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How to Answer Travel Insurance "Trip Cost" Question?

What do people put for "Trip Cost" when getting estimates for travel insurance? Do you lump ALL the tour's estimated expenses, including the tour itself, flights, hotels? Or round up several hundred dollars to the nearest thousand? Or does it even matter?

Posted by
8439 posts

Does it not have a description (explanation) of what costs to include?

Posted by
2186 posts

eileenweed, it can depend on what type of travel protection you buy and which company you buy it from.

For example, if you buy a CFAR policy - Cancel For Any Reason - most companies require that you must include ALL non-refundable expenses.

As for over-inflating your coverage - say your trip costs $10,000 but you purchase $20,000 of coverage - it doesn't matter to the insurance company because they are ONLY going to do a payout back to you based on the receipts you turn in. So, there's no advantage in overbuying because you have to prove the cost of your trip through "certifiable" receipts. (That's why we tell folks if you're on a trip delay that meets your policy's standard, even if you buy a coke, get a receipt for it. Receipts are your key when filing a claim!)

The big loser in overinflating your coverage needs is You! Why pay for $20,000 of coverage in the premium cost if you can only prove or support a $10,00 claim?

For most "standard" policies you can protect specific items - say all your tours, but not your hotels because the hotels you are staying at have a 24-hour cancellation policy. Thus, you can determine what you'd like to cover. There is a risk if you get ill, etc. in the middle of a trip when you cover selected items.

That said, you really never want to "overbuy" protection as it's coverage you'll never use. But you can come in lower, than ADDD coverage to your existing policy if your costs change. Say you cover $10,000 of a trip but add an incredible $1000 one-day sailing experience three weeks after purchasing your policy. For most insurance carriers, you simply call them up (generally within 15-21 days of the sailing purchase date) and "up" your policy coverage to $11,000. They'll compute the additional cost and charge your CC. But note, some providers like Travelex for example, have come out with new rules that you must complete the purchase of your travel protection 21 days before your departure date (It used to be 48 hours, pre-covid). So know the rules, shoot low, and increase as necessary so you don't overbuy!

I suggest going with a reputable vendor that allows you to make these adjustments in a timely fashion (Travelex has dropped on my list a bit, although they do a good job). If you've not purchased travel protection before CALL THE COMPANY to speak to a rep and get your questions answered. After that, you can buy online with confidence. If the company does NOT have the option to call in and ask questions (i.e. -they are an online company only), I'd be looking at other vendors.

Posted by
3894 posts

I use the cost for non-refundable items only. Since policy prices are based on the trip total cost, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by including refundable items too.

Posted by
42 posts

Thanks for the replies! I have never purchased trip insurance before so I'm a complete newbie. I followed the link to 'Get a Quote' from RS's Travel Guard. It asked me 'Traveler Trip Cost' and I put in $3,500 because that is about my cost for the tour and flights. A few options came up and I clicked on several of them to see the details - they had 100% coverage for "trip cancellation" but then only $250 for "flight cancellation". What if only my $1k+ flight is cancelled and I had to get a new flight - would they only cover $250? So that was confusing. Then I went to SquareMouth for a quote and got much easier to understand info and better coverage for less, so I think I'll pick a plan from there!

Posted by
1096 posts

I cover the costs that I spend prior to arrival, (Flight, Hotels, Trains, Museum/Chateau/Tours). If I purchase the flight insurance with the airline then I don't include that as part of my total with the insurance company. I also don't include what I will be spending/purchasing there (Metro Passes, unplanned city tours or added museum visits). During my planning process I figure out the train costs ahead of time, since I normally don't purchase those until about 4 - 3 months out, it gives me a cost range/plus or minus to use when I am selecting the total cost coverage on the plan.

Posted by
4939 posts

I learned a couple of years ago that you should only include non-refundable costs, but what about costs that are not refundable, but are changeable? For example, our plane tickets to and from Europe this year are not refundable, but there is a liberal change policy. The same is true of some other things we have booked and paid for - local tours, for instance.

So odds are that if we had to cancel our trip, we'd be out very little. I'm assuming, of course, that we'd be able to use the airline or tour vouchers another time.

And all we really want is the medical and medevac coverage. (Our Medicare Advantage policy doesn't cover international travel.) We have a voucher from Travel Guard from our cancelled 2020 trip that expires in about 7 weeks from now. I don't find a plan from them that covers only medical, although I have found a very inexpensive one from GeoBlue. We have used them in the past with no trouble.

I probably just need to call Travel Guard and see what they can do for me.

Posted by
301 posts

I buy Travel Guard when I make our first payment and base the insurance on just that amount. For our initial tour deposits of $800, I paid $120 for insurance. I do that so we have coverage for pre-existing conditions. As I make more payments, I modify the policy on-line, they review it, and charge me for the additional amount. I just paid our final tour payment and added it to the policy for TG to review and charge me for that coverage. I added our airfare because while the tickets are changeable, they aren't refundable. I put in actual costs (no rounding).

Posted by
5775 posts

Calculating Trip Cost for Travel Insurance Last updated on

Correctly calculating trip cost is vital to finding the right travel
insurance plan. Your final trip cost will have a hand in determining
the price of a plan. Sometimes, travelers get tripped up when they
hear trip cost because they assume it includes every expense made
while traveling. However, the "insurable" trip cost is not the same as
"total" trip cost.

What Does Insurable Trip Cost Mean?

Essentially, you can only add prepaid, non-refundable expenses to
a travel insurance plan. In other words, you can only insure the
amount of prepaid costs that will not be refunded entirely in the
event of a covered cancellation.

The price of a travel insurance plan and the benefit eligibility rely
on trip cost. Remember, you must insure 100% of your prepaid,
non-refundable expenses to be eligible for certain benefits
. Don't
forget that you can always add trip cost to your plan after purchase