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What I learned about trip insurance


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Today I cancelled a cruise out of Asia.  I had a refundable deposit so no problem there.  When I called the insurance company (not booked through RCL) to cancel the insurance I learned that you only have a limited time after you take out the insurance to cancel it.  I don't remember if it was a few weeks or a month but it was a short time.  The catch is that if you don't take out the insurance within a week or so of making the deposit on the trip you won't be covered for preexisting conditions so I always take it out immediately.  Because I took out the insurance almost a year ago they will only transfer the money to a trip that is within 770 days of the day I took out the insurance.  So the insurance covers trip cancellations but not cancellation of itself! I don't know if all trip insurance companies have the same rules but I just thought I'd share this experience.

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7 minutes ago, okeytaco said:

Today I cancelled a cruise out of Asia.  I had a refundable deposit so no problem there.  When I called the insurance company (not booked through RCL) to cancel the insurance I learned that you only have a limited time after you take out the insurance to cancel it.  I don't remember if it was a few weeks or a month but it was a short time.  The catch is that if you don't take out the insurance within a week or so of making the deposit on the trip you won't be covered for preexisting conditions so I always take it out immediately.  Because I took out the insurance almost a year ago they will only transfer the money to a trip that is within 770 days of the day I took out the insurance.  So the insurance covers trip cancellations but not cancellation of itself! I don't know if all trip insurance companies have the same rules but I just thought I'd share this experience.

That's like I didn't get sick in the last year, so I want a refund of my health insurance?  Insurance is never an item that can be cancelled except during a very small window after purchase.

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Joseph,  I don't think it's the same thing.  To me the difference is that the health insurance would have been in effect even though I might not have needed the coverage just like our auto insurance that we've had for 50 years and never had a claim.  Trip insurance is not in effect until the start date of the  insurance so since it had not started yet I thought it could be cancelled.  It's not a problem since we have a land based trip through Italy and I will transfer the policy.

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There's a section up above where you can select which cruise line board you want to engage on in Cruise Critic where you could or anyone get some answers about cruise insurance.  

 

This is the second time that I have seen them put a board or section up on Insurance.  This time it's with the Insurance site Insure My Trip which they will answer questions about travel insurance until the 25th of this month.  

 

There may be some answers to a lot of people's questions there or you can ask them about an issue you have.

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10 minutes ago, okeytaco said:

Joseph,  I don't think it's the same thing.  

 

I see it as exactly the same thing.

You purchased the policy for the Pre-Existing Condition waiver. Therefore any pre-existing conditions you have from time of booking up till trip completion are affected by this insurance. If your diabetes acts up, if your blood pressure meds change, etc  al these issue affect your travel insurance. If you needed to cancel for any of these issues, the existing condition was waived, therefore you are covered.

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17 minutes ago, okeytaco said:

Trip insurance is not in effect until the start date of the  insurance so since it had not started yet I thought it could be cancelled. 

 

Actually trip cancellation insurance goes into effect as soon as you purchase the insurance.  The cancellation coverage ends as soon as your trip begins.

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My insurance shows it is effective the day I purchased the insurance through the day I advised them I'd be back home.  Mine does include pre-existing conditions, so I understand that's why it shows a date almost a year before the cruise.

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That is why I really like purchasing my insurance policies through sites like insuremytrip.  The summary of every policy clearly states the refund period. You can then click on the hyperlink to get more detailed info on the refund policy.

 

Here is an example:

image.png.1f6509f6aee88c4ef53bb5264ecaeb97.png

Edited by cured
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I have had the same experience as OP.   At first it surprised me, but when I thought about it I understand the insurance cancelation policy.   You typically get better rates booking it early. A good reminder to understand our insurance we book. 
 

Insurance is sometimes great, sometimes it sucks, but to stay sane I have to look at it as a necessary expense in some situations.   

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12 minutes ago, klfrodo said:

I haven’t had a claim for my auto insurance in years. I wonder if I could get 5 years worth of insurance premiums back?

 

No. But if you pay your annual premium today and sell your car next week, they'll refund for the unused 51 weeks. 

 

Which is the exact situation the OP is in. 

 

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18 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

No. But if you pay your annual premium today and sell your car next week, they'll refund for the unused 51 weeks. 

 

Which is the exact situation the OP is in. 

 

Thank you for that analogy!  I was beginning to question my logic!!!!  To clarify my position...I'm not upset or unhappy with the company; just surprised.  I will still be able to use it so it's all good.  I learned from it and I count learning experiences as blessings! 

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We usually book 3rd party trip insurance. We also book flights on our own.

Were we to cancel our flights, there would be a cancelation fee and the rest would be issued as a credit with the airline which would have to be used within a year or be lost. 

The trip insurance would cover the cancelation fee but not the credit.

So the best you would do even with 3rd party insurance would be to get back the RC cancelation fee.  You would be "stuck" with the FCC and lose it unless you could book something else in time.

 

 

 

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I actually surprised that they allow you to transfer the insurance. That is still like saying, I sold my old car that you insured last year without a claim, so I want to use the premium payment to cover my new car that I will purchase in 770 days. 

Edited by BirdTravels
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We usually book with TravelGuard. They are usually ok with date changes as long as it's the same cruise line. This true for NY and NJ but can vary from state to state. When changing cruise lines it's more of a hassle - seems to depend on which customer service rep you talk to.

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1 hour ago, BirdTravels said:

I actually surprised that they allow you to transfer the insurance. That is still like saying, I sold my old car that you insured last year without a claim, so I want to use the premium payment to cover my new car that I will purchase in 770 days. 

 

Insure my trip and the insurer let me move mine once. We were doing a B2B out of San Juan and had insured the entire 14 day trip. It was in May, and it looked like there were a lot of children on week 2. We decided to move the second week to the week before our first week. 

They confirmed that it was not a cancellation, just a rescheduling and moved the dates with out any problem. 

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Just one question to the OP....

 

If you had a refundable deposit, why did you even bother taking out travel insurance until you made final payment? You were at zero risk of suffering any loss, so insurance seems to be redundant.

 

We have booked a cruise for October 2021, with a $1 deposit. I won't be getting travel insurance until the next payment is due in February 2021. If we have to cancel before then, I'm not overly concerned about losing our $2.00.

 

Edit: Just reread the OP , and saw the pre-existing conditions bit. I didn't pick up on that as it works differently in Australia. Here, if you want cover for pre-existing conditions, they simply charge you extra (if they will provide cover at all).

 

Edited by Balsam12
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14 hours ago, Marilyn Johannes said:

I wonder if this is the same if the airlines and cruise line cancel?

If the carrier cancels it is on them to make you whole and typically insurance wouldn't apply (the only exception that I'm aware of is for financial default of the carrier, if your policy covers that). 

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11 hours ago, okeytaco said:

Thank you for that analogy!  I was beginning to question my logic!!!!  To clarify my position...I'm not upset or unhappy with the company; just surprised.  I will still be able to use it so it's all good.  I learned from it and I count learning experiences as blessings! 

I would be very careful about what you've "learned."  If you bought your insurance immediately because of a Pre-exisiting condition, then you need to always buy it early.  We have no pre-existing conditions so we always wait until Final Payment.  But doing so, I realize that if an illness pops up between First Deposit and Final Payment and I haven't purchased insurance, then that illness won't be covered.  I figure if something serious enough happens a month before final payment I will cancel the cruise.  But once you buy a policy, you own the policy.  Why do people (not talking about you as you said you were good with the decision), find this unfair?  If you have a heart condition that falls in the pre-exisiting condition period for example, and you purchase the insurance at first deposit, the insurance company has agreed to cover your heart condition no matter what.  So if your heart condition flares up again a week before the cruise, the insurance company pays out.  If you'd waited until final payment the pre-existing condition clause would be in effect.  So the insurance company accepted liability the day you bought the policy.  They began their coverage that day.  So they accepted the risk and are entitled to the premium. 

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12 hours ago, HBE4 said:

 

No. But if you pay your annual premium today and sell your car next week, they'll refund for the unused 51 weeks. 

 

Which is the exact situation the OP is in. 

 

Not even close.  You'd be charged a prorated amount for the length of the coverage.   The OP had the policy for an extended time.  They and their Pre-Exisiting condition were covered for a year.  If another illness arose, they were covered for that.  If 10 illnesses arose they were covered for those.  What portion of the policy was "unused?"    The insurance company accepted any and every illness that might cause a cancellation from day they bought the policy.  No medical questions asked.  Under your theory, you could go the day BEFORE the cruise and cancel as you haven't "used" the policy.  

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53 minutes ago, papaflamingo said:

I would be very careful about what you've "learned."  If you bought your insurance immediately because of a Pre-exisiting condition, then you need to always buy it early.  We have no pre-existing conditions so we always wait until Final Payment.  But doing so, I realize that if an illness pops up between First Deposit and Final Payment and I haven't purchased insurance, then that illness won't be covered.  I figure if something serious enough happens a month before final payment I will cancel the cruise.  But once you buy a policy, you own the policy.  Why do people (not talking about you as you said you were good with the decision), find this unfair?  If you have a heart condition that falls in the pre-exisiting condition period for example, and you purchase the insurance at first deposit, the insurance company has agreed to cover your heart condition no matter what.  So if your heart condition flares up again a week before the cruise, the insurance company pays out.  If you'd waited until final payment the pre-existing condition clause would be in effect.  So the insurance company accepted liability the day you bought the policy.  They began their coverage that day.  So they accepted the risk and are entitled to the premium. 

Very good points.  We also purchase our trip insurance at the time of final payment for similar reasons.  

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13 hours ago, HBE4 said:

 

No. But if you pay your annual premium today and sell your car next week, they'll refund for the unused 51 weeks. 

 

Which is the exact situation the OP is in. 

 

But she didn't purchase her insurance a week before she wanted to cancel. If she would have purchased her insurance last week, she would still be in the grace period and would have no problem canceling. But the policy is a year old.  There is no auto insurance company that will refund a year old policy just because you didn't use and you are now selling the car.

 

A closer analogy to the OP's situation, since she has been covered for almost a year, would be "I sold my car last week and haven't used my auto insurance for the past year. I would like to be refunded for the last year."

 

I have a cruise in August. I am waiting to purchase my insurance because I am currently dealing with a temporary health thing.  Losing the deposit is still cheaper than the insurance, even for a slightly more expensive policy that still covers preexisting conditions if purchased up to the day before final payment.

 

The 60 day look back period for preexisting conditions is from the day I purchased not the day of the cruise, so the insurance is effective from day 1.  I am waiting until I am at least 60 days from the hospital stay.  If I have a future preexisting condition there is always Geoblue as a supplement.

 

Caveat Emptor

It is up to the buyer to be fully aware of all the fine print..

 

 

Edited by cured
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