Traveler's Insurance

Old Feb 15th, 2000, 03:36 PM
  #1  
Jane
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Traveler's Insurance

I'm still frantically planning my trip to Italy. I've been asked by my travel agent if I wanted to purchase traveler's insurance.

I need help here - is this additonal insurance necessary? What do most people do?
 
Old Feb 15th, 2000, 05:53 PM
  #2  
s.fowler
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It's good if you have a lot of prepaids. It *is* a profit center [one of the dwindling few] for the travel agent. We've started getting it as we get older, not so much for the trip coverage, but for the medical evacuation insurance.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2000, 09:18 PM
  #3  
puzzled
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A related question from a puzzled Aussie . . does American private health insurance typically include medical coverage when travelling overseas?? It seems that few Americans take travel insurance, but I would never dream of going OS without it.
 
Old Feb 16th, 2000, 08:32 AM
  #4  
lisa peretz
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Jane, I'm in the same boat. However, someone had this to say to me. What if (god-forbid) you or someone you're with breaks a leg the second day you arrive or if someone back home suddenly gets very ill or dies? Of course we never expect these things to actually happen to us, but "what if"? That's what insurance is for. Don't waste your time worrying about the insurance. Get it and forget it.

Also, ask your travel agent how he/she is holding/guaranteeing the hotels. If its by credit card, then I think (check for sure) you have some leverage as far as cancelling. But, on the other hand, you may get cheaper hotel rates if you don't guarantee/pay by credit card.
 
Old Feb 16th, 2000, 08:56 AM
  #5  
pc
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Definitely consider the traveler's insurance. Emergencies happen when you least expect them to, and you don't want to be stuck overseas with a problem! Most US insurance companies do not cover you overseas - I know for sure that mine does not--sometimes they cover small things, but the most important thing that they don't cover is emergency evacuation -- you could be injured or ill and require transport to a larger city, or back to the US, and traveler's insurance will cover this. The extra $200 or so is well worth it! Best thing to do is find out what your personal insurance covers, and go from there.

An example of an unexpected happening -- my aunt and uncle were on a cruise in Tahiti, and my aunt suffered a brain aneuyrism on the ship! She was transported to an island hospital from the ship, where immediate, emergency brain surgery was performed. They had to remain on the island for a month - THEY DID NOT HAVE TRAVELERS INSURANCE!!. The hospital confiscated my uncle's credit cards and after much trauma and stress, my aunt was transported back to the US with a US doctor who was paid to make the trip with her. It ended up costing them a fortune. She is, by the way, alive and well and happy - Drs called it a "miracle!"

Get the insurance and don't give it a second thought!
 
Old Feb 16th, 2000, 09:09 AM
  #6  
Paulo
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Don't know how things work with credit cards in the US. My VISA card issued here in Brazil gives a very good health/accident/legal advice/lost luggage/etc coverage if I pay the airfare with it. To have my daughters covered I had cards issued also in their names. Depending on the countries we travel to, we may or not buy a secondary insurance for excess coverage.
Paulo

 
Old Feb 16th, 2000, 10:14 AM
  #7  
Beth
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puzzled,
many, but not all, US private health care insurance plans cover overseas medical costs in an emergency. I believe Medicare (which is what most retired Americans have) does not, so older Americans almost always need to by travel insurance.
 
Old Feb 16th, 2000, 11:09 AM
  #8  
pc
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Beth - they don't all cover overseas. I called my insurance company and spoke with them at length about what would be covered. The representative I spoke with did not even know what "emergency evacuation" was! They cover certain routine things, maybe an office visit or something, but if you have a major catastrophe over there, you will come out of pocket for a lot of things, espeically medical evacuation. It all depends on the insurance company and the type of plan you're on as well. I would think it actually ends up being easier to spend a few bucks on extra insurance, than to battle it out with the insurance company once you return from a disastrous trip! Now, that's only my opinion, and I know many people do not agree and do not purchase traveler's insurance!

 
Old Feb 16th, 2000, 12:58 PM
  #9  
Beth
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Hi PC,
yes I agree with you, and that was what my message was meant to convey, when I said many but not all. I guess I should have also said the amount of coverage varies. Personally, I've never had to fight it out with my insurance company, and I hope I never do! Its really important that one check and figure out it exactly what you have before deciding whether additional is required.

I suspect the reason so many don't buy travel insurance is because they don't even think about it, not because they are aware of what is covered by their own insurance, and what might happen in a disaster.
 
Old Feb 20th, 2000, 10:44 AM
  #10  
kavey
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Hi

I am in the UK and I never go anywhere without travel insurance.

I used to pay about 100 (UK) a year for annual cover (not for continous traval, it civered as many trips as I liked but none longer than 30 days - this was to make sure backpackers paid fort he more extensive and different insurance designed for that type of travel). Now it comes free with my current account as it is a Gold Account...

It isnt just medical but what about paying for clothes when your suitcase goes astray? If the case is permanently lost then the airline will pay but if it is eventually returned to you they wont.

Also for any lost belongings, accidents, having to cancel the holiday becuase of bereavment in the family etc?

These are minor compared with the costs of you having a medical emergency on holiday.

Usually for one trip insurance doesnt cost much, I would get it.

PS I just spent a week abroad for business in one of my companies resorts in the Canaries. One of our customers collapsed during a cabaret - he had a stroke, we got him to hospital and they decided to helicopter him to the hospital on Gran Canaria which had better intensive care facilites, his insurance company paid the lot including the bill for his wife to fly out there with him. Can you imagine if they ahdnt, she would be stuck on a different island while her husband was critically ill.

Most of the time you wont ever claim (cross fingers) but when you need to you will be grateful


PS how many of you would drive without car insurance?
 
Old Feb 20th, 2000, 01:17 PM
  #11  
stan
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To Jane"s responders:
I have wondered how reliable insurance companies are when it comes time to pay compensation? Especially since they do not have a local office, etc. What experience has anyone had with getting paid? Did they hassle you, etc.?
After all insurance is only as good as the company. Which are reliable and not reliable?
stan
 

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