I am booked on a tour for July 2020. While it is too early to make decisions about cancelling or postponing my tour or requesting a refund, I would like to be able to make an informed decision when the time comes. This booking was made in November of 2019 and shortly after the tour booking I purchased 2 Travel Guard Gold Plans for myself and my husband associated with this future July 2020 trip. (There was a lower cost incentive to buy the insurance right away). If I am given the option to apply the tour deposit amount to a RS tour in 2021 due to a 2020 corona virus related tour cancellation would I be able to transfer my travel insurance policies to another future RS tour time frame? If my tour is cancelled am I eligible for an insurance refund? Does anyone have experience dealing with RS travel insurance Travel Guard policies related to virus pandemic related travel plan changes? The cost for this insurance for the 2 of us was not chump change so it would be nice to either get a refund or apply it to future travel with RS. Any advice related to Travel Guard Gold policies and corona virus cancellations are appreciated. Thanks, in advance!
Sorry but no one here can answer your question.
That answer can only come from TravelGuard and it is too early to contact them as they are buried in active cancellations and your question will be “speculative” as you are not cancelling your tour and policies are/may change as to refunds/goodwill transfers.
Understand- your policy is currently active. The day you bought it it became an active insurance policy. If you had become ill with a major event (heart attack, cancer) you would have made a claim and obtained benefits. Insurance is buying coverage for a period of time well before the trip itself- a concept that many want to ignore. How TravelGuard handles this is currently unknown. They could refund in full if RS cancels, refund on a prorated basis for the time you were covered, or allow a credit towards a future trip.
Right now I wouldn’t worry about it. The money has been spent. This will obviously become an issue if RS cancels your tour but that is a decision months off.
sallyaschwarz: We once had to change a tour date, and Travel Guard said there was no problem changing the effective dates of our policy.
I don’t understand why travel insurance becomes active from the day you buy it. The insurance company asks you what date your trip starts and ends, so my understanding has always been that the dates you give them is the time period you are covered. Or is Travel Guard different from other travel ins companies?
Susan- it can depend upon the individual policy. It could be activated early- have a heart attack 1 week before departure and you have to cancel because your in the ICU recovering from open heart surgery.
Every policy can and will differ. What benefit someone received, you may not. All depends upon policy language.
RS with their association sells a HUGH number of policies for Travel Guard so I assume Travel Guard goes above and beyond for RS tour folks. Thus if you shift from a May to October tour they would probably shift the policy. But shifting to another year may be different. Again, the only way to know about “your” very specific policy is to talk to them. But way to early for the OP to do that....just imagine the call....I have a tour (and policy) for July, I may or may not cancel it, but if the tour is cancelled I may change the date to later in 2020 or maybe 2021 or 2022, for an unknown tour at maybe a different cost- what are my choices??? They cannot answer that, way to many “possibilities”.
I also bought Travel Guard trip insurance in November, in time to get the pre-existing condition waiver. My RS Best of Ireland in 14 Days tour has been canceled. I do not plan to reschedule, so my situation is different.
Here is a link to Travel Guard's Coronavirus Advisory. Note that it has not been updated since March 10th, but at least some of your questions will be answered there.
Ah, thank you.
My situation is very like yours and I have read the FAQ Travel Guard page online, and my Premium policy ( but didn't add "cancel for any reason"), each several times, and I am hoping they will update it so if they do offer vouchers they can be applied in a useful way. As of yesterday, anyway, for even a potential voucher current travel has to be no later than 4/30. My (non RS) tour hasn't yet officially cancelled, rather, they want the full balance payment due next week (for a late August trip) and if they do cancel, will apply the whole payment to next summer. (The TG Premium policy was $650 because the tour is to Greenland, so the increased level is for medical evacuation and the frequently delayed flights.)
I have always before purchased the minimum policy for overseas travel and have been fortunate to have not needed it. I think it's well-said that you are primarily covering potential pre-trip problems- the list includes loss of your job, deaths, even strikes and acts of terrorism but not " fear of travel". Yet were you to contract tbe virus or end up quarantined somewhere far from home you could recoup ...something?! That is when I just close the screen and hope there will be an update for dates.
There is an online option to apply for the voucher that looks pretty straightforward.
I was booked on the RS Rome and Sicily this week. I rebooked to travel to London and Spain in October. Because the tours were more expensive, I went on line to the insurance company and modified my coverage so I know it is covered completely. There was an additional premium, but now the dates and locations are changed for our new trip. We had to do this with other trips in the past as the costs went up, but you want to be sure your entire trip is covered.
While my situation had nothing to do with the coronavirus, I have had experience with modifying a Travel Guard policy when my tour was cancelled and I had to switch to a different tour date. I was able to fill out an online form explaining why I needed the policy changed and within a couple days I had an updated policy emailed to me. I'm not sure if there are limits on how much flexibility they will give you, but if you plan to reschedule your tour I would start there. No harm in asking. I would wait to inquire until you have your new tour dates set.
Hello, this is Sally who posted this question regarding Travel Guard Insurance / RS tour virus related tour cancellations. Thank you to all who responded with your information and insights. When I posted this topic on March 30th Travel Guard had not updated their Corona Virus Advisory FAQ page since March 10th. Travel Guard's Corona Virus Advisory and FAQ page has since been updated on March 31st. One piece of information is that, as a designated world pandemic COVID-19 is considered a "foreseen event" which affects certain coverage categories.
I have studied my Travel Guard Policy statement and brushed myself up on its language with particular interest in my "Trip Cancellation" category of coverage, which of course is recommended anytime but particularly now. In my particular case, related to my July scheduled tour, it is a wait and see situation regarding so many aspects of my travel plans, including travel insurance. I would like to add 2 more thoughts about this topic. I do realize that my concerns about my July travel plans seem to me, and probably others somewhat petty, all things considered in the midst of the pandemic. It is a luxury to even be able to have such questions these days amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, I have full confidence in the Rick Steves organization as it (really, they) maneuver through these most difficult times.
I continue to be interested in hearing from anyone who had a virus related tour cancellation and a Travel Guard policy associated with the cancelled tour. If Travel Guard allowed you to change the dates of your policy coverage was this the only option given to you? Anything else of particular note regarding the Pandemic and travel insurance?
Check your policy, but I believe you can just cancel the insurance if you haven't used it yet and haven't filed a claim and get a refund. That's what I did. I think it's better to just cancel the insurance policy if your tour gets canceled and just buy a new one for a new trip.
Thanks for asking these excellent questions! And thanks for the many helpful responses so far. We've been planning 2 European trips this year (at least a year in advance) and have Travel Guard policies for both. The first is a cruise to Norway later this spring and the second is a RS Tour of Scotland in October.
We are not planning to voluntarily cancel our plans. We expect the cruise company will cancel the voyage and offer us either a refund or Future Cruise Credit - at which point we will rebook the cruise for similar dates in 2021. Thanks to this discussion and the Travel Guard website, I'm hoping we may modify our travel insurance to cover the new dates (though it is unclear whether these can be extended into the next year). We have a similar plan for the RS Tour; if it is cancelled this year, we plan to book the same tour next year. Hopefully the Travel Guard insurance dates may also be modified.
I don't regret purchasing travel insurance for trips like these and will continue to buy more - though I'm hoping we may apply the funds we paid for 2020 trips to 2021 trips. Either way, I'm wondering if there's a way to insure the travel insurance? ;)
We canceled a policy with Travel Guard for our Baltics/Russia trip when the tour was canceled by Rick Steves. They did not give us a refund; rather they gave us a voucher to be used next year. I'm not too happy with this but since we do plan to go places after covid I didn't raise too big a stink with them. All in all, Travel Guard has been pleasant and easy to deal with.
After contacting the insurance company because my trip was canceled due to the virus I was told no refund and no voucher was offered for next year. I doubt I will ever pay for it again.