchase that will cover this, and will need to be purchased separately from the insurance that is typically bundled with trip cancellation insurance. Some provide year long medical evacuation coverage (not just for your trip) that is only slightly more expensive than limited coverage for your trip.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 08:49 AM
  #6  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,633
Hi EL,

Are wither of you in poor health? If not, what is the probability of needing additional insurance.
The evacuation insurance almost always says that they will take you to the nearest acceptable hospital. Good for Africa, maybe. If you want to be flown home, make sure that it says that in the fine print.

How much do you have invested in nonreturnable fees for this trip that you would want cancellation insurance?

We are in our 70's. We are self-insured. We are not rich.

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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 09:00 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,938
I don't understand why you are buying it, either, but BCBS has a pretty good global network, and has facilities in Paris, so that's better than most insurance on which you are on your own abroad. I don't think most travel insurance requires you to use any specific doctor, anyway, at least I've never heard of that (none I have bought ever have, and I used main big brands like Travelex). Travel insurance won't pay the doctors anyway, you do, and then they reimburse you later, usually.

If you want to buy it for the medical evacuation and trip cancellation, fine, but doesn't worry about the doctor issue as it will likely be secondary anyway to your BCBS and you'll have to go to their network doctors. Why don't you want to do that, anyway? What travel insurance plan have you seen that requires you to go to some doctor they name? Maybe there are some, I've just never heard of it.
Christina is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2009, 09:02 AM
  #8  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,478
We have used TravelGuard twice now. Did not need to file claims either time, but this June I almost did. I am early 40's and very fit, so the odds were in my favor of not needing the insurance. Yet, I managed to fall down a bunch of steps and ended up in a lot of pain and was barely able to walk for the rest of our trip. I cannot tell you how much it helped mentally to know that if it got worse, or if I just couldn't tolerate it anymore, that medical care was taken care of. In the end, I opted to wait til we got home for care. My point is that you never know when something will happen. Sort of like homeowners or auto insurance.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 09:02 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,164
I recently purchased evacuation insurance costing $250 per person and good for an entire year. They also sell short-term policies.

This plan will evacuate you to your choice of hospital anywhere in the world, NOT to the nearest acceptable hospital.

I did a bit of research and read many quite good reports:


http://www.medjetassist.com/plans/shortterm.aspx
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2009, 09:05 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,164
You might like to investigate purchasing a policy with MedJetAssist.

I recently bought one, good for an entire year, for $250. They will fly you to the hospital of your choice, NOT to the nearest facility; they also sell short-term policies.

http://www.medjetassist.com/
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2009, 12:09 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1
You want to buy the least expensive policy that will provide the type of protection that you need. Sounds easier than it is.

First look for a policy that will waive pre-existing medical conditions. That has a big effect on coverage. Not only medical but it also might affect the medical evacuation coverage, trip cancellation, and trip interruption.

Also understand the difference between secondary and primary coverage. Most, but not all, plans are secondary. Secondary means that if you have other coverage (BCBS or homeowners) than you first have to submit the claim to them before submitting it to the travel insurance company. Primary coverage means they don't care and you can submit the claim directly to the travel insurance company.

Keeping those two points in mind should help you narrow the field down.
johnwcook is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2009, 10:07 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 25
I thought an update might be helpful for those looking for travel insurance. I just purchased a policy through CSA Travel for $179 for two people. It had what I needed: coverage for trip cancelation, trip interruption, emergency medical evacuation and there was a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions (that last part is really hard to find if you don't book your policy within 14 days of the initial deposit for your trip. Since I made the first deposit in May, most policies were not willing to waive pre-existing except for CSA and maybe one other.
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and input. I hope we never have to use the insurance, but I feel a lot better having it.
EmilyLalley is offline  
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