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Help!? I am having a hard time understanding/justifying the benefit of trip insurance


lifesabeachbum

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Hi.

 

I've read that trip insurance is good to have - we've never bought it before - and have traveled extensively to the islands & skiing each year.

 

We are booked on a cruise to MX with our children this April. There is no flight involved - just a drive from ATL to Tampa and a 5 night cruise on the Grandeur w/ 2 stops.

 

I am in charge of "justifying" trip insurance. I got some leads from the boards and compared their AM Best ratings.

 

For example, Travel Select (A+) offers a plan for $110 with a cancellation & interruption coverage of $1,000-$1,500 amd a medical benefit of $50k. The exclusions include underwater activities (snorkeling) and sports (like parasailing) which are the main ways I could see my kids (especially my 14 year old) getting injured and requiring medical treatment.

 

I realize there could be a freak accident on board or one of us could become deathly ill (God forbid) but, of course, that is unlikely.

 

Last year we dragged our then 13 year old to the Bahamas two days after breaking his foot - cast, crutches and all. While there he developed the worst flu of his life and rarely left the condo - but we still completed the trip. (Needless to say - not so memorable for him!)

 

I get that we insure our vehicles and our homes & valuables hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I'm just trying to get how (if) this translates to trip insurance that's sensible.

 

Thanks, in advance, for your advice.

 

P.S. I'm blonde, so please use small words and short sentences. :o

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As with anything, you have to do a cost/benefit analysis. There are several factors involved.

First, you are driving down, so you don't have to worry about missed flights, connections, or weather delays. As long as you leave early enough from home, there shouldn't be many travel issues to get to ship I would guess. Do make sure you leave and expect the worst timing for driving.

Second, is there a reason you might have to cancel the trip last minute? Is there a relative on deathbed or other circumstance that might pop up?

Third, with kids, do be careful as to what you allow your kids to do on cruise. All these exciting activities can be dangerous and may lead to injuries which will not be treated on the ship, they will push you to go to shore clinic or hospital. The on board medical care is spotty at best, as well as expensive. They don't take insurance on the ship, its pay as you go. Sometimes your insurance doesn't work in these countries either. I never used care, but have had others I know and have witnessed using it. One couple had twin little girls who had a flu type virus. I believe it cost about $200 for sick bay visits and tylenol and possibly an anti vomiting drug. I was involved in another case where a person fell on the ship at sea and broke a hip. He had to be airflighted from Bermuda to USA for care. The bill was about 25k just for the flight. He would have been responsible for it except for some circumstances that made the cruise line step up and pay for it.

I never used to get trip insurance, but have gotten it on my last several cruises because I just weighed the cost vs benefits and found that an extra $100 would pay off under any of these circumstances. I haven't used it yet, but my parents did once. I hope this helps.

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The decision really does involve weighing the costs against the potential benefits. Generally, people are willing to absorb what they consider to be the small costs. The issues are how much of a loss could you afford and what do you worry about. Insurance can put your mind at ease.

Some questions to ask yourself:

If you had to cancel the trip because of an unforeseen circumstance, are you willing to absorb the cost and not drive yourself crazy because you didn't buy the insurance?

Will your health insurance cover you when you travel to the ports that you'll visit?

If one of you needed a medical evacuation, do you have coverage for it and, if not, could you afford it? A medical evacuation can be a very expensive proposition.

Of course, all of these circumstances are unlikely, but they do happen.

Whatever you decide, hope that you have a safe trip and a great time.

Rich

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There are so many things that can happen once that final payment is made that travel insurance is almost a necessity.

 

My husband and I were both healthy with no medical problems at all. December 26,2008 final payment was made for our March 2009 cruise. On January 11, 2009 I was rushed to the hospital with what turned out to be blood on the brain. Needless to say, our March cruise had to be cancelled and we got a full refund for the cruise and our plane tickets. Without the insurance we would of lost it all.

 

We would never consider traveling without the insurance because you never know when something will happen....that's just how life is....it can change in a second.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Family friend, in his 30s, cept for smoking, healthy, got sick on a land trip in China. Medi-vac to Hong Kong via train. Almost spent 3-4 months there as the doctors wouldn't clear him for air travel. His mother flew to Hong Kong, rented an apartment for 3 months. Hospital bills almost ran into 6 figures.

 

His TA had the foresight to include Travel Insurance in the tour price and it covered most of the hosptial bills.

 

Topper is he went back a year later and married the medi-vac nurse. Their youngest is just finishing or finished university. ;)

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For example, Travel Select (A+) offers a plan for $110 with a cancellation & interruption coverage of $1,000-$1,500 amd a medical benefit of $50k. The exclusions include underwater activities (snorkeling) and sports (like parasailing) which are the main ways I could see my kids (especially my 14 year old) getting injured and requiring medical treatment.

 

 

FYI, snorkeling is not an excluded activity. Here's the plan wording:

 

"11. Participating in bodily contact sports; skydiving; hang-gliding; parachuting; mountaineering; any race; bungee cord jumping; and speed contest (speed contest shall not include any of the regatta races); scuba diving (unless accompanied by a dive master and not deeper than 50 feet); spelunking or caving; heliskiing or extreme skiing. Exclusion does not apply to Trip Cancellation. Bodily contact sports means any sport where the objective is to physically render an opponent unable to continue with the competition such as boxing and full contact karate;"

 

So SCUBA diving would be excluded (with the noted exceptions) but snorkeling is not.

 

If you really feel that the kids will have to parasail or engage in any of the other excluded activities you can add on the "Adventurer Pak" to the policy for an additional premium of $39 (per policy, not per person) which waives the exclusions for these otherwise prohibited high-risk activities.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Insurance is only expensive if you don't need it and can only be bought BEFORE you need it. For instance, once the headlights of an oncoming car crosses the center lane, it's too late to buy life insurance.:eek:

 

What if you got into an auto accident on your way to your port and missed your cruise. That's covered.

 

If someone gets sick on-board, the doctor and meds are very expensive. That's covered. It may cost more than the premium. It doesn't have to be a major illness either. Just walking through the ship's doctor's door could cost $100 or more.

 

But if someone needs med evac or hospitalization, which is never expected, take a look at those costs.

 

Those are some of the real reasons to buy travel insurance. Sometimes you save it on the front end but it costs you enormously on the back end. But if you're independently wealthy, you can always self insure. ;)

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As a retired senior that has been cruising my whole life, I could tell you dozens of horror stories about missed cruises due to accident, illness or just plain old weather delays...then there are the other stories about medical evacuation or other reasons for having to fly home mid-cruise because of something life threatening...my advise to all cruisers is and always has been: DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!!!! It's inexpensive piece on mind and I have been lucky enough to only used it for minor medical visits to the ship's doctor and to replace a squished foldover suitcase. Many online agencies offer free insurance as a perk with each cruise purchase and it let's me sleep well with the motion of the ocean.

HAL SAN DIEGO

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I was a part time travel agent for about 8 years in late '90s and I can still remember all the clients who did NOT get the travel insurance and all the questions/recriminations etc. about how unjust it was if a medical emergency came up during the trip, they had to cancel for a family death or illness and could not understand why the cruise line wouldn't listen to their dilemma. If you are willing and able to spend a couple of thousand dollars on a cruise, spend the extra 100-200 and insure it..

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