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What insurance company won't screw me if there is a claim?


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Posted (edited)

Straight to the point. 

When booking a cruise what is the best company to go with that will cover everything if there is an issue HASSLE FREE. 

Reading horror stories about NCL insurance (AON Infinity)

Examples:

Booking flight with miles will they be returned

We need to get Covid  tested before walking on the ship. We fail and already flew 12 hours for nothing and need to sit in a hotel for 10 days 

We get Covid right before we leave home

Covid comes back and we need to go on mandatory excursions that we would never do and want to cancel everything but the ship is still sailing

Country's we are going to have some sort of lockdown and they reroute the cruise and we want to cancel

 

What insurance will pay up for flight, hotel quarantine, cruise without a fight assuming everything is provable 

Am I looking for cancel for any reason? Seems like it

Are there add ons I need to book with the insurance?

 

Never got trip insurance but it almost seems like a necessity these days  

 

Edited by Jonny Rotten
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1 minute ago, Jonny Rotten said:

Straight to the point. 

When booking a cruise what is the best company to go with that will cover everything if there is an issue HASSLE FREE. 

Reading horror stories about NCL insurance (AON Infinity)

Examples:

Booking flight with miles will they be returned

We need to get Covid  tested before walking on the ship. We fail and already flew 12 hours for nothing and need to sit in a hotel for 10 days 

We get Covid right before we leave home

Covid comes back and we need to go on mandatory excursions that we would never do and want to cancel everything but the ship is still sailing

Country's we are going to have some sort of lockdown and they reroute the cruise we don't want to cancel

 

What insurance will pay up for flight, hotel quarantine, cruise without a fight assuming everything is provable 

Am I looking for cancel for any reason? Seems like it

Are there add ons I need to book with the insurance?

 

Never got trip insurance but it almost seems like a necessity these days  

 

I suggest that you contact a travel insurance broker, someone who can explain the pros and cons of various insurers and policies, and can also help you find the best (not necessarily perfect!) policy for your specific concerns.  (That is, some people have elderly relatives at home, or might have last minute work obligations, etc.). We use www.TripInsuranceStore.com but there are others.

But *call* them.  The only summaries cannot capture everything about each policy and they can't help you find the best for you for any special concern.

 

Now, about your concerns, as stated...

It seems a bit (to me anyway) that you are asking for a lot.  "Life happens", and not everything can be predicted or insured.

 

CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) probably comes closest.  (We always get that and although we've have quite a few claims, we've never used the CFAR part.)

However, at least for the 3rd-party policies we are familiar with, CFAR only pays 75%, but at least it's cash, not credits of some sort with time limits.

 

We've NEVER had a "fight" about our claims, and a few of them have been large.  If your reason for the claim is a covered reason (including having the CFAR coverage) AND you have receipts and documentation, then I'm not sure why there would be a "fight" from a reputable insurer.

(A lot of complaints I read seem to be because people didn't read the fine print and tried to submit a claim for something that wasn't covered in the first place.  Or they object to disclosing some necessary documentation.  For example, if the claim is based upon a medical event, then the insurer certainly has the right to verify that the "event" was as described.  OTOH, we always get coverage that does NOT exclude pre-existing conditions.  That can make a huge difference in a medical claim.  There is no need for the insurer to wade through stacks of past medical records to determine IF the claim is in fact due to a pre-existing condition.  So much easier, so much faster...

 

And for anything where you get a refund, such as being able to re-bank miles/awards, well... no, there won't be insurance for that.  You get your miles/awards back.  Fees to re-bank them can be covered, although there is a limit.  (We've found that limit to be very close to the cost to us to re-bank the awards, so it's worked out for us.)

 

You also want to look into the Trip INTERRUPTION coverage, for "if the ship is already sailing".

Keep in mind that this coverage isn't only for cruises.  There can be reasons to want to interrupt a trip for a land vacation also.

 

You seem to have a very negative attitude about travel insurance to start with, and I'm a bit concerned that if you approach any claim in a negative fashion, it might not go well.  (I've read about people who get enraged about being asked for medical reports to back up a claim based upon a medical event.  That response to an insurer.... just isn't going to go well.  They have a right - an obligation - to verify that any claims are valid, and that shouldn't be a surprise.)

 

GC

 

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1 hour ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

I suggest that you contact a travel insurance broker, someone who can explain the pros and cons of various insurers and policies, and can also help you find the best (not necessarily perfect!) policy for your specific concerns.  (That is, some people have elderly relatives at home, or might have last minute work obligations, etc.). We use www.TripInsuranceStore.com but there are others.

But *call* them.  The only summaries cannot capture everything about each policy and they can't help you find the best for you for any special concern.

 

Now, about your concerns, as stated...

It seems a bit (to me anyway) that you are asking for a lot.  "Life happens", and not everything can be predicted or insured.

 

CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) probably comes closest.  (We always get that and although we've have quite a few claims, we've never used the CFAR part.)

However, at least for the 3rd-party policies we are familiar with, CFAR only pays 75%, but at least it's cash, not credits of some sort with time limits.

 

We've NEVER had a "fight" about our claims, and a few of them have been large.  If your reason for the claim is a covered reason (including having the CFAR coverage) AND you have receipts and documentation, then I'm not sure why there would be a "fight" from a reputable insurer.

(A lot of complaints I read seem to be because people didn't read the fine print and tried to submit a claim for something that wasn't covered in the first place.  Or they object to disclosing some necessary documentation.  For example, if the claim is based upon a medical event, then the insurer certainly has the right to verify that the "event" was as described.  OTOH, we always get coverage that does NOT exclude pre-existing conditions.  That can make a huge difference in a medical claim.  There is no need for the insurer to wade through stacks of past medical records to determine IF the claim is in fact due to a pre-existing condition.  So much easier, so much faster...

 

And for anything where you get a refund, such as being able to re-bank miles/awards, well... no, there won't be insurance for that.  You get your miles/awards back.  Fees to re-bank them can be covered, although there is a limit.  (We've found that limit to be very close to the cost to us to re-bank the awards, so it's worked out for us.)

 

You also want to look into the Trip INTERRUPTION coverage, for "if the ship is already sailing".

Keep in mind that this coverage isn't only for cruises.  There can be reasons to want to interrupt a trip for a land vacation also.

 

You seem to have a very negative attitude about travel insurance to start with, and I'm a bit concerned that if you approach any claim in a negative fashion, it might not go well.  (I've read about people who get enraged about being asked for medical reports to back up a claim based upon a medical event.  That response to an insurer.... just isn't going to go well.  They have a right - an obligation - to verify that any claims are valid, and that shouldn't be a surprise.)

 

GC

Thanks for the long response. I'll look into travel brokers and the company you mentioned. I've never bought TI so have no idea where to start or how it works. I'm not negative about TI but after reading the many many complaints about the insurance Norwegian offers I'm not feeling confident using them. Plus Insurance is a business and like every other type of insurance there job first and foremost is to not pay. But there must be some better than others   

 

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2 hours ago, Jonny Rotten said:

Straight to the point. 

 

 

What insurance will pay up for flight, hotel quarantine, cruise without a fight assuming everything is provable 

 

 

None of them and all of them.

 

If you run into problems AND you have sufficient documentation AND your claim is for a VALID covered event, then they will all pay.

I can guarantee you that for every 100 travel insurance claims that people complain about and was a horror story, 99.9% of them were because of insufficient documentation, or because the event being claimed was never considered a covered event.

 

I've had 2 claims that were paid very quickly and 1 that was denied. Why was it denied? Because I didn't follow the directions laid out in the Terms and Conditions.

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WOW!  I cannot resist responding as one who has had to deal with my own claim problems but also worked in the Government medical insurance industry for over thirty years.  I guess you might say that I can see both sides of the issue.

 

Most claims examiners do not see their task as making life easy for claimants.  They do their job according to the standards of their company with the knowledge that some folks try to scam insurance companies.  So claims examiners want to see proof/documentation to support everything on every claim.  If you have the proper documents, take the time to properly fill out claim forms (not fun), and file the claim in accordance with their rules (right address, timely, etc) than you should not be "hassled."    Just beware that getting any insurer to reimburse missed airline flights is always a hassle since most airlines can be convinced to issue vouchers/credits if there is good cause to miss a flight.

 

But what happens in real life is many folks do not have the proper backup documents, file with a secondary insurance provider before dealing with the primary provider, etc.  If you use a decent insurance broker when buying your policy you might get some help from the broker but they cannot possible do the work involved in putting everything together (claim forms and all the necessary supporting documents) and submitting everything to the proper address (I always suggest using some type of mail tracking be it Fedex, Priority Mail, etc).

 

The OP does ask some great questions about the details of the policy and that leads me to the conclusion that he should use a decent travel insurance broker (who represents multiple companies and can discuss the pros/cons of various policies).  As always, we suggest Steve Dasseos of tripinsurancestore.com.   I have no connection to Steve and have never even used his services but the man has a great reputation, is often featured here on CC, and often contributes to this forum.  

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Companies like AON Affinity and Tripmate administer claims for a number of policies sold by the cruise lines, but the policies themselves are underwritten by major insurers such as Nationwide. The administrators are merely applying the terms of the policy to the claims as they are submitted.

 

As others have said, problems most often arise because the policy holder has a poor understanding of what is covered and what is required to file a claim.  As a result, folks feel tricked or cheated when their claim is denied.

 

Since you are new to travel insurance, I also recommend that you consult a professional who can help you avoid the pitfalls. Present the concerns you’ve stated in your post, and let them advise you.

 

Look for a policy that will reimburse fees to redeposit miles. To cover quarantine expenses, look for a policy with generous trip delay benefits. As for COVID-related cancellation, most policies today treat COVID as any other illness and will reimburse all nonrefundable expenses. Consult first, and get the proper documentation in place before you cancel. In most cases that means confirmation of diagnosis by your doctor and orders not to travel.

 

I’m not sure if there is a policy that will let you cancel just because you don’t want to take ship-sponsored excursions or travel on a greatly altered itinerary. I think cruise lines reserve the right to do that in their contract of passage, and it is up to them to offer compensation as a goodwill gesture.

 

Finally, ask about pre-existing conditions so you’ll know whether it applies to you. It could make a big difference.

 

Let the professionals explain your choices. At least you’ll have a better idea of what insurance can do for you. After that, you’ll have to decide whether to book a cruise when there are still things beyond your control.

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We've been able to submit our claims by uploading pdf documents, either forms already online or scanning them to create the pdf.

IF there are any documents/forms along the way, we scan them in as soon as possible, before we can, uh, misplace them.  😱

 

And then, I *always* double check to get confirmation that the email and attachments were received by the insurer.

 

We are among those who have used TripInsuranceStore.com

For our first claim, we did ask to have them double check our claim form, but after that, no problem.

However, when we had a complicated situation while I was in hospital overseas, I did email a few times to double check how best to try to get our trip back on track.

 

Importantly, they've always been very patient helping us to understand the possible policies, and also to try to understand our needs to try to help us get the best match.

And there's no extra cost to use them.

 

GC

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I forgot to add:  If you are filing a claim based upon a medical problem, you *MUST* be seen by a physician (and virtual seems to be okay these days, but I'd double check).   You cannot just "declare yourself sick" and get coverage for cancelling.  The physician must verify that you are sick *and* that you will be unable to travel, etc.  They will need to sign either a formal claim form or sign a letter stating the situation.

(When I had hospital records in a language other than English, I just scanned it all in, and the insurer handled whatever translation was necessary.)

 

We have twice had a hotel call for a physician to make a "house call" in a hotel overseas.  Those costs were fully reimbursed as part of the claim, so there's no disincentive to get it "right".

 

Do pay attention to any deadlines or restrictions about starting the coverage to include pre-existing conditions, for the travelers and for any family members who are not traveling, if relevant.

 

GC

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My personal expertise (having worked in the industry for over thirty years) is medical insurance claims.  I am going to give a few tips that can really help with any medical claim.  Start out with the mind set that you can never have too much documentation.  Also understand that most medical providers (i.e. physician offices, hospitals, urgent care, etc) will not routinely give you all the documentation you might need to get a claim processed.   Trying to get additional documentation, after the fast, from a foreign medical provider may prove very difficult to impossible.

 

So, the time to be thinking about a claim is when you are already under maximum stress dealing the a medical problem...but you should take a deep breath and think.   Ask the medical provider for copies of everything (a detailed bill, medical records, x-rays, lab test results, CT Scans, etc).  In some cases you will need to pay an extra fee to get all the detailed records and if that is the situation pay the bill and get a receipt (the insurance plan will often reimburse that expense).   Having all the detailed medical info can make the difference on getting a claim quickly settled or not!  

 

And this goes for when you are treated on cruise ships.  When DW was badly injured on an Asian cruise/trip she was treated on a Princess ship and also got extensive treatment at a major Japanese hospital.  The hospital gave me copies of everything including a DVD of a CT-Scan and graphic medical photos of the injury.  But Princess only gave me a summary invoice.   At that time I asked for all the detailed medical records and was told there would be a $50 fee (to make and assemble the copies).  I quickly agreed to that fee and got nearly 20 pages of supporting documents (hard to believe they had this much after only 4 days of outpatient treatment).  That documentation later proved invaluable when I had to deal with the claim examiner and yes, our insurer did reimburse me for that $50 fee.

 

Hank

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