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Escaper

Viking or other Trip Insurance?

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So this is a spin-off of a similar thread on the River Cruises forum.

 

We booked a cruise with Viking during the "Risk Free" promotion.  In addition, we have confirmed we have 90% coverage for medical through our Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical insurance.

 

Given those two factors, is there any reason to spend almost $2K on either Viking or another 3rd party trip insurance program?  Am I missing something important?

 

Thanks for the assistance.  

Escaper

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Do you have coverage for emergency medical evacuations or lost luggage, airfare issues?

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We have purchased ONLY medical and emergency evacuation, lost luggage...it was very reasonable $160.00/pp for a 50 day trip.

I am trusting we will be covered for cruise fare with vouchers.

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We obtained insurance once private and once through Viking.  If you already have medical coverage including evacuation all you need is coverage for trip cancellation.  That usually gives you insurance if you have to cancel the trip, flight cancellation or delay, lost baggage, delayed baggage, missing the boat due to flight cancellation etc.

 

The Viking policy is nice because you can cancel for any reason.  But to benefit from the full coverage, you must do everything through Viking.  We took the Viking cruise and did 3 of their excursions.  We did airfare, pre cruise stay and mostly private excursions ourselves.  At some point before our trip I read the policy very closely.  It did not cover us for flight delays or cancellations, hotel cancellation due to flight problems, lost or delayed luggage, coverage for any private excursions, transportation traffic accidents etc.  Fortunately nothing happened to us but it was an eye opener.

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Posted (edited)

I still haven't purchased any insurance for the January Iberian Explorer cruise. I'm not crazy about the lower emergency evacuation amount that Viking provides compared to other policies I've used in the past, but, with circumstances as they are - probably best to have everything under Viking - insurance and air (which I also usually do myself). That way, if things go south - let them work it all out. I haven't purchased air yet either. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

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Posted (edited)

We haven’t had to use any of our insurance  (thankfully) but when we retired and became nomadic we elected to buy an annual health care policy that includes evacuation/repatriation.  It covers us for all travel outside the US (our ACA plan covers us in the US) up to 75 days in length per trip. The total annual cost for both of us (56 & 61 at the last renewal) was under $400.  We also have a premium credit card that has trip delay, cancellation etc.  so between these two, we have felt like we are covered sufficiently at a reasonable cost should something terrible happen. 

Edited by Clay Clayton

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Hi Clayton:  could you tell us what company you use for your travel healthcare policy?

THanks

Paul

PaulsWanderlustTravel

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3 hours ago, Paulswanderlust said:

Hi Clayton:  could you tell us what company you use for your travel healthcare policy?

THanks

Paul

PaulsWanderlustTravel

It’s with GeoBlue. 

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Posted (edited)

We always buy Travel Guard insurance.  We had to cancel a trip a few years ago due to a sick family member and had no problems being reimbursed.  I know price depends on cost of trip and age of travelers but we’ve never paid $2,000.  Take a look at “insuremytrip” to compare prices.

Edited by Frenchberet
Typo

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10 hours ago, Frenchberet said:

We always buy Travel Guard insurance.  We had to cancel a trip a few years ago due to a sick family member and had no problems being reimbursed.  I know price depends on cost of trip and age of travelers but we’ve never paid $2,000.  Take a look at “insuremytrip” to compare prices.

 

 

The cost of insurance depends on four things: your state of residence, your age, how much you spending on your vacation and the terms of the policy. If you are taking a long expensive cruise, it is easy to spend $2000 or more on trip insurance.

 

 

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FYI viking insurance tends to be less for older passengers.

I did InsureMyTrip several times as it was less expensive with no Viking complications & this last time with COVID they would not give me a refund or apply forward. Tried to reach them for months, phone & email. Finally expired.

Now so old that viking for us is much less $.

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Many years ago incurred $1200 medical bill for catching flu aboard ship.  Have purchased travel insurance ever since.  The CC travel insurance forum is a great resource as are multi-line brokers like Insuremytrip.  Over the years have cancelled one cruise at the last minute, interrupted and flown home from a second, and made a couple of visits to medical.  Travel insurance always reimbursed us without issue.

 

One thing I've learned is the need to carefully read the T&C.  In evacuation coverage for instance, while we tend to focus on total $ coverage policies differ quite a bit on who gets to make the decisions on where you will be evacuated to, where you will receive treatment, how they will get you home, whether a companion can travel with you, and very importantly do they pay for everything up front or do you have to come up with the cash and later seek reimbursement.

 

Tripmate did not work for my first VO cruise.  The policy was expensive and did not cover my air and hotel which I did not purchase through VO.  For my just-cancelled VR sailing however we paid Tripmate almost $1400 (total cruise cost $20k) because dw had covid concerns and Viking provided 100% CFAR  coverage right up until sailing.  Most other CFAR policies only refund 50% - 75%.  Recognized that any Viking refund would come in form of FCC while others reimburse in cash.  The Risk Free Guarantee was not in place at that time, if it were we might have purchased something different.  Anyway, when VR cancelled the sailing in addition to the cruise fare they refunded us the full Tripmate cost and the Viking Air upgrade fee.  This made dw very happy.   

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On 7/15/2020 at 11:44 PM, Escaper said:

  In addition, we have confirmed we have 90% coverage for medical through our Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical insurance.
Escaper

I would check and double check about BC/BS working in a foreign country.  Most times it doesn't.  

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I believe that many medicare supplement policies have a  lifetime cap of $50K for foreign country medicals.  It's lifetime and that can add up fast,  If your stuck in their hospital.

 

I can't speak for advantage plans and caps.

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1 hour ago, zalusky said:

I believe that many medicare supplement policies have a  lifetime cap of $50K for foreign country medicals.  It's lifetime and that can add up fast,  If your stuck in their hospital.

 

I can't speak for advantage plans and caps.

No real disagreement with your point, but have to say, $50k goes a lot further in a foreign hospital than it will in one in the USA. 😢

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Just now, Clay Clayton said:

No real disagreement with your point, but have to say, $50k goes a lot further in a foreign hospital than it will in one in the USA. 😢

 

Very true but its a lifetime limit and one I would not gamble on.

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18 hours ago, The Other Tom said:

I would check and double check about BC/BS working in a foreign country.  Most times it doesn't.  

If OP has BC/BS through the FEHB, BCBS health coverage is international.  My sister had a stroke cruising off the coast of Australia.  Ship docked in Brisbane where she was transported to a hospital - was there over three months, BCBS paid for all hospital & medical bills. Of course, it did not pay for her husband staying in Brisbane with her.  Fortunately he knew a family in Brisbane that welcomed him in their home and helped him navigate their hospital system.  Otherwise he would have been in a hotel or short term rental.  Getting her home was challenging since they didn't have medical evacuation insurance.  Using a wheelchair and w/ her husband's assistance, she was able to fly commercially back to Maui after the hospitalization.  Needless to say, it was a very challenging experience.  My health insurance is w/ BCBS since it is international but I also always buy travel insurance for the medical evacuation portion.  Yes, I do want to be reimbursed for canceled trips but my biggest concern is something serious happens and being able to be medically transported from a location that has less than stellar medical facilities.  My sister was very fortunate that her stroke occurred off the coast of Australia and was transported to a major medical hospital.  And she was only 62 at the time.   I view travel insurance as just another cost of a trip.

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Thanks for the info.  My BC/BS does not cover international medical costs.  And yes, I also view insurance (and airport parking, etc) as just another cost of the trip.

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never buy insurance from the cruise line or tour co.  Always buy from a separate co on case they default.  We used to sail several times a year. Bought annual plans that covered our needs.  We found that if you travel more than twice a year, an annual policy makes more sense.

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I have only bought travel insurance twice, when my mother was in the process of dying and I was traveling a lot to the east coast, I wanted to be able to cancel if problems arose and when we went to Paris in May 2019.  I am 57 and wife 65.  We will buy it in the future going overseas.

Last year in Paris day one at the Arc de Triomphe, my wife mentioned a nice feature at the top of the Arch.  I gazed up and backed up at the same time.  There happened to be a stone step behind me and before I was aware, I was on the ground.  My elbow was very sore to the extent that my wife had to cut my duck at dinner.  I looked up the American Hospital on the internet and it was only 1 1/2 miles from our hotel.  I walked over on a Saturday morning arriving at opening and within 90 minutes I was examined, x-rayed and given a sling, no break!  My wife was still sleeping when I returned to the hotel.  The bill was $400 which was reimbursed by travel insurance in less than ten days.

I will add that I seldom wore the sling after the second day.  We were on a Trafalgar Tour that began two days after my hospital visit.  Day four of our tour I had overdone things with my arm and I wore the sling.  The tour operator was aghast when he saw the sling.  He had taken another tour member to the hospital for most of the day the day prior for a fall.  He was relieved to learn that my fall preceded the tour and that I was smart enough to find medical assistance on my own.

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On 7/15/2020 at 10:44 PM, Escaper said:

So this is a spin-off of a similar thread on the River Cruises forum.

 

We booked a cruise with Viking during the "Risk Free" promotion.  In addition, we have confirmed we have 90% coverage for medical through our Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical insurance.

 

Given those two factors, is there any reason to spend almost $2K on either Viking or another 3rd party trip insurance program?  Am I missing something important?

 

Thanks for the assistance.  

Escaper

If you need to fly home early, short-notice fares can be thousands. 

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