Travel Insurance or not

Old Jul 13th, 2014, 06:10 PM
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Travel Insurance or not

Planning a trip 2015 and am considering travel insurance. Only few I am considering travel insurance: 1. it's a year away, anything could happen. 2. I have a 90 year old mother. 3. illness requiring medical care while in a foreign country. (I am a 65 - Medicare does not cover outside USA unless traveling to Mexico or Canada.

I'm not concerned about delayed luggage as I carry 2 changes of clothes with me and travel in good walking shoes and of course have all meds with me.

Yes, I realize it is 'insurance' - which means I may or may not use it.

So give me your thoughts on purchasing....by the way I'm getting quotes of $300

Thank you for your information.
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Old Jul 13th, 2014, 07:19 PM
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If you can afford the $300 for coverage you most want, then why not? I'm older than you are, tend to go on long trips and choose to do without it. I know the risks and can cope with that aspect. Having been self-employed most of my life, I've been "self-insured" and don't feel uneasy about that fact. But for those used to having insurance, if not having it makes them feel uneasy, that's as good a reason as any to buy it.

Buying any kind of insurance is a very personal decision and how you feel about it should dictate that decision. You'll get arguments on both sides and there is no definitive right or wrong on the subject. I don't even suggest you do as I do, knowing what I do isn't for everyone.
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Old Jul 13th, 2014, 07:45 PM
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You can compare options at insuremytrip.com or squaremouth.com
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Old Jul 13th, 2014, 10:04 PM
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I would not travel without medical insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. (I have needed both.)

I do not, generally, bother with cancellation insurance, but I do not have an elderly relative whose illness would cause me to cancel.

Note that if you want pre-existing conditions covered you usually have to buy the insurance within 14 days of the first payment for the trip.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 06:08 AM
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I agree with getting medical and medical evacuation insurance. I too am on Medicare so have no medical insurance outside the US unless I buy it.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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If it's primarily the medical coverage that's prompting your question, consider where it is you'll be on your trip and the cost of medical services there. The only 2 places in many years of travels I've sought medical help were India and Thailand and both countries have very inexpensive services. Other places, Europe for instance, would be a different story. However, some places you may be able to get help free in an emergency. It might pay to do your homework in that regard.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 09:30 AM
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You should definitely get insurance if planning so far ahead. With an older parent, cancellation insurance is a good idea as well, but medical coverage is a necessity. There are medical-only plans, and the advice that you should purchase insurance immediately upon making your deposit is a sound one. Most cancellation and pre-existing condition coverage requires it. I generally don't buy from the tour operator because such insurance normally doesn't allow refunds, just transferring your costs onto another trip (usually with a rather strict time limit that you may not be able to make).
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 10:49 AM
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I disagree with Doug's statement that "...medical coverage is a necessity" for everyone. There are certainly reasons that it would be a necessity in certain circumstances or on an individual basis, but there very few things that are a necessity for everyone and this is not one of them.

In your case, having an elderly parent is a good reason for trip cancellation coverage but a number of factors will dictate your need for medical, your feelings about it, among others.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Accidents can happen to anyone. Break a hip and you're going to really wish you had medical insurance. I broke a wrist in Switzerland, and I (or, happily, my medical insurance) certainly had to pay for the surgery and hospital stay.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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"Accidents can happen to anyone."

I agree, a perfectly legitimate statement. The individual's capacity for taking the gamble is what makes insurance a necessity or not. There is no single answer for all, only choices made according to one's need for psychic comfort. I only disagree that the need for everyone to buy insurance is absolute.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 12:01 PM
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Perhaps it's because I'm now of a certain age, but I can't imagine traveling outside the US without proper coverage for medical and for medical evacuation; my own insurance simply doesn't cover me for anything out of network (as in zero). If you have a platinum-plated policy that covers you under any and all circumstances, then perhaps that's not so important. But I'm going to stick to my initial statement. I consider medical and medical evacuation insurance a necessary cost of travel and always budget for it, just as I have to budget for a dog-sitter. Cancellation coverage is really up to the person, but if I am spending thousands for a trip, I'll always pony up an additional $80 for insurance.

However, it's a much more important decision when one depends on Medicare primarily for one's healthcare coverage (unless you have a secondary policy that covers you outside the US, and few do ... I'm not sure secondary policies even offer such coverage). You're simply foolish not to have coverage if you travel. You don't want to bankrupt yourself just because you have a simple accident.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Food, air, water, sleep, shelter are necessities. Insurance may be a good idea, but it isn't a necessity. I will concede that travel insurance may very well be necessary for many travelers' sense of well-being. But a choice, nonetheless.

If I had to choose between travel with no insurance and no travel, I'd choose no insurance, indeed do. Seeing the world seems to be a necessity to my sense of well-being, insurance is not. The opposite is, I have no doubt, true for others. Doug may be one of those and may be younger than I. Age is relative too.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 12:52 PM
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"(unless you have a secondary policy that covers you outside the US, and few do ... I'm not sure secondary policies even offer such coverage)"

Some Medigap policies (six of the ten types available) include minimal travel coverage. Max of two months per trip, lifetime max of $50,000, 20% copay.

Whether you can afford travel with no medical insurance depends on your financial resources. The 1% should have no worries, much of the 99% could be in serious trouble without it. Note that medical evacuation and repatriation insurance may be more necessary than medical insurance, as the costs of getting home with an injury can be very high.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 01:16 PM
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"...more necessary..."

It seems to me that a thing is either necessary or it isn't. In any case, I agree with your general premise. Buying evacuation & repatriation insurance is preparing for a worst-case scenario. Like having a very large deductible because it's cheaper, with the hope that the odds are in our favor that worst-case never happens.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 05:46 PM
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@MmePerdu you make very rational arguments, but I'm not comfortable with that much risk. But I get where you are coming from even if I don't agree with you. May the odds be forever in your favor.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 06:13 PM
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Indeed, Doug, thanks.

Our life experiences usually dictate our take on issues. In my case, rarely having had health insurance in my life, I've always felt my health was my own responsibility and have taken that job seriously. Not fanatically so, but practically. I am fortunately healthy, maybe as a result or maybe I just am.

I now have insurance because of Medicare and I do buy supplemental coverage because it isn't expensive and the odds change as we age, certainly. But going without travel insurance doesn't seem like risk to me. It's short-term, if I feel well enough to travel I feel confident I'll last until I get home, and I'm used to it. I realize perfectly well that I could lose the bet any given trip but my travel habits are morphing to suit my older self.

My point has simply been my way is not everyone's, nor is anyone else's way everyone's. As in all things.
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Old Jul 21st, 2014, 04:30 PM
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To all who replied - Your comments have all been most helpful and insightful. Carefully considering your 'opinions' do help in my decision process. I have a very nice quote just under $300 for cancellations AND medical, evacuation costs. the trip is still a year away and having the cost of cancellation would be assuring. The same goes for medical insurance - I, too, have Medicare/Supplemental which will be worthless in Europe. So I guess you know my decision!
I will purchase insurance and just relax and enjoy my trip!
Thanks again for your input and for being honest and not snippy
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