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Squadleader

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  1. Thanks Klfrodo, I appreciate that, but I think the medical coverage is clear after the insurance company pointed pointed it out, that the coverage doesn't start when the policy starts, it only begins with your first travel arrangement, which they define as a common carrier, so I don't think it's worth going to the state about it. By using the right language, obtuse to the uninformed like me, but clear once it becomes a claim issue, the insurance company is able to exclude all but obvious coverage. It's home field advantage, their lawyers wrote the policy. This incident has had the benefit of making me aware of how many common activities are excluded, and therefore, I should make sure my group doesn't engage in them, in order to keep the insurance coverage.
  2. Thanks NautigirlGA my son is 15, so he was only down for a few days, and after that, like it never happened. Oh to be young again and to heal like a Greek God! Thanks GeezerCouple, that was my thought too at first, I hadn't ever thought about it before and figured they had me because he was by chance listed as a discounted third passenger ($400). But think about it. Many times I've run into fares where the third and fourth were "free". Is it really fair that the insurance pays nothing just because someone happened to be listed as third instead of first or second? You don't buy this insurance thinking it's possible third and fourth aren't covered at all. On the other hand, like you said, it isn't fair for the insurance company to pay the much higher first and second either, if it's them that makes the claim. Really the only fair way to do it is to divide the total fare by the total people covered, and then pay that amount. That's fair to the customer and the insurance company. If the company will only pay the fare listed by the cruise company (low third and fourth, high first and second) then they are agreeing in some cases to give much higher (could be thousands more) single payout on first and second and in other cases paying absolutely nothing (in the case of third and fourth being listed as free). When you consider it that way, it makes no sense at all to use the fares listed by the cruise company individually, but instead the average of all the fares together. That's fair to both parties. You're also right about the policy being silent, it's not, you can bank on that, it's in there somewhere, written in some obtuse way that I'm not able to see. Just like the medical coverage, since Obamacare, we now only have one policy to choose from in our area. I have a $13,600 deductible for the whole family. I have to pay every nickel of the cost until I hit that number. So obviously his operation went way past that. Since his operation happened the day after his trip coverage started, I thought there might be a chance the travel insurance might pay the medical up to the $13,600, where the regular medical policy kicked in. Turns out the language in the travel policy says the beginning date of the travel insurance doesn't mean anything. The coverage doesn't begin until the "first travel arrangement", which in their opinion is not when the policy start date is, and is not when you get in the car to begin the journey, it's only when that "first travel arrangement" begins, which is when you board an aircraft or board the ship. So we drove down three days early, stayed in hotels, had his medical issue, but according the travel insurance company that period had no medical coverage because we hadn't boarded an aircraft or ship. That's the point I'm making, yes they will pay clear cut cases, no doubt. But they've been doing this for decades, and have figured out all the language to use in policies to exclude anything but clear cut cases. It's a great business model from their point of view. I'd bet overall they lower their total payouts companywide by a third or more by using obtuse language to limit their coverage to only clear cut claims. Ok, I get it, they clearly have the advantage and I'm not going to complain too much because to me, and maybe most people, the real reason we buy this policy is to pay overseas medical costs and the possible crazy cost of medical evacuation, especially if an air ambulance is required. But you'll also note even that coverage has lots of exclusions, terrorism, exotic car rental, many shore excursion things like waterskis, zip lines, scuba, a whole long list of things that void your coverage. Imagine having an accident while doing any of those things and suddenly you're faced with no coverage at all for medical or evacuation. I'm telling you, they definitely have this thing figured out and are excluding a very large percentage of their possible claims. In the end, me arguing with the insurance company over whether my sons trip cancellation claim is worth $400 or $800, is more an intellectual exercise than any sort of financial necessity. I'd be way more concerned if I had a $100,000 incident overseas, which as noted, has a decent chance of being excluded as well because of the many exclusions in the policy. I really believe the true liability risk, and the real reason to buy this insurance is the overseas medical and evacuation. For that reason I'd encourage people to read what activities are excluded from coverage, and not engage in any that are if you want the coverage. Just a note, in my research before buying the travel insurance, I found there were very wide differences in what different policies paid and covered. I found a policy that had $500,000 in evacuation coverage and $100,000 in medical coverage. There are also some policies designed for people who want to do more adventure activities like water-sports, zip-lines those sorts of things. Bottom line is make sure you read the list of activities that are excluded from coverage, that's the whole point of buying the policy, having the coverage. Most of us do at least a few things on a cruise that will not be covered. I'm older, so I have no problem cutting out any of these activities, if I know they are excluded, younger families, maybe not. Maybe they need the adventure policy instead.
  3. Well Bahacca, you inspired me to dive into all 35 pages (probably a bad sign) of the policy. The policy never addresses if only one person doesn't go. There were six of us, and by each name is listed $1,000 as the individual limit. Then on the schedule of benefits it says it pays 100% of trip cancellation and 150% of trip interruption. So since he never actually left to go because of illness, I'm assuming it's trip cancellation. The asterisk after the 100% notation says "up to the lesser of the trip cost paid or the limit of coverage on your confirmation of benefits". So it seems to say what it actually cost, up to $1,000 each. So whether it's $400 which is the third passenger rate, or $800 which is the total fare divided by all six of us, it would be under the $1,000 limit. The policy is completely silent on is the cost what's listed for that specific passenger, or the total fare divided among all six. It just says the "trip cost paid" and doesn't define how to calculate that if only one person doesn't go.
  4. Thanks Cruisinmeme, my ex-wife wasn't booked, so it's just for my son. Carnival did refund the taxes and port fees like you said. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. There can be a huge difference between the first and second passengers, and the third and fourth passengers, that could be thousands of dollars depending on the circumstances. Say it was a very expensive cruise, $2,500 for 1st and 2nd each, then third and fourth free. If you happen to list the person not going in the 3rd or 4th you get nothing, whereas if you had listed them as 1st or 2nd you get $2,500. Using that example, it's easy to see the fairest way to do it is to divide the number of people on the policy by the total fare. If it's based on the listed fare for that particular person, then how you list your family turns out to be very important, and it's possible there's no coverage at all for third and fourth passengers in a room if there fare was free. But I can tell you anyone traveling with a large family like me, considers the cost per person by dividing the cruise cost total by the number of people. I'm going to call them on Monday, so it'll be interesting to see over the weekend, if any other members have faced this before and what happened. If no one has run into this, I'll be sure and let y'all know what the insurance company says. If someone is more prone to sickness in your family, better list them as a first or second!
  5. I'm not looking for a profit, but making me whole would be 1/6 of the group cost, but I can see a reasonable argument on both sides of this. In the end I'm pretty sure it will break against me though, let's face it, their lawyers write the agreement, and they have been doing it for decades, so if there's any leeway, the lawyers have figured it out and tilted it towards their client, the travel insurance company. Everyone looks at the cut and dry issues, the real opportunity for the companies is in the exact wording of little things like this that can dramatically improve their bottom line by limiting the coverage. Thanks for the tip Tallnthensome, I didn't know there was a travel insurance forum.
  6. I haven't called yet because I just wanted to see if anyone else had run into this before I talked to them. I've never made a claim before, so I'd never really thought about this aspect of it. Technically he just happened to be listed as a third passenger at the discounted rate of $399, he could just as easily been listed as a first or second in the cabin at the much higher rate though. However if I take the total of everyone, then divide by the number of people, it comes out to $800 per person. I can see where this could turn into an argument with them, so I just wanted to see others experience. I now realize the argument could be the cheap fare, or the average of all the fares, and if he had been listed as a first or second passenger, even that very high fare. That this question could arise never even occurred to me when I bought the insurance. I realize now it should have, if I had thought about it.
  7. My son came down with appendicitis the day before our cruise. My ex-wife stayed with him and handled that. My question is, does the travel insurance pay the $399 fare (third person in cabin fare) or do they pay 1/6 of the total fare for all of us (equal to about $800 per person)? I'm wondering if the travel insurance company will try to pay $399 instead of $800. Before I call and make the claim, I was wondering if any of you had ever dealt with this particular issue before and what the outcome was? The company is Travel Insured International.
  8. I tried a few of the common variations of the spookydeals19 and came up empty on more points. I'm afraid we're going to Organized Chaos or one of the other puzzle solvers to tease out the other variations that award more points!
  9. That's a good one Serene, your stomach must have been in knots for that whole ordeal. It's funny how fast time passes and things change. Things that seem like yesterday to us, our children never even knew. The hijackings of the 1970's installed the practice of being screened, and like all laws and bureaucratic rules, it was done lightly at first, with 911 finishing the process of completely changing the focus of the travel industry from the common goal of travel companies to move passengers if at all possible, and as quickly as possible, to what we have now, complete non-flexible security and bureaucracy. You could park, jump out of the car, run to the gate, and even if the Jetway door had already been closed, if they hadn't pushed back the plane yet, they'd stop, reopen the door and put you on. There're pluses and minuses of course, but the vast majority of the population has not known anything else now, so that's not going to change. I appreciate Wannagonow's goals which are reasonable, it just made me a little nostalgic for when things were more flexible than they are now. It's the old comment that when we completely reorder our entire society because of criminals, perhaps we gave up much more voluntarily to the criminals, than the criminals themselves could ever have taken from us. Point being, that it is nice that cruise ships have such a large boarding window because I suspect that if there is a company policy that prohibits boarding x number of hours before sail away, I doubt the agents would give even 5 minutes of leeway on that policy. Flying has become so unpleasant and such an ordeal now, that we usually just drive down to Florida, and because of Murphy's Law, we always arrive the day before the cruise. That's insurance, and the odds say it isn't necessary, we know cruise lines book lots of same day flights for passengers, but I don't think I'd ever do it, all it takes is a line of thunderstorms to rock your world.
  10. Haha, I saw a t-shirt recently on someone, who had oddly enough, either consciously or unconsciously, perfectly described themselves. It said "Sorry I'm late, I really didn't want to come". She's famous for being late and no-showing, and it surprised me she was willing put that honest a label on her behavior. You're obviously a very seasoned cruiser with Diamond status and all, so it's definitely better for you to figure out how close someone can cut boarding to sailing, to being turned away, rather than a Newbie, who's still excited about boarding the ship. I admire your daredevil spirit of arriving an hour before sailing, especially since Diamond can get priority boarding anytime during the boarding process. This should be an interesting discussion on what it feels like to almost miss the ship! I'll bet some members have some good stories with this one! You're right about one thing though, a long time ago we took a Disney Cruise, and we arrived maybe two or three hours before sailing, I can't remember why we were that late, but there was absolutely no one in the terminal except employees when we went into the terminal, and we walked right up to the counter, checked in, and walked right onto the ship. I didn't expect the terminal to be completely empty and it surprised me a little bit. We've done maybe 20 cruises now and we still enjoy embarkation day, and getting on the ship as soon as possible. You're probably like me, I hate lines, and boarding an hour before sail away, will definitely get you out of any lines, assuming there's no traffic issues and you miss the boat. I think one of the reasons I like cruises is because there isn't anything to do, just what you want to do, even if it's sitting in the cabin reading a book or watching a movie, which are definitely things that could be done with less trouble and expense at home, but to me anyway, are still more fun on a cruise!
  11. There's nothing nicer than a leisurely breakfast in the main dining room and leaving the ship after the disembarkation madness has abated. If your schedule allows, this method adds a lot of value to your last day on the ship. We've only gotten the luxury of this a few times, since we usually cruise out of southern Florida and have a 14 hour, 950 mile forced march back to Virginia on Main Street USA, also known as I-95. We try to park at the cruise terminal (fastest possible access to the truck), be off the ship by 7am, which puts us home by 9pm. We've gotten it down to a science almost, with only one stop for fuel, which requires us to leave the interstate, and fast stops every two hours at Rest Stops (which keeps us from having to leave the interstate) to switch drivers (it helps we have at least three drivers), use the restroom, stretch the legs a few minutes, then back at it for another two hours. It's almost always a Sunday and the kids have to be back in high school and college the next day, and none of us are in the mood for a motel stay on the interstate. It's really amazing that many miles can be covered so quickly, with religious use of cruise control to maintain the highest possible speed (no more than 8 over) and the discipline to stay on the interstate except for the single fuel stop. It was surprising to me how effective this system of two hour stops and driver changes was able to keep fatigue completely out of the equation. Our earlier more slap dash methods, usually got us home at 2am, with everyone completely wiped out. I was also surprised how technically efficient this system is because the simple math is, even with the stops included, the continuous average speed over the 950 mile journey is 67 miles per hour.
  12. Organized Chaos is great at teasing out the variations to maximize the points, in most cases tripling the points we can claim. I'm bad at checking for junk email, so this thread has made it super easy for me to amass and use 50,000 points a couple of months ago, and to have now rebuilt my points to 50,000. Together that's a thousand dolllars of found money in savings on my cruise fares. Thanks Organized and all the other posters for keeping this thread up to date. Multiples my points and reminds me to apply the codes in the app before the codes expire and don't work anymore. Seems like most (but not all) of the codes expire pretty quick, within a month or two.
  13. I got a couple of my kids passports this summer. I noticed a news item that the State Department said it was increasing the time people should expect to receive their passports from six weeks to eight weeks. So if you get on it now, you can still renew them before your cruise. I seem to recall there might be some advantage to renewing over getting a new one, can't remember if it was a fee or some sort of requirement, but I remember thinking it's better to renew, maybe faster or easier, whatever, I'd just do it. If for whatever reason the passport fails to arrive in time, just take our old standby, the original birth certificate and driver's license. Those are fine for closed loop cruises from the US. Only one of my kids is less than 16, the age where passports are issued for ten years instead of five years for 15 and younger, so I don't bother with passports until they turn 16. I figure it's a nice thing to give them, and by 26, they should be old enough to renew it on their own.
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