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babs135

Travelling without insurance

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Why do some people travel without insurance? Just read a thread here where a couple of posters said that they don't bother with insurance. We had to cancel a holiday last year six weeks before we were due to travel and fortunately we were covered so apart from a small excess we got all our money back. As we were due to be away for four weeks it was not an inconsiderable amount involved.

Here in the UK when we book a cruise we usually have to furnish the cruise line with details of the insurance company.

Seems a bit foolish to me to take the risk.

Edited by babs135

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I agree.  A few years ago, my 2 adult children planned a cruise.  I insisted they get insurance.  As they headed to the airport the day before the cruise, it started to rain, quickly changing to freezing rain.  The airport closed and they never made the cruise.  They would have lost all the costs if they didn't have insurance.

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We never traveled without medical insurance, but were willing to gamble that trip cancellation expenses would not exceed the cost of trip cancellation insurance. We lost out by cancelling a cheap, short trip to Amsterdam in 1989, but are still ahead overall.

 

We learned early on that the cruise lines' 'cruise protection' is woefully inadequate for medical coverage and it is only in the last decade or so that we added good evacuation coverage.

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1 hour ago, babs135 said:

Why do some people travel without insurance?

 

 

I think there are probably three typical reasons:  1) They have not really considered the risk;  2) They want to avoid or cannot afford the cost; or C) they are comfortable retaining the risk.   

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Cruise insurance premiums, generally (based on internet information) are about 3-10% of the cruise cost.  The money I haven't spent on insurance has probably paid for several other cruises.  Still, it's not cost that has driven my decision not to buy it...I decided long ago that if I ever missed a cruise, the reason for not making it would be far more important than worrying about the money lost.
I don't talk about it often, and am knocking on wood as I type this, but not only have I not spent the money on it, I've yet to need it.  And I'm even one of those dreaded 'fly in the day of the cruise' crazies!  That said, I rarely sail more than a week long itinerary and am a fanatic for finding bargains, so most of my cruises don't have staggering price tags.

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Some people prefer to self insure the risks and keep the "insurance" premiums.  There are several travel risks and there are different insurance solutions.

1. Cost of cruise/airfare: This is a known, limited amount already borne by the traveler. Many people accept this limited exposure and don't insure the cost of the cruise.  If they have to cancel, they are willing to forfeit this amount since they have already spent it.  If you self-insure enough cruises and rarely if ever need to cancel, then over time you have saved considerable premium. An analogy to auto insurance. You can can a low deductible, say $250 or a high deductible, $2500. The former will pay more if you have an accident, but the latter will have a lower premium. Effectively, you are self-insuring in the high deductible case. 

2. Medical Benefits/Repatriation Costs: This is usually an open, unlimited amount of exposure. Even people who do not insure the cost of their cruises will generally purchase travel medical benefits to cover these open-ended, potentially unlimited expenses. This is the insurance you buy to protect all your assets from an large medical bill. 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, MidwesternCruiser2 said:

Cruise insurance premiums, generally (based on internet information) are about 3-10% of the cruise cost.  The money I haven't spent on insurance has probably paid for several other cruises.  Still, it's not cost that has driven my decision not to buy it...I decided long ago that if I ever missed a cruise, the reason for not making it would be far more important than worrying about the money lost.
I don't talk about it often, and am knocking on wood as I type this, but not only have I not spent the money on it, I've yet to need it.  And I'm even one of those dreaded 'fly in the day of the cruise' crazies!  That said, I rarely sail more than a week long itinerary and am a fanatic for finding bargains, so most of my cruises don't have staggering price tags.

3-10% wow that's expensive compared to UK. Last time I bought insurance separately, my wife and I paid less that £80 for annual worldwide cover. It's expensive to travel to the US apparently and for us Brits usually carries a premium excess. I now have travel insurance through the bank, along with a few other bits.

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22 minutes ago, ovccruiser said:

3-10% wow that's expensive compared to UK. Last time I bought insurance separately, my wife and I paid less that £80 for annual worldwide cover. It's expensive to travel to the US apparently and for us Brits usually carries a premium excess. I now have travel insurance through the bank, along with a few other bits.

 

Where I live, a county ambulance ride is minimum $2000 plus $2-3 a mile and medical supplies they use.  ER is another $5000+.  ICU is another $15-25000 a day.  Fortunately my mother's insurance paid for most of it, still it was a bit of a shock when you see copies of the medical bills.  The county wants their $$$ and billed us what the insurance company didn't pay.   Since the hospital has a contract with the insurance company the balance was "written off".   This happened 3 times in 2 years ☹️

 

Why the high prices and write offs?  That gets into medical care politics, which shouldn't be discussed on a cruise forum 😎

Edited by Philob

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Only once have I had to use the trip cancelation insurance, and I was very happy I had purchased it.   

 

I have not had to use the medical / evacuation insurance yet, but my sister has.  She ended up in a Parisian hospital for 5 days after emergency surgery. BIL had to fly over last minute and get a hotel room.  First class for the flight home because sis needed the extra space. It could have been hideously expensive. Instead, most of it was covered.

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1 hour ago, CruisingAlong4Now said:

Some people prefer to self insure the risks and keep the "insurance" premiums.  There are several travel risks and there are different insurance solutions.

1. Cost of cruise/airfare: This is a known, limited amount already borne by the traveler. Many people accept this limited exposure and don't insure the cost of the cruise.  If they have to cancel, they are willing to forfeit this amount since they have already spent it.  If you self-insure enough cruises and rarely if ever need to cancel, then over time you have saved considerable premium. An analogy to auto insurance. You can can a low deductible, say $250 or a high deductible, $2500. The former will pay more if you have an accident, but the latter will have a lower premium. Effectively, you are self-insuring in the high deductible case. 

2. Medical Benefits/Repatriation Costs: This is usually an open, unlimited amount of exposure. Even people who do not insure the cost of their cruises will generally purchase travel medical benefits to cover these open-ended, potentially unlimited expenses. This is the insurance you buy to protect all your assets from an large medical bill. 

 

 

A very concise and well thought out response and precisely my approach.  I depart in two days for a cruise to Antarctica for which I have purchased comprehensive insurance, as the potential costs for repatriation, etc. are considerable.  In February we will do a shorter cruise to the Mexican Riviera from our home port with no air involved. For that I will self insure as the cost risks are much lower and something I can tolerate paying on my own.  
Much like life insurance.  I carried and recommend others to carry substantial amounts when you have young children who will need support as well as a mortgage.  When you age out, pay off your house and see your kids earning more than you did it becomes OK to drop your coverage or at least much of it.

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I purchased insurance for my current cruise on a Princess ship and am glad I did. I have flu-like symptoms. My visit to the medical center totaled over $300. I'll submit a claim to my regular health insurance and then to the travel insurance for any uncovered portion. 

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Well, all I have to say to folks who refuse to buy trip insurance is "Good Luck (your're gonna need it)!"😏

 

In all of our years (decades, really) of cruising, we only failed to purchase some sort of trip insurance coverage once. That was due to an oversight -- NOT intentional. And, wouldn't you know THAT was the one cruise where we needed it. Without going into details, let's just say that we still refer to that trip as the 'lost luggage' cruise. Although our bags finally DID catch up with us (mid-cruise) we did incur substantial out-of-pocket expenses -- which we (alas) had NO coverage for. 😱

 

Ever since then, purchasing trip insurance is the first box that we check off of our 'Cruise To-Do' list!😎

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As I discussed above, there are different types of insurance and some people decide to self insure limited exposures, such as the cost of replacing lost luggage compared with unlimited exposures such as medical and repatriation. There is no right/wrong answer - each person must evaluate their own tolerance for risk and their ability to cover limited exposure risks. 

 

It is foolhardy to assume one size fits all.

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Sometimes people don't know any different.  We didn't insure our first cruise.  We were total newbies in the cruising world and it wasn't even on our radar.

 

Since then, we've mostly gotten insurance on all trips.  A couple of times not.

 

Early on we purchased full insurance (cancellation/delay/lost luggage/medical), and, on occasion just purchased from the cruise line. 

 

Recently we've changed to just getting medical/evacuation coverage from a third party (annual policy).

 

 

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1 hour ago, CruisingAlong4Now said:

As I discussed above, there are different types of insurance and some people decide to self insure limited exposures, such as the cost of replacing lost luggage compared with unlimited exposures such as medical and repatriation. There is no right/wrong answer - each person must evaluate their own tolerance for risk and their ability to cover limited exposure risks. 

 

It is foolhardy to assume one size fits all.

 

Very good point -- and, what worked for you (as a cruiser) ten years ago might not be what you need now. In recent years, our focus has shifted from the trip interruption/cancellation part of the policy, to the medical evac/repatriation coverage.

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I have an annual policy covering all my trips worldwide. I am not too concerned about cancellations but I would want medical covered.

 

I am young, fit and healthy but you just never know what could happen. On my last cruise I was told of a lady who slipped on the stairs and got a nasty head injury (according to the witness) that same evening we turned back to port to drop a person off for urgent medical attention. Not sure if it was the same person but the witness I spoke to said it looked bad.

 

a few days later someone had to be taken off by helicopter. The costs for that must have been huge.

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When my husband was alive, I did get insurance for two long trips since his healthy could take a bad turn suddenly.  Never needed it.  Now that he is gone, I won't bother for myself.  I always drive or fly in the day before and live in Arizona, so bad weather would not be problem.  Have no intention of ever going on a cruise from the northeast.  I am a professional diver, so I have the top level PADI insurance, which includes medical evacuation and a lot of coverage.  I have no family to have to end a cruise for so no problem there, either.  So, no I do not, nor will I get, cruise insurance.  Waste of money for me.

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Last month we were on a transatlantic cruise and DW got sick.  She was treated for pneumonia by the ships doctors.  The bill for her treatments came out to $7000.  Yes $7 grand went on our sea pass card!  Fortunately our cruise insurance reimbursed us in full. 

 

Shak 

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7 hours ago, hancock said:

I agree.  A few years ago, my 2 adult children planned a cruise.  I insisted they get insurance.  As they headed to the airport the day before the cruise, it started to rain, quickly changing to freezing rain.  The airport closed and they never made the cruise.  They would have lost all the costs if they didn't have insurance.

My son and his wife had cancel-for-any-reason coverage for a cruise in 2014. Her father committed suicide two weeks before the cruise and they were denied repayment for their expenses. While I (sort of/vaguely) understand denial if one of them had commited suicide, I'm at a loss to understand why they were denied in their circumstances. 

 

Having insurance doesn't always mean repayment, unfortunately.

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26 minutes ago, mammajamma2013 said:

My son and his wife had cancel-for-any-reason coverage for a cruise in 2014. Her father committed suicide two weeks before the cruise and they were denied repayment for their expenses. While I (sort of/vaguely) understand denial if one of them had commited suicide, I'm at a loss to understand why they were denied in their circumstances. 

 

Having insurance doesn't always mean repayment, unfortunately.

 

Doesn't "cancel for any reason" mean "any reason".  The fact that they were not covered seems strange.  Are you sure that it was cancel for any reason>

DON

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9 hours ago, babs135 said:

Why do some people travel without insurance? 

 

I don't waste my time wondering why others do what they do especially when it has absolutely no effect on me. 

 

 

Edited by DirtyDawg

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8 minutes ago, DirtyDawg said:

 

I don't waste my time wondering why others do what they do especially when it has absolutely no effect on me. 

 

 

Agree. 

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2 hours ago, DirtyDawg said:

 

I don't waste my time wondering why others do what they do especially when it has absolutely no effect on me. 

 

 

 Sometimes you can actually learn something by asking questions.

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I will admit to being one who doesn’t insure my trips. Nothing to do with not understanding the risks. Simply willing to self insure.

 

1. Insurance gets pricey on expensive trips or over many trips. We have saved thousands over the years by not getting insurance so I consider myself self insured and if I have to eat the cost of a trip in the future I won’t be complaining about it.

 

2. any money I have spend on a trip is money I can afford to lose. I did, after all, plan to spend it. Yes, it may mean that I lose out on a vacation that year. But in all reality, my work schedule is not flexible so if I had to cancel and received a refund I would be able to book another trip that year anyway.

 

3. I have checked and my health insurance covers me out of the country and covers evacuation. Now, I will on some trips get a medical/evacuation policy.

 

4. I did actually insure my last trip because when I booked it I wasn’t sure if I could get off work for it and I was able to get ‘cancel for any reason’ at a reasonable price. Luck would have it that our flight was delayed to the point where we could no longer get to our destination that day so we we’re going to lose a day of our vacation. We were able to move our flight to a different airline that could get us there the same day. We did have to pay extra to do this. I called our TA to tell her what happened and that we needed to file and insurance claim and the first thing she said was ‘your insurance won’t cover that’. Huh? I did read through the policy and it is vague enough that probably could cover or not cover it. We are still waiting to hear back from them if they will cover anything. I do think that there are times you can do everything you can to protect yourself and you still aren’t covered. That’s life. I’d prefer to self insure than pay hundreds to an insurance company and have them decline the claim anyway due to the wording.

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