Trip Insurance And Not Having It

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rodeojones, Apr 8, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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    This post is to learn about travel insurance from those of you much more experienced then I but a brief recap of my lost European trip.

    10 months ago I booked an award trip for two from SEA-DUB. I didn't have enough miles to stay within one award program so I booked AA in the US and BA to DUB via EI in Business class. To keep this brief, AA delayed flight to BOS which caused us to miss our flight to DUB. After 8 hours at DFW and our options exhausted via AA and BA, AA flew us home under a "trip in vain". I am being re-reimbursed my AA miles but lost the Avios.

    I have taken away several things from this trip and the planning of it and one of them is trip insurance. I did not have it and honestly never crossed my mind. That being said, I have a trip planned to Serbia this summer and want to travel smarter. I have begun looking into travel insurance and there are many options. I have confirmed with my health insurance company that I am covered fully in Serbia thus I am interested in travel insurance that would cover cost's accrued by the airlines, etc.

    I want to shop smartly and would appreciate advice from those of you with experience.
     
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  2. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    If you're booking AA and do it on-line through their website, they offer trip insurance. I have not compared prices to see whether it's competitive, though.

    The only time I really wished I'd bought trip insurance was when we were stranded on St. Maartin in April 2010 because of the volcano in Iceland and couldn't get back to Europe for over a week. That was a true mess, even if in the end the EU rule supposedly* kicked in and paid for delay-caused lodging and meal costs.

    ---------------------
    * KLM resisted until the end, then demanded receipts for all expenses and wouldn't pay a cent for meals unless you had a receipt for each -- who keeps meal receipts, particularly when KLM strenuously insisted throughout the chaos that they were not responsible for and would NOT reimburse ANY delay costs and you're trying to survive on what you had budgeted? Finally, they insisted that to be flown back based on the return ticket, one had to fly the exact original routing and wait until a seat came available in the fare class originally booked (while you waited at your expense). Didn't exactly cover themselves in glory on that one, but that's a different issue.
     
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  3. dbeedle

    dbeedle Silver Member

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    Had a similar situation to the Philippines in February. Flight out of LAX to Manila was delayed and diverted to Guam on the way for fuel. We missed our connection to our final destination. We had elected to switch to a different carrier while in the Philippines and to them, we were simply no shows but were happy to sell us another ticket. On the way back our first flight was canceled due to weather. We eventually made it to Manila but had missed our flight, of course. Since it was a weather related miss the airline for our Manila to LAX flight was willing to let us fly stand-by (Philippines Air). Unfortunate all flights for the next few days were sold out and it was considered unlikely that seats would be available. Rather than wait around we ended up buying return ticked on another airline (thanks Delta!). My US portion of the trip to and from LAX was on points and was rebooked with no problem. The rest I had to cover because I chose not to go with insurance.

    I usually have gotten insurance for the "big" trips and never used it so, I suppose, I may still be ahead of the game as expenses go, adding up the insurance cost where I had bought it. Having it, though, provides some peace of mind. Since then I've researched some of the trip insurance providers including a couple of search sites that compare a number of them. Once is www.insuremytrip.com and another is www.squaremouth.com. Both are handy to research whats out there and compare the costs. Hopefully they can help you do your research too!

    In the end, the folks that did have trip insurance on my trip have been reimbursed most to all of their expenses. At least I got the miles for using an airline credit card and the trip back!
     
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  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Think of insurance as financing of a large purchase with a substantial interest charge. Your periodic payments would be smaller, but the sum would far exceed the original purchase price. Additionally, with travel insurance uncertainty is not entirely eliminated, unless you know exactly what it covers and how reliable is the underwriter. You may want to consider travel insurance if you rarely travel, and can not rely on the law of averages. If you travel a lot, you'd be ahead by being "self insured", i.e. having some savings in reserve. Also, keep in mind that travel-oriented credit cards offer some insurance at no cost to you.
     
  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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  6. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

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  7. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    & the difference is? You're still paying taxes & fees.
     
  8. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    I could see certain benefits being excluded because the actual fare wasn't purchased. @Counsellor ?
     
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  9. mikeschu
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    mikeschu Gold Member

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    If you have USAA insurance, they have a travel product that's easy to use.

    I only buy travel insurance on foreign trips, especially for the health coverage and if there's potential for being stranded or needing to cancel (example: SXM in hurricane season). Most of the time you can save the insurance cash into another account and make money off not buying the insurance. Make sure you read the fine print on the insurance before purchasing it as the claims procedures may be very specific.
     
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  10. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    As I understand it, from having called and spoken directly with Chase, if you pay the direct costs (taxes, award surcharges, fees, etc.) of award tickets with Chase Sapphire (or perhaps also Ink Bold, I think The Points Guy said), then you are covered in the same manner as if you had purchased a revenue ticket with the card.
     
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  11. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I like this approach. For many Milepoint members, our miles and points balances could be part of the reserve - last-minute one-way tickets can be a great use of miles.

    For myself, I will consider medical evacuation coverage (e.g. an annual membership in Divers Alert Network). I don't buy any other trip insurance.

    I have benefited from AAA's (road) trip interruption coverage, though I didn't think about using it until well after the trip had happened. I imagine the same thing would happen with credit card trip interruption coverage - I think I'd not think about the details of claiming it until well after the fact, instead focusing on the details of how to get myself out of the mess.
     
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  12. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    My recollection is that AMEX and Citi AA cards used to offer coverage even on redemptions if you paid all the ancillary charges with their card. I haven't checked recently to see if that is still true, though.

    However, as you say, the issue is what exactly is covered. Does the coverage include the cost of a replacement ticket on another airline if your original ticket was a redemption? I'd recommend checking closely, as the T&C tend to change.
     
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  13. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    I only buy health insurance when I am traveling to Germany -- as my Deutsche Bank Gold MasterCard gives meo an excellent policy good anywhere in the world except Israel (because I there) and Germany itself.

    I do not buy travel insurance. To date, I have not needed it and I figure that even if I take a large loss some day, the money I have saved over the years by not paying premiums will more than make up for the loss. That said, when my trip requires two PNRs, I take at least a 24 hour stopover. In December, I am flying TLV-JFK-ATL-TLV on an award ticket. However, my trip is to LAS and I was unable to get an award ticket for it, so my LAS-ATL flights are on a separate one. Even though both itineraries are on Delta, I am not covered if one itinerary does not get me to my next flight in time.

    To play it safe, I am taking a 34 hour stopover in NYC on my inbound trip and three days in Atlanta on the outbound.
     
  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I think of most travel insurance as being as useful as the extended warranty offered by the likes of Best Buy on a $50 item you buy. If I can easily afford to cover the unlikely cost of an undesirable event, I won't pay someone else a profit margin for doing that for me. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to cover car accidents out of my own pocket, so I have way more coverage than the minimum required by my state. And I have medical and evacuation coverage for foreign travel.
     
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  15. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Many travel insurance policies don't cover award miles. Some even specifically exclude them. Some award bookings will offer travel insurance as an add on at check out. I buy it if it's cheap, offers so good coverage and the trip is fairly big. I also buy evac travel insurance for expensive cruises or weird places where medical care is limited.
     
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  16. After having shingles on a trip to Bolivia and toughing it out, I have gotten trip insurance for all international trips. I didn't want to lose my tour price, etc. It's usually only $200-400 depending on length of trip, but I was also covering a tour for a month in Africa. I was advised my a medical professional to carry trip insurance because although our health insurance covers expenses in another country, it will not cover medevac from a foreign country. Consequently, I look for policies that covers a trip home if I become ill or injured. Certainly some countries have better health care than we do, but some I have visited do not. I have only gotten some of my funds back on one trip. One friend did have issues with being stuck in Paris and missing a flight to S Africa. He had to purchase another ticket from Johannesburg to Capetown. He was reimbursed quickly by the online company we used. I had a dental emergency on that trip, and although it was only $30, I also was reimbursed within 30 days of submitting the receipt. Like all insurance, it's about peace of mind.
     
  17. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Indeed my SPG points recently saved me much trouble, as I got standed at ORD. Ended up in a perfectly decent Westin with a free airport shuttle. :)
     

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