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Costco Travel Guard Trip Insurance vs. Holland America Cancellation Protection Plan


avocat
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I used to get the Costco recommenced Travel Guard,  https://www.travelguard.com/costcotravel/ but now Holland America's Trip Cancellation Insurance is the way to go.

After calling Travel Guard to add trip insurance to my booked Holland America cruise on Nieuw Statendam Travel Guard said no pre-existing medical condition coverage because it has been more than 21 days after I initially "booked" the cruise.  They defined booking the cruise as when I placed my deposit.  I was two days past when I placed my deposit!.  .

I booked the cruise on Costco December 26, 2018.  Great deal,  $2,500 per balcony cabin (Veranda Spa Stateroom) plus $340 per cabin shipboard credit.

I told Travel guard .in the past I booked cruises many months before the final payment date and was told so long as I got the insurance within so many days of the final payment date I was fine.  Travel Guard is cheap,   $181 but without pre-existing medical coverage what is the point?  

Costco suggested try the Holland America insurance.  Holland's plan much better.  https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/pre-post-travel-cruise/cancellation-protection-plan.html 

I paid for their Platinum plan $129 per person and that gives me 90% of whatever I pay, including airfare, paid to me in cash if I cancel for an;y reason up till boarding time!

Travel Guards cancel anytime is double the price of the normal insurance.  Also, the Holland rep gave me a cheaper rate than on their website!

So I'm happy.  Holland is a good solid cruise line. 

 

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We have never purchased trip cancellation insurance.  Our first ever claim was last May.  Our premium credit card comes with cancellation insurance.  Fortunately we put our trip on this card.

 

Sent in the claim (medical issues).  It was paid in full within ten business days with not one query by the insurer.  I was surprised how quickly it was paid and I half expected them to ask a bunch of questions with the view of weaseling out of paying.....as insurers often seem to do. The cancellation was not attributable to a pre-existing condition.

 

We do of course buy out of country medical coverage. We buy it direct, never from the travel product provider.

Edited by iancal
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What to buy and when is a different circumstance for everyone.  I agree that buying it from the travel provider is always my last choice.  They'd usually rather give you a credit to use on a future cruise versus cash back.

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I’ve bought TravelGuard and other private insurance and HAL’s at various points based on my needs at the time. Note that HALs coverage is very slender for overseas medical issues. Only you know your situation and what your exposures are and the risk you want to take. (My employer provided health insurance covers me outside the country, but that is not the case for many people.)

When I’ve purchased HALs coverage, I have also added extra evacuation coverage. I don’t want a 6 figure bill should the circumstance arise.

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2 hours ago, iancal said:

We have never purchased trip cancellation insurance.  Our first ever claim was last May.  Our premium credit card comes with cancellation insurance.  Fortunately we put our trip on this card.

 

Sent in the claim (medical issues).  It was paid in full within ten business days with not one query by the insurer.  I was surprised how quickly it was paid and I half expected them to ask a bunch of questions with the view of weaseling out of paying.....as insurers often seem to do. The cancellation was not attributable to a pre-existing condition.

 

We do of course buy out of country medical coverage. We buy it direct, never from the travel product provider.

 

Anyone who can qualify should obtain a premium credit card.  The best ones offer trip cancellation and medical coverage.  They definitely pay off without much hassle.  

We both have had Chase Sapphire Reserve cards since they were released a few years ago. This is the longest we have kept any single card.  Our kids keep us apprised  of the most lucrative cards and so far we haven’t found anything better.  

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There is a point in time when Travel guard will get much more expensive then The HAL insurance. I don't know if it is my mom's age or the fact they we claimed against them twice. (once when she got sick on board and ended up in hospital, and once when she got sick and we had to cancel the entire trip.) But Travel guard's rates shot way up the next time we tried them, So now we go with HAL's program.

Edited by MARYVB
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16 hours ago, sammiedawg said:

 

Anyone who can qualify should obtain a premium credit card.  The best ones offer trip cancellation and medical coverage.  They definitely pay off without much hassle.  

We both have had Chase Sapphire Reserve cards since they were released a few years ago. This is the longest we have kept any single card.  Our kids keep us apprised  of the most lucrative cards and so far we haven’t found anything better.  

Looked at Chase Sapphire Reserve Card on line but didn’t see anything for medical coverage. 

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We buy insurance to reduce or eliminate risk.  Some of our premium cards do include medical but they always seem to have an age or a limit on the length of time that they will cover.

 

Since financial/coverage is our largest concern our first cut when shopping is to compare coverage amounts.  Then cost.  And we are always willing to sign up for a deductable if it significantly reduces our premium.  The first three or five thousand is not our fear, rather it is the hundreds of thousands that could follow it.

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2 hours ago, MARYVB said:

There is a point in time when Travel guard will get much more expensive then The HAL insurance. I don't know if it is my mom's age or the fact they we claimed against them twice. (once when she got sick on board and ended up in hospital, and once when she got sick and we had to cancel the entire trip.) But Travel guard's rates shot way up the next time we tried them, So now we go with HAL's program.

 

Travel Guard's premiums are based on the age of the traveler (and, possibly, where you are going and how long).  The older you are, the more it's going to cost.   It's my understanding that they are not looking at prior claims to determine the premium; in fact, you can get a quote on line without their knowing who you are.  

 

As another poster said, what type of travel insurance to buy, from whom, and what it covers (which is a wide range of choices), is an individual decision.  There's no one-size-fits-all.

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On 1/18/2019 at 2:10 PM, iancal said:

We have never purchased trip cancellation insurance.  Our first ever claim was last May.  Our premium credit card comes with cancellation insurance.  Fortunately we put our trip on this card.

 

Sent in the claim (medical issues).  It was paid in full within ten business days with not one query by the insurer.  I was surprised how quickly it was paid and I half expected them to ask a bunch of questions with the view of weaseling out of paying.....as insurers often seem to do. The cancellation was not attributable to a pre-existing condition.

 

We do of course buy out of country medical coverage. We buy it direct, never from the travel product provider.

 

 

I have considered Chase Sapphire and for some reason, which I have long forgotten, rejected it.  Refresh my memory, does it provide "cancel for any reason", as HAL's does, or is it for specifically stated situations? 

 

The cancel for any reason is why I always buy HAL's for a long trip.  It is not, however, travel insurance.  Nor should one rely on its med-evac coverage.  We self-insure instead of travel insurance; and our medical coverage covers us world-wide, so HAL's policy plus med-evac insurance fits our needs.  

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4 hours ago, Tampa Girl said:

 

 

I have considered Chase Sapphire and for some reason, which I have long forgotten, rejected it.  Refresh my memory, does it provide "cancel for any reason", as HAL's does, or is it for specifically stated situations? 

 

The cancel for any reason is why I always buy HAL's for a long trip.  It is not, however, travel insurance.  Nor should one rely on its med-evac coverage.  We self-insure instead of travel insurance; and our medical coverage covers us world-wide, so HAL's policy plus med-evac insurance fits our needs.  

 

I doubt it is cancel for any reason, which carries a big premium.  There is definitely emergency medical insurance under Chase  Sapphire Reserve. 

We each have Chase sapphire Reserve  cards, two accounts.  The regular chase sapphire card is less expensive but offers fewer benefits,  The Reserve yearly fee is steep but a portion is credited back as travel expense. 

 

It it is easy to become insurance poor.  We have bought travel insurance on exotic trips, on regular trips we might not buy it.   If occasionally we take a loss beyond what our credit card covers, we still come out ahead in the long run.  Just like taking a high deductible on homeowner and auto coverage. 

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We have the Chase Sapphire card and it does provide good, minimum hassle travel insurance.  However, we do purchase HAL insurance for the cancel for any reason provisions as we have elderly pets which may necessitate the need to cancel shortly before the cruise.

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21 hours ago, JudithLynne said:

We have the Chase Sapphire card and it does provide good, minimum hassle travel insurance.  However, we do purchase HAL insurance for the cancel for any reason provisions as we have elderly pets which may necessitate the need to cancel shortly before the cruise.

 

Pets, too, were our primary reasons for the HAL policy.  But, interestingly, I came across one of our credit card's cancellation provisions that now allow cancellation for reasons of a pet's illness.  A vet's confirmation is, of course, required.  I think, if my recollection is correct, that it is one of our CitiBank cards.    I hope this may inspire other companies to follow suit.

 

 

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The pre-existing waiver clause can be a real gotcha if you do the bookings on-board for a future cruise.  There is at least one travel insurance company, Generali (fka CSA) that does their PEW based on purchase of insurance within 24h of final payment instead of initial deposit.  One of the TA companies we book with periodically recommends that insurance in part because of the PEW @ final payment instead of initial payment.

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On ‎1‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 6:32 AM, Tampa Girl said:

 

Pets, too, were our primary reasons for the HAL policy.  But, interestingly, I came across one of our credit card's cancellation provisions that now allow cancellation for reasons of a pet's illness.  A vet's confirmation is, of course, required.  I think, if my recollection is correct, that it is one of our CitiBank cards.    I hope this may inspire other companies to follow suit.

 

 

Thanks for your information.  I just checked our Citibank card and it does not have pet coverage for our particular card.  In fact the card's trip insurance only covers up to $1500, for some cruises that is just the down payment!  Looks like we will stick with HAL now for the cancel for any reason clause.

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On 1/18/2019 at 12:13 PM, avocat said:

I used to get the Costco recommenced Travel Guard,  https://www.travelguard.com/costcotravel/ but now Holland America's Trip Cancellation Insurance is the way to go.

 

 

Have you looked at the travel benefits available on your Costco Visa Card?

The coverage is limited to $3000 per travel which might cover a lot of your trips.  Doesn't appear to have a pre-existing conditions clause.  You're covered if your physician advises you not to travel after cruise purchase.

 

We combine this with a medical only coverage travel insurance.  (Usually, you can request a policy with zero travel costs and that will provide medical only coverage.)  

 

file:///C:/Users/duke4/Downloads/32901_-_Costco_Consumer_Benefits_Update_0718-3_No_Links_FINAL.PDF

 

Best of all, it's included as a no cost benefit.  BTW, you also get a 3% travel back benefit and the card can be used with any TA or with any cruise line.

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1 hour ago, JudithLynne said:

Thanks for your information.  I just checked our Citibank card and it does not have pet coverage for our particular card.  In fact the card's trip insurance only covers up to $1500, for some cruises that is just the down payment!  Looks like we will stick with HAL now for the cancel for any reason clause.

 

Worth seeing if the coverage limits are per person or per charge, and also if it covers flights and cruise fare individually if booked separately.  For example, I book airfare direct with Delta via delta.com for two people that gets charged as one charge per ticket, so two people is two separate transactions (even though they're booked together as a single delta.com transaction).  If your coverage is per charge, each ticket would qualify for its own insurance coverage (2 separate claims for airfare alone).  That still won't help beyond the 1500 for cruise fare... although your TA/Cruise consultant might be able to run the charges separately for each individual's ticket, so you might be stretch the $1500 per item coverage to $6k for two people across separate air and cruise fares.

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3 minutes ago, jb008 said:

 

Worth seeing if the coverage limits are per person or per charge, and also if it covers flights and cruise fare individually if booked separately.  For example, I book airfare direct with Delta via delta.com for two people that gets charged as one charge per ticket, so two people is two separate transactions (even though they're booked together as a single delta.com transaction).  If your coverage is per charge, each ticket would qualify for its own insurance coverage (2 separate claims for airfare alone).  That still won't help beyond the 1500 for cruise fare... although your TA/Cruise consultant might be able to run the charges separately for each individual's ticket, so you might be stretch the $1500 per item coverage to $6k for two people across separate air and cruise fares.

The coverage is $3000 per trip per covered person.  "Covered Travelers means You, Your Family Member(s) and Traveling Companion(s) traveling on the Trip."  It's not $3000 airfare and $3000 cruise.  It's up to $3000 per trip per covered person. IOW, two people would be covered up to $6000.  For example, if you have $1000 per person in airfare, you would be covered up to $2000 per person cruise fare.  If you drive to the port, you would have $3000 per person coverage for cruise fare.

 

Google 'costco citibank visa travel benefits'.

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6 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

The coverage is $3000 per trip per covered person.  "Covered Travelers means You, Your Family Member(s) and Traveling Companion(s) traveling on the Trip." 

Google 'costco citibank visa travel benefits'.

 

Thanks for the info.  Still worth checking the actual terms of coverage, they define Trip in an ambiguous fashion in the guide, and if you fly in the day before and stay a day after you could actually argue you have "nested" tickets which can be viewed as separate "trips".  I'm not an attorney, but there are some legal nuances that are worth checking on an individual case basis if the travel insurance coverage is an important/key issue for you.

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30 minutes ago, jb008 said:

 

Thanks for the info.  Still worth checking the actual terms of coverage, they define Trip in an ambiguous fashion in the guide, and if you fly in the day before and stay a day after you could actually argue you have "nested" tickets which can be viewed as separate "trips".  I'm not an attorney, but there are some legal nuances that are worth checking on an individual case basis if the travel insurance coverage is an important/key issue for you.

Not sure what difference that makes.  Coverage is limited to $3000 Per Person Per Trip or the amount charged to the Card.  

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13 hours ago, avocat said:

I see Chase Sapphire Preferred which I have and also used for this trip, does not have pre-existing medical coverage.

Chase Travel Coverage  I do not see this card providing medical aid or evacuation coverage.  Maybe one day I'll upgrade to the Reserve but even that does not give medical payment coverage.

 

Your information on Chase Sapphire Reserve medical benefit is incorrect. 

 

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11 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Not sure what difference that makes.  Coverage is limited to $3000 Per Person Per Trip or the amount charged to the Card.  


Put simply, define Trip.  If someone really is worried about what's covered they should check the actual benefits contract to see what the definition of Trip is (Trip with a capital T) for the exact policy they're interested in.  On cards where they do not require the whole thing to be charged to activate coverage they probably have a broader definition of Trip.  On cards where the entirety needs to be charged to be covered the definition of Trip might be more narrow.  I'm not even sure OP has the Costco Visa card you're referencing.  

 

For example my AmEx card defines "Covered Trip" as "a trip taken by the Covered Person between the point of departure and the final destination as shown on the Covered Person’s ticket or verification issued by the Common Carrier".  Using my AmEx card's definition my flight is one Covered Trip, while my cruise is a separate Covered Trip.  Same trip, two separate Covered Trips though.

 

Basically, I'm saying read the fine print for your specific case(s).  Also worth mentioning, Pre-Existing Condition Waiver is only needed if you have a Pre-Existing Condition.  That probably applies for most people, but it may not apply for every person and thus is worth keeping in mind as you consider your individual scenario.

 

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1 hour ago, jb008 said:

Basically, I'm saying read the fine print for your specific case(s).  Also worth mentioning, Pre-Existing Condition Waiver is only needed if you have a Pre-Existing Condition.  That probably applies for most people, but it may not apply for every person and thus is worth keeping in mind as you consider your individual scenario.

 

 

Agreed. And people also need to consider pre-existing conditions of certain family members NOT traveling with them (e.g., an elderly parent).  If you have to cancel a trip because something has happened to that person, you should know whether or not you’ll be covered.  

 

Again, know what kind of insurance you need given your specific circumstances, and read the terms and conditions before you buy. 

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