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Travel Insurance

There are so many to choose from!
Any suggestions or good/bad experiences with any of them?
Thank you

Posted by
6877 posts

I always buy Alianz or whatever is offered when I book a flight. Have not had to use it thank god.

Here are some recent threads on the topic
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/travel-insurance-150f0683-8022-4359-82df-993a776dd02b

Also you can in the box at the top of this page Search "Travel Insurance" and see all of the content when it was covered on travel forum.

All I can say it is best to read everything that it a policy covers before you buy it.
And ask the company directly questions about what you are not clear on instead of the internet travel forums were you get recommendations.

Posted by
362 posts

Two things I can think to suggest.

First of all, does your current credit card offer any sort of travel insurance? Some of them will cover lost luggage if that card is used to pay for the flight/train/trip. Better cards may also offer more comprehensive travel insurance as a benefit of owning the card.

Second - consider what you want your insurance to cover. Healthcare in a foreign country? Trip delays? Last minute trip cancellations?

After you've decided what you want your insurance to cover for your purposes, then you can narrow down which carrier you want. Allianz offers trip insurance. So does insuremytrip. I've read that AIG also offers decent trip insurance. It all boils down to what you want covered, but I've never heard any bad stories about those three. (Yet.)

Posted by
646 posts

I always use Travel Guard (gold coverage) which is AIG. I have made two claims in 15 years (both times were this year due to flight cancellations/delays and lost luggage). I just scanned my receipts, provided an explanation, and the checks were in the mail within 7 days. They covered expenses that I was unable to get back, (such as a tickets for a day tour and Ryan Air tickets that were lost due to the delays at Heathrow and hotels due to unforeseen stops). They also helped hunt down my luggage - instead of me having to make several expensive phone calls (which I was also able to claim back). The majority of US medical insurance does not cover in Europe - so having insurance for medical expenses is a must. It is also needed to transport you back to the US if anything more terrible might happen. Please don't travel to Europe without some kind of insurance and always keep your receipts, boarding passing, and anything the airlines give out when your flight is delayed or cancelled. Its all proof that you will need to provide to the insurance.

Posted by
12788 posts

I always use Travel Guard (gold coverage) which is AIG.

We use Travel Guard as well although I'm having a brain burp and can't remember if we buy Gold or Platinum. Fortunately we haven't had to file a claim yet but a travel specialist we know who has headed a successful agency for 40+ years buys T.G. for her many trips and swears by it.

Posted by
1147 posts

I have used CSA. One reason I buy travel insurance is the rental car insurance that is included with the policy I get. Travelguard does not provide rental car insurance in my state, but I know they are very good as well. I did file a claim with CSA in 2008 and it was paid immediately. Whichever company you choose, be sure that you read your policy and know what to do if you need to file a claim. (I carry my policy with me.) The companies have very definite things you need to do if something happens. In my case, it was a fender bender car accident. I had to contact them ASAP to open a claim, get a police report, get some documents from the car rental company, etc. Failure to follow their instructions can potentially invalidate the coverage. I have read many reviews where people complained about the insurance company not paying their claim. In the majority, it was their failure to follow the policy that caused the problem. The most common failure: waiting until they got home to open a claim and take care of it.

Posted by
2506 posts

Insuremytrip.com will allow you to compare a variety of policies from a variety of insurers. Spend some time deciding what you want covered. For us it's medical evacuation, medical expenses, trip interruption or cancellation. The more coverage, the more cost. You can even buy a policy that allows you to cancel your entire trip without cause, but that is very pricey. I don't think the brand is that important as long as it's a fairly high rated company and there are no bad stories by folks who had to file a claim. The ratings and reviews are on the site. Once you've narrowed down what you want to cover, you'll be allowed to compare policies side by side. Read the fine print. I pride myself in doing this but managed to miss a big one this summer. Our daughter badly turned an ankle right before our RS Portugal tour. Turns out for the policy I purchased in order for medical evacuation to be covered she would have had to been hospitalized for 7 days. Whoa! Luckily she recovered and we took the tour. The insurance company assigned a nurse to call us and she was very helpful. Another tour member badly lacerated a finger requiring an ER visit and sutures. Not that costly, but cash only, no credit card. The guide had to hit the ATM to pay the bill. I've used trip insurance twice in the past: once to cancel a cruise last minute when I became ill, another when another daughter became pregnant with delivery scheduled when we would have been in Spain. I am glad I had policies then. Now we are in our late 60's, my in laws in their 90's. If anything happened to them or us we would be covered as I never travel without insurance. Any credit card coverage or the like is "pay and chase". You pay for care then chase the credit card for reimbursement. Travel insurance, the real deal, is a totally different animal.

Posted by
3500 posts

Had one claim with Travel Guard. They required documentation but nothing that was not reasonable. Had a check in a week to ten days. Another thing to consider is medical evacuation insurance. Most travel policies have medical evacuation coverage. But they USUALLY will only evacuate you to the nearest hospital than can treat you. There is a company named "Med Jet Assist" that has a number of different membership plans. It in NOT medical insurance -- just med evacuation coverage. As long as you are more than 150 miles from home, they will, if medically necessary, fly you back to your home hospital in a medical jet with medical personnel. Google them and see what you think.

Posted by
5697 posts

What others have said -- know WHY you want travel insurance and what specific risks you want to cover -- then look at what that coverage will cost. Check what coverage you already have -- credit cards which you use to buy airfare and tours, medical insurance (which may cover foreign emergency care -- our Medicare supplement F does, and my employer-based insurance used to), homeowner's insurance.

I have used Allianz (bought with United airfare), expensive insurance bought to cover a cruise, and, most recently, free coverage through Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. No claims made on any of them so I can't comment on that. I have also self-insured on a number of trips.

Posted by
6866 posts

We use Travel Guard and they promptly paid our claim for a canceled cruise which was due to unexpected surgery.
We cover any apartment/ house rentals, airline change fees, any tours and always add medical evacuation. A friend did not have medical evacuation insurance and recently paid $70,000 to be flown to USA in a medical jet privately.

Posted by
360 posts

A British Columbia, Canada resident was recently seriously wounded at the concert in Las Vegas. Being young and healthy, he didn’t consider medical insurance. Now he is hospitalized and racking up huge medical costs. His BC Medical Plan will only cover the equivelant costs of BC medical care. At any age and fitness level, this is the coverage you shouldn’t leave home without.