Please sign in to post.

Amount I Choose to Insure with Travel Insurance

Is it up to me to decide how much of the value of my trip I want to insure?

For example, let's say the value of all the expenses of my trip is $5,000 but I only ensure $3,000. I am willing to take on the risk of absorbing some of the cost of my trip as I am most interested in covering possible costs (med evac, medical costs, for ex.) that could far exceed the actual cost of the trip.

I want to confirm that only insuring part of the cost of my trip has no effect on receiving reimbursement for the amount I choose to cover or the additional benefits that come as part of the travel insurance coverage.

Posted by
748 posts

You can in fact choose to insure $0 of your trip and just get the medical and evac coverage (along with a few things they bundle such as lost luggage and trip delay). squaremouth.com lets you do this as an option while you are applying for the policy.

However there is one caveat. Most insurers (all the ones I've seen, anyway) will not waive pre-existing medical conditions unless you insure the full value of your trip. And even then there is often a clause that says you must purchase the policy within a short period of time such as two weeks after your first trip payment to anyone.

Note that by "full value" they mean the amount you don't get back if the trip is cancelled or you fall ill, so you don't have to insure reservations that can be cancelled. See https://www.squaremouth.com/travel-advice/can-i-insure-less-than-the-actual-cost-of-my-trip-on-a-travel-insurance-policy or check with the company issuing your policy.

Posted by
21077 posts

I don't believe that's true, but I cannot point to an information source to back me up.

Posted by
9 posts

@Estimated Prophet Yes, I will give Travel Insured a call to confirm. I called today to confirm COVID-19 quarantine is a covered reason for Trip Interruption (which it is). It is not covered Travel Guard which has a link on this website. My hold was 1 hr 18 minutes. I mentioned to the CSR that Travel Guard does not include COVID in Trip Interruption. She said Travel Guard is their biggest competitor and thought maybe that's why they have be extremely busy lately.

Also, we have no pre-existing conditions so we don't have to be concerned with that.

Posted by
1748 posts

Excerpted from my Travel Guard policy

TRIP INTERRUPTION
The Company will pay a benefit to reimburse the Insured for covered expenses, up to the Maximum Limit shown in the Schedule or Declarations Page, if an Insured is unable to continue on his/her Trip due to any of the following Unforeseen events:

Sickness, Injury, or death of an Insured, Family Member, Traveling Companion, Business Partner, or Host at Destination. Sickness or Injury must be certified by a Physician;

the Insured or Traveling Companion is . . . quarantined

Posted by
325 posts

I have been told by Travel Guard that they cover trip interruption due to Covid. I also have been told you have to insure any non-refundable costs if you want the pre-existing conditions benefit. I'm not sure, but I think that includes not only me and my spouse, but pre-existing conditions of any relatives that might fall ill ending in us canceling our trip.

Posted by
388 posts

Whether you can self insure some of your costs depends on the policy and the company. They're not all the same on this issue. For example, you may be able to self insure some costs with "regular" cancellation insurance (a policy that reimburses you for prepaid and non-refundable costs if you cancel for a covered reason), but be subjected to a rule that if you are upgrading to cancel for any reason, you have to insure each and every prepaid and non-refundable expense. It's important to ask questions and read the policy.

Posted by
1748 posts

@mnannie That’s what I’m hanging my hat on and sincerely hope I don’t have to find out.

Posted by
9 posts

This is from the Travel Guard website as of 4-15-2022. It seems to say in the first paragraph I am not covered if I am quarantined, but in the second paragraph I am covered if I am diagnosed with COVID. Very confusing. So if I test positive for COVID with a quick test and I am required to quarantine but find out 3-4 (or more) days later via a PCR test I am actually negative, the lost days are not covered by Trip Interruption?

"On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. Therefore, any losses for trip cancellation, trip interruption and/or trip delay caused by or resulting from quarantine due to COVID-19 is not considered “Unforeseen” and will not be covered under the terms and conditions of this insurance policy."*

"However, this does not affect any Medical Benefits available under the insurance policy. If you contract COVID-19 prior to departure, you would be covered for Trip Cancellation, if you have a confirmed and documented diagnosis and/or you are medically unable to travel at the time of departure due to COVID-19. If you contract COVID-19 while on a covered trip, you would be covered for Medical Expense and Trip Interruption/Curtailment benefits if you have a confirmed and documented diagnosis."

https://www.travelguard.com/covid19notification

Posted by
1748 posts

Perhaps the key point here is that you need a confirmed diagnosis for covid via a proctored test such as a BINAX Now test or one done in a pharmacy. I don’t think one of those self-tests such as what we were sent by the government will fly. Otherwise a lot of people would be saying they have covid and getting extra free days of vacation.

Posted by
9 posts

@Mary I agree with you that more than a self-test should be required to prove a diagnosis and make a claim under medical benefits. But what about being quarantined and ending up with no medical diagnosis of COVID?

This is the worst case I picture happening...
I start sniffling and coughing and feeling poor so the tour director requires me to take a COVID test (and I would want to take one to protect the other tour members). If I test positive, I will quarantine and be unable to participate for a few days while I get a test by a medical authority and wait for results. PCR results take days in the US. I'll be happy if the PCR test is negative but now I've missed 3+ days of a 7-day tour and I have no medical diagnosis of COVID and therefore cannot support a Trip Interruption claim.

Is something like this likely to happen? Probably not, but it's why I will buy insurance that includes coverage for quarantine. Is PCR testing available as a walk-in and results are available in hours in major European cities so I would miss one day, at the most? Don't know.

Posted by
5187 posts

@laura.
I think it would be fairly simple to share an official lab result with you dr. Via email or telemedicine to get that diagnosis from a doctor. Another option would be a telemedicine service.

Posted by
1748 posts

Laura, I can tell you are stressed as we all are about covid and the tours. Go to your tour documents and read up on the covid wellness and refund policy. The refund policy is quite generous. Also note that you will not be able to rejoin the tour until you test negative. You may test positive for quite a while and not be able to rejoin the tour. I am confident that the RS guides are very competent and know how to deal with these situations and there will be someone to help guide you through the process. On the few RS tours I have taken (as well as other reputable tour companies such as Odysseys) I have found the guides to be very helpful when someone is ill or injured. The only thing we can do is wear our masks at all times even outdoors in crowded situations, socially distance, wash our hands. Do all the same things you do at home to avoid covid.

Posted by
9 posts

@Mary Actually, I am not very concerned about contracting COVID on the trip and I completely trust the tour leaders to know what resources are available given our whole tour is in one large city. If I can avoid getting COVID in FL with the extremely loose approach to safe behavior and the very high number of cases, I feel confident I can operate safely almost anywhere!

The post is actually about travel insurance and what it will cover and the difference between losing tour days due to quarantine versus losing days due to actual diagnosed sickness from COVID. I won't be using Travel Guard no matter the price because they do not cover losses due to quarantine only. It would be a bit of an outlier event to test positive on a quick test, get myself quarantined, lose tour days and/or be stuck in Europe for extra days, and then get a negative PCR test but outlier events are what we insure for.

Posted by
325 posts

What I was told by Travel Guard is that they don't pay if you need to quarantine referring to the physical separation of an individual who has had close contact with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 to determine whether they develop symptoms or test positive for the disease. Because I am fully vaccinated, I would never need to quarantine unless I had symptoms. If I have symptoms, I am going to test. If I'm positive, I would isolate, not quarantine. From what I have read, false positives aren't common.

Posted by
9 posts

@mnannie Thanks for the explanation of Travel Guard's policy.

Posted by
54 posts

Laura, I purchased travel insurance through Allianz. I only insured my plane ticket. I’m not worried about my RS tour- if the bus is running I’ll be on it. I would only cancel for one of the unforeseen events listed by RSE. I got the medical and evacuation insurance. The agent at AAA explained that it will cover Covid interruption and quarantine it I test positive. It will not cover fear of covid. It was my first time dealing with travel insurance and $90 for $50,000 medical and $1,000,000 evacuation seemed like a pretty good deal to me. Definitely get insurance. It’ll be well worth the peace of mind.

Posted by
9 posts

@Stacie Your advice/solution fits exactly what I have been thinking about. I found the information about RSE issuing a future tour credit should one of the list of unforeseen events happen. A future tour credit (versus a refund) is completely acceptable because we would definitely be scheduling another tour after we had dealt with the unforeseen event. Our pre- and post-tour hotel reservations are cancellable until the day before so that cost does not need to be insured. We are not checking luggage so lost or delayed luggage doesn't need to be insured. It then comes down to medical and the cost of our airline tickets that need to be insured. I got a much better policy (higher med and evac) than I started with and it was $100 cheaper. Thank you.

Posted by
478 posts

Just a couple of things I look for after having to use travel insurance when I slipped and broke my ankle in a sudden hail storm on the Island of Cape Horn.

Many insurance policies are secondary. You might have to prove somehow you don’t have other insurance or file claims with other policies first. Sometimes you have to pay up front.

Also, if you need to make a medical or trip interruption claim for medical reasons the ins companies ask for a blanket release of medical information to check everything in their look back period.

I had primary coverage and pre-existing condition waiver so was able to get the insurance company to pay for a one way $7000 business class ticket home with a doctor’s note I had a broken ankle, couldn’t bear weight and couldn’t sit with my leg down. They tried to tell me to pay for it to get reimbursed and they paid upfront only when I asked them to check the policy for primary coverage with pre-existing condition waiver.

As for the claim for medical and the rest of the trip, when the form asked for release of all medical info, I put that there was a pre-existing condition waiver. I did have to send receipt for my trip to prove cost and dates for waiver but they paid without having to give access to my medical records.

Posted by
9 posts

@Julie Thanks for the real-life example. $7000 for an airline ticket? Yikes!