Serious question: Why does anyone buy trip insurance unless old or tight budget?

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#1
Los Angeles
993 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Not trying to be condescending here, but trip insurance is one of the worst value things one can purchase. It's pretty much throwing money away unless you have a high chance of using it.

I can only think of three scenarios where it makes sense to purchase trip insurance:

1) You are living on a tight budget, and the money you lose by not being able to go would be so financially devastating that you couldn't travel again for a long time.

2) You are old or in poor health, and there is a fair chance that something will change for the worse between now and your trip.

3) You have a family member who is old or in poor health, and there is a fair chance you will have to attend their funeral or final details, and have to cancel the trip.

Otherwise, it's a complete waste of money, yet I see many upper-middle class families waste their money on this garbage.

Someone please explain to me why they bother.
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#2
USA
2,364 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
A variety of reasons, but especially for the MEDICAL COVERAGE where our own health insurance wouldn't cover us.

That's not at all a "complete waste of money", and we aren't willing to gamble that neither of us EVER have, say, a heart attack, or a broken something or serious concussion, or gall bladder attack, or... or...

Those potential costs aren't capped at the cost of a trip. Not even close.

GeezerCouple
(who aren't as old *yet* as our "nom de plume" might suggest, and we are also very active and in generally good health, but "things happen".)
#3
Philly Area
896 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
I don't buy it for replacement value of the cruise fare. That doesn't involve enough money for me to worry about it. I buy cruise insurance to cover the cost in the event any member of my family – and this was even more of a concern when my children were young -- was seriously injured on a cruise or at a port. A Scuba diving or swimming accident, a serious broken bone that required setting or immediate surgery, appendicitis etc. The cost of a medical evacuation off the ship easily exceeds $50,000. That is why I buy cruise insurance.

Terry
#4
There is no spoon
905 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
To me it is a simple mathematical observation. Lets say you book a vacation that costs $6,000 and insurance would be $300 (not saying at all that these are even close to legit number, it is for example only). Mathematically you are paying 1/20 of the cost of your trip as insurance. Now you ask yourself what is the probability that 1 out of every 20 vacations I book will be cancelled for a reason covered by insurance. If you believe that there is more than a 50% chance of this happening then the logic dictates that you should buy insurance and if not that you shouldn't. One thng to remember (for whatever it is worth) is that if the insurance company was not making a profit off of the products they sell they would not be selling them.
#5
Miami
4,532 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
OMG
There are lots of reasons. If I sail a balcony room, it would not be the biggest loss to be out $1800. But when you book a suite and pay $5000 or more and something comes up and you need to cancel you are LOSING BIG BUCKS. The dog gets sick, someone in your family gets sick or dies, weather or traffic makes you miss the cruise, or you get sick, etc. I like the NCL insurance which you can cancel for no reason and get 75% credit on the next cruise. With all in the world that can go wrong, it pays to be protected.
I don't fly to the cruise since I live in Miami but insurance also covers missed flights, medical emergencies during the cruise and lost or stolen luggage.
If you are spending more than $1500 on a cruise it is DEFINATELY worth it!
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#6
4,953 Posts
Joined May 2009
Buy it or don't buy it. That's up to you. For me, regardless of age, the unexpected can happen. And that unexpected, out of country especially, can cost huge amounts of money. It is not just about a canceled trip. With any insurance...you certainly do hope you will never use it and it is indeed just money down the drain......but if you need it....... And what we buy, it's a very small percentage of the total cruise cost.
#7
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
7,615 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by pokerpro5
Not trying to be condescending here, but trip insurance is one of the worst value things one can purchase. It's pretty much throwing money away unless you have a high chance of using it.

I can only think of three scenarios where it makes sense to purchase trip insurance:

1) You are living on a tight budget, and the money you lose by not being able to go would be so financially devastating that you couldn't travel again for a long time.

2) You are old or in poor health, and there is a fair chance that something will change for the worse between now and your trip.

3) You have a family member who is old or in poor health, and there is a fair chance you will have to attend their funeral or final details, and have to cancel the trip.

Otherwise, it's a complete waste of money, yet I see many upper-middle class families waste their money on this garbage.

Someone please explain to me why they bother.

I'm so confused. I thought, according to your prior posts, that:

a) poker or blackjack tournaments were the worst value thing you could purchase?


b) compensating the crew through tips was the worst value thing one could do?


In either event, assuming this supersedes those:

- what is insurance? It's a premium paid to protect against UNEXPECTED loss.


So it's intended for the exact opposite purpose of what you propose.

If I have spent about $5,000 on a trip (which is what I've spent on my upcoming trip...not including the Biz Class airlines tickets, nor the comped portion of the cruise), and it costs me $289 to get that money back if something hiccups....AND that same $289 also provides a back-up to my Provincial Health Plan AND my work travel insurance...it seems like a very good deal to me.

It protects my money, and my health....but most of all it protects my peace of mind, all for about $16 / day....or the tips-equivalent of a 2nd butler.




.
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#8
550 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Medical evacuation is also the reason I buy it. Quite honestly, I don't worry so much about myself. But I do not want anything to keep me from getting the medical care I feel confident in when it comes to my children. You never know what will happen. They are still annoyed with me because I wouldn't let them climb to the top of the Aztec ruins in the pouring rain ( 5 years ago) in Belize because I was afraid of a fall or slip which could cause broken bones!
#9
Texas
39 Posts
Joined May 2014
We buy the insurance for the same reasons mentioned above. I have a 3 yo son and an 11 to daughter that concern me as well for sickness or accidents. Also my mom (who isn't ancient) fainted due to heat in Mexico (at Tulum) last time she was on a cruise. Luckily one of the passengers on the tour noticed she looked funny and caught her before she hit her head. She's in good health and has never had issues. The insurance would have come in very handy had she not had the blessings of a passenger who noticed she looked pale.

Not a waste to me at all. But to each their own on opinions.

Also my coworkers sister was killed right before they left on a cruise. They Didn't have insurance. She said she'd never cruise again without it.


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#10
Los Angeles
993 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by tel2
I don't buy it for replacement value of the cruise fare. That doesn't involve enough money for me to worry about it. I buy cruise insurance to cover the cost in the event any member of my family – and this was even more of a concern when my children were young -- was seriously injured on a cruise or at a port. A Scuba diving or swimming accident, a serious broken bone that required setting or immediate surgery, appendicitis etc. The cost of a medical evacuation off the ship easily exceeds $50,000. That is why I buy cruise insurance.

Terry
Have you looked into how much they would actually cover for a medical evacuation?

Have you looked into whether they would grant a medical evacuation of a port did indeed have a hospital to perform these services, even if at a lower standard than US hospitals?

For some reason I doubt that a trip insurance policy for a few hundred bucks is going to pay for an expensive medical evacuation if you break a bone.

Also many medical insurance policies WILL pay for these costs (or at least a percentage of them) as part of their "out of network" coverage.
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#11
Nashville, TN (we moved, again)
20,364 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by pokerpro5
...
I can only think of three scenarios where it makes sense to purchase trip insurance:

1) You are living on a tight budget, and the money you lose by not being able to go would be so financially devastating that you couldn't travel again for a long time.
....
Someone please explain to me why they bother.
I do think the vast majority of people buy for reason number one, and I would agree it is a bad deal. I might even add that if they have tight budget, it makes even more sense to NOT buy it.

Why do I say that? It is apparent they can pay for the cruise, plus hundreds of dollars more for related expenses. Even if they are unable to go, the cost is already spent. In fact, it is now less expensive since they will not have the extra onboard expenses. Yes, they spent lots of money, but thee loss is the satisfaction and enjoyment of the cruise. That surely sucks, but they are not out EXTRA money. In fact, the cost of the missed cruise just dropped since they no longer will have to pay some of those extra expenses.

With all that said,getting insurance for medical emergencies might make sense.
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#12
United Kingdom
28 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Originally posted by pokerpro5
Not trying to be condescending here, but trip insurance is one of the worst value things one can purchase. It's pretty much throwing money away unless you have a high chance of using it.

I can only think of three scenarios where it makes sense to purchase trip insurance:

1) You are living on a tight budget, and the money you lose by not being able to go would be so financially devastating that you couldn't travel again for a long time.

2) You are old or in poor health, and there is a fair chance that something will change for the worse between now and your trip.

3) You have a family member who is old or in poor health, and there is a fair chance you will have to attend their funeral or final details, and have to cancel the trip.

Otherwise, it's a complete waste of money, yet I see many upper-middle class families waste their money on this garbage.

Someone please explain to me why they bother.
Err, because I will be in a foreign country and if I have an accident or become ill I still want to own my house when I have recovered. This is especially true when I visit the USA.
#13
Midwest
5,392 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
The part of trip insurance which reimburses you for a trip you cannot take is what people ususally think of when considering trip insurance. While paying a few thousand dollars for a trip you might never get to enjoy is not a pleasant thought, it is not going to bankrupt you if it is not covered by insurance. You had to be able to afford the trip or you wouldn't have booked it to begin with, right?

What people need to be worrying about is the other part of trip insurance which pays for any medical needs that come up while you are traveling. These costs, if not reimbursed, can indeed bankrupt you. Medicare does not pay outside the US. Some employee sponsored insurance will not pay outside the US. And even if they will pay, no foreign hospital or doctor is going to treat you without payment upfront. You can forget telling them to bill the insurance. A medivac can cost thousands. Most insurance covers up to $100,000 for this, so that should tell you what it can cost. If the ship leaves without you, your family is going to need hotel rooms and eventually flights home. Trip insurance can be invaluable in assisting you if the worst happens.
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Brenda
#14
1,567 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
If your 14 yo or your wife trips,falls,and has a broken leg and a head injury and needs to be flown off the ship you would be really glad to not have to deal with the money part....
#15
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#16
UK
781 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by casinoman1
Err, because I will be in a foreign country and if I have an accident or become ill I still want to own my house when I have recovered. This is especially true when I visit the USA.
Ding ding, we have a winner

To travel without insurance is, in my opinion, a very foolhardy thing to do
#17
Raleigh NC
24,652 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by pokerpro5
Not trying to be condescending here, but trip insurance is one of the worst value things one can purchase. It's pretty much throwing money away unless you have a high chance of using it.

I can only think of three scenarios where it makes sense to purchase trip insurance:

1) You are living on a tight budget, and the money you lose by not being able to go would be so financially devastating that you couldn't travel again for a long time.

2) You are old or in poor health, and there is a fair chance that something will change for the worse between now and your trip.

3) You have a family member who is old or in poor health, and there is a fair chance you will have to attend their funeral or final details, and have to cancel the trip.

Otherwise, it's a complete waste of money, yet I see many upper-middle class families waste their money on this garbage.

Someone please explain to me why they bother.
I agree and that is why we have never bought it. We do buy medical evac insurance, it is pretty cheap and covers costs to get you home if you need it from some place way away from the US.
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#18
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by searoses
If your 14 yo or your wife trips,falls,and has a broken leg and a head injury and needs to be flown off the ship you would be really glad to not have to deal with the money part....
Its not the flying off the ship. The CG does that for free. The problem becomes when he breaks his leg in Tortola is hospitalized there, the ship leaves and then you have to get him and you home. I don't buy insurance for close by ports(Bahamas Bermuda etc) but my health insurance covers me world wide. but I do for more exotic locations(like Africa, Asia etc).
You need to look at your risk tolerance, coverage you already have and the chance you won't be able to make the ship for any reason. Travel insurance runs about 5-8 percent(more if you buy the cancel for any reason option). Is that worth it for you?
#19
Los Angeles
993 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Insurance companies are in the business of making profit -- usually a big profit.

So you are paying far more than what the benefits they provide are actually worth.

Now if you have to use it, of course you come out better than if you hadn't had insurance, but the value is very poor.

In my opinion, insurance should only be used to prevent a catastrophic loss, such as:

- Insuring against your home burning down or otherwise getting destroyed
- Insuring against your car being wrecked
- Insuring against you injuring someone else while driving and being liable for their medical care
- Insuring against major illnesses or injuries costing you hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars

These are losses that would devastate your finances and therefore insurance is smart, even if not the best value.

However, I see people doing things like buying dental insurance for $500/year when it has a maximum benefit of $1100. And I'm like, "What?!?!?!?"

Or buying an extended warranty for $12 on an item that costs $60.

The bottom line is that, if you can afford to eat the cost of the unlikely loss without a real effect on your finances/lifestyle, it is to your benefit to just take the chance.

The only exception is when you know there is a high chance something is coming.

For example, I won't fault the guy who is highly cavity-prone from buying dental insurance.

I won't fault the traveler in poor health for buying trip insurance.

I won't fault the guy whose mother is on her last legs buying trip insurance, knowing realistically that she could go at any time, and thus cancel the trip plans.

I think a lot of people aren't doing to proper research about what your regular medical plans would really cover in the case of an emergency. It might be a lot more than you think. I also think that some trip insurance purchasers are ignoring high deductibles, spotty coverage, or other loopholes that will only rear their ugly heads when it comes to using it.

I personally think it's a waste of money.

You don't need insurance for everything you do in life.
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#20
Ontario, Canada
3,000 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
There are many reasons someone might have insurance.

Some people do save for their holidays and take steps to insure they do not lose their hard earned money.

Someone might have cancellation insurance. There are a multitude of reasons why you might have to cancel a holiday. Someone could very well be in the position that they could 'afford' to lose the money but prefer not to and by paying a small percentage they can insure that they will not lose their money due to something arising at their job, a family emergency, delayed or missed flight, etc. A winter cruise for someone living in the north is always a 'risk'. If you are cruising a transatlantic itinerary out of Florida it can be quite expensive to have to pay to catch up to your ship.

Medical coverage is not only for the old. Rough seas can pitch anyone down a flight of stairs on a ship causing a broken bone or worse. Medical coverage, flights and transportation home adds up quick. It makes sense for the adventurous to get insurance as well -- you can be in tip top shape and be a high level athlete and sporting events can cause injuries, some serious. Medical coverage is not garbage it is smart thinking!!

On my last cruise (not NCL) we disembarked the ship and our luggage was not there in the morning. It is amazing how much $$$ in personal property can be in just one bag. It adds up very quickly. Even if you have baggage insurance it is likely not enough to cover the contents. I myself will be looking at that more closely on future cruises and thinking twice before putting my bag out at night.

You call yourself a gambler and so you take your chances, there are plenty of other people who chose to travel without taking the risk. To each their own.

I think the wording of your post was condescending and insulting and completely unnecessary. You are free to do as you choose but there is no need to judge others and how they choose to spend their money.


Just my thoughts,


Rochelle
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