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travel insurance reminders from Forbes article

On one of the news sites I look at, I saw this article today by Christopher Elliot. Since travel insurance exclusions and problems have been topics recently, I though it might be a helpful reminder when we start to travel again travel insurance mistakes

In a nutshell it explains what you shouldn't do:
Not getting enough coverage.
Getting the wrong kind of travel insurance.
Not asking questions.
Ignoring the fine print.
Buying it from the wrong place.
Not buying "cancel for any reason" insurance.
Ignoring the pandemic exclusion.
Assuming you know everything about travel insurance.

Posted by
2879 posts

I've avoided this problem by never buying travel insurance. Now that I'm older, I might look into it. Then again, I may not.

Posted by
1639 posts

I’m always impressed by people who don’t buy insurance. They are the ones who will then be trying to get a go fund me to get the emergency surgery they need in some country because the assumption is the kindness of other humans is going to take care of me. Not really a good assumption and trust me go fund me is hardly the way to get emergency surgery

And since you said you’re older, you might think about the fact that traditional Medicare will not pay for anything you might have done when you’re out of the country. And no it’s not free. I understand there’s a Theory thar we just show up at a hospital in Europe and it’s going to be free. It’s not. I had to handover a credit card to get somebody out of hospital in London. Luckily she had insurance and they reimbursed me, but it was not free

Posted by
2642 posts

I don't buy travel insurance as, for me, it is more cost effective to self insure the nonrefundable cost of a trip. From what I've heard, travel insurance didn't help too much with the pandemic anyway...and it is a pain. I've saved a lot of money over the last 20 years by not getting trip insurance, and if I lost my money due to a cancelled trip, I wouldn't be happy, but it would not harm my future in any way. So in many cases or for many people, trip insurance is not important to get.

I do always have medical insurance and evacuation insurance (med jet assist), but I have them year round.

Posted by
2372 posts

I insure for low probability high cost events. If I have to cancel a trip at the last minute and lose a few $1000 big deal. If I’m in Turkey and need an emergent coronary bypass that can only be done in Germany, that I want covered.

Posted by
329 posts

Didn't get it for the trip to Italy and Croatia that I was supposed to be starting on Sunday. Didn't get it for most of my past trips, either. Don't plan to get it in the future.

It's expensive, and I figure I've saved the cost of at least one or two trips by not getting it.

The small amount I'm out for my cancelled trip is less than cancellation insurance would have cost (provided I'm able to use all my vouchers).

Of course, we have travel medical insurance. My husband's work benefits cover that, and if that weren't the case, we would buy coverage.

But cancellation? Nope. Too pricey and too many exclusions.

Posted by
992 posts

We have never purchased travel insurance. Emergency medical expenses are covered by our Medicare Advantage plan. RIck Steves offers a reasonable cancellation policy, and we always book refundable hotels. We figure that the insurance premiums saved over the years will pay for any contingencies.

Posted by
1590 posts

The fine print; it's amazing the small details that insurance companies put in there;

One example for the travel coverage on my credit card, I have no trip cancellation but I do have trip interruption. For an upcoming trip to London I had booked a place through London Connection and put down a $1500 deposit. On April 1st I got an email from them staying they were going out of business and said a refund might be available after May 1st. I immediately called my credit card's insurance division and was told that I'm not covered since I'm not already on the trip, so no $1500 is coming back to me via the insurance. However, if I had already been in London and this happened the insurance would have kicked in and paid me back the $3000 final price plus ancillary costs in finding a new place. Luckily, my bank and credit card are pursuing this outside of my insurance and I'm waiting for a final decision.

Also in the fine print for Trip Interruption. If a relative dies, I'm covered for the flights home plus all costs lost from having to come home early, however, there is a pre-existing condition that extends to these relatives. If that close relative was suffering from something before my trip started such as cancer or a heart condition and that is what kills them, that is considered a pre-existing condition and insurance does not cover.

Posted by
2879 posts

I’m always impressed by people who don’t buy insurance. They are the ones who will then be trying to get a go fund me to get the emergency surgery they need in some country because the assumption is the kindness of other humans is going to take care of me.

As things stand, emergency surgery would be covered by my health insurance, through my wife's company. And if I go back on to Medicare, I'll be sure to get Medicare supplement coverage which would pay for out-of-country medical care.
As to non-medical travel insurance, I don't think I would never waste my money on that. As someone else here said, if I was forced to cancel a trip and lost a couple of thousand (at most) dollars, I could handle that. Not thrilled, but it wouldn't break me.

Posted by
1590 posts

As someone else here said, if I was forced to cancel a trip and lost a
couple of thousand (at most) dollars, I could handle that. Not
thrilled, but it wouldn't break me.

I agree. I always consider travel and medical insurance as two different things. I can't be bothered with cancellation insurance beyond what is on my credit card. I'm more concerned with the health insurance for a catastrophic incident.

Posted by
2372 posts

And if I go back on to Medicare, I'll be sure to get Medicare supplement coverage which would pay for out-of-country medical care.

Yeah, sort of. There is coverage within a limit. I believe it is $50k which can be eaten up fast if you are in an ICU. There is no coverage for repatriation which I think is important.

Posted by
1107 posts

Alan, you are right about the $50K international coverage. It is not available in all supplemental plans so compare plans before enrolling. It is also a lifetime limit. None of the medicare supplemental plans have med-evac/repatriation.