Please sign in to post.

Travel insurance for Rick Steve's tours

Hi fellow travelers. I just got off the phone with a representative from insuremytrip.com and she informed me if I wanted to purchase a policy with a waiver for any preconditions I would have to cancel any policy that Rick Steve's provided. She informed me that you can't double insure a trip, even though I informed her I would subtract the amount that the Rick Steve's trip covered from the total insurance amount. I am hopeful that someone has come across this problem and has an answer for my predicament. Thanks
in advance for your help.

Posted by
260 posts

Hi there. Does R. Steves now offer travel insurance directly? In past years they included info about one particular company - but I don't think it was included in the tour price. Interesting that you can't "double dip." You certainly can with life insurance (g). BTW: I just posted something asking about travel insurance in the "tips" forum - re: older travelers and affordable travel insurance. There were several responses. You might look at that forum as well. Also, the R. Steves tour folks could certainly help, no?

Posted by
1616 posts

Hi Nancy, agree with the previous poster - call the Rick Steves office. I'm not an expert on travel insurance but I've taken several RS tours. They don't include an insurance "policy" but will refund your money (except the $400 deposit) if you need to cancel. I purchase a basic package from Travel Guard. When calculating the amounts to insure, I include the $400 non-refundable portion of the tour, airfare, and non-refundable tickets I have to purchase (like train tickets). Hope this helps.

Posted by
507 posts

In my experience with travel insurance I find it has never been included in the cost of the trip. It is a courtesy offered by the tour company one can decline.

I would believe that RS Travel would not incorporate insurance into a tour price b/c some people may want less or more coverage than the plan offered by the tour company.

It makes sense one would not be allowed to have 2 medical policies that cover the same thing. Although one can have a Medicare supplemental policy, it kicks in only after Medicare has paid its part. For me travel medical insurance supplements my major/med policy, if needed.

Posted by
234 posts

I agree with what Donna wrote. We just insure the non-refundable part of our trip which is the $400 deposit, airfare and any other thing we have had to pay for before the trip. We have used Alianz (www.allianztravelinsurance.com). They have several plans depending on how much medical, etc. you want.

Posted by
21204 posts

That is almost always the situation with insurance. You cannot double dip because the insurance will only cover your loses. Therefore, if the first insurance company covers your lost, then the second insurance company has no lost to cover. Works the same with medical insurance (with a couple of exceptions). So that is not unusual. You cannot enrich yourself with insurance.

Posted by
13 posts

Hi Laura,
Donna is correct regarding what Rick Steves' covers in your tour payment and the additional coverage that you can opt to purchase above and beyond. Within your tour price is what we refer to as "Cancellation and Interruption Coverage". This is not insurance but instead coverage for when you have made your final payment and then cannot go due to a medical reason for yourself, travel partner or immediate family. Death or care of an ailing family member also falls under this coverage. I always use the example of, lets say, you break your toe and your doctor will not clear you to participate because you cannot walk. We only need an official doctor letter as to the reason and then we can process the cancellation and get the refund of your final payment back to you as soon as possible. If you are on a tour and must leave due to illness or death in a family or even emergency, we will refund $75 per day for the days that were not used once documentation is received. The following link details this a bit further for you: http://www.ricksteves.com/tours/tour-cancellation-interruption-coverage . For above and beyond coverage we include in our Tour Confirmation mailing a brochure for Travel Guard which you can review and decide if you would like further coverage and of course, you may have your own company that you prefer as well.

Posted by
1780 posts

The standard advice is to not get your insurance from your trip services provider, in case anything happens to them they might drag the insurance money down with them.

insuremytrip.com and squaremouth.com let you comparison shop and also see all the different types of coverage available. I just wanted medevac so that's what I got.

Posted by
78 posts

Thanks to everyone who replied with their comments and suggestions. If I am understanding this correctly what the Rick Steve's tours provide is not considered insurance. Therefore if I wanted coverage from an insurance company that would cover preexisting conditions I would need to insure the total tour amount. Is this assumption correct?

Posted by
2265 posts

Nancy and friends, I have taken 2 RS tours in Italy over the past year or so, and each time added on other days on my own following the tour. Each time I purchased travel insurance coverage for the entire time and non refundable portion of my expenses, with Travel Guard, following up on the information provided by RS. I found it quite reasonable. What I really wanted to protect myself for was not so much any out-of-pocket trip costs, as it was some unexpected accident or illness that would not just interrupt my trip, but would require special arrangements to get home, perhaps even an emergency medical evacuation. That unlikely occurrence could be extremely expensive and difficult to absorb. The customer service people at Travel Guard were very good in answering questions and even filling out the application over the phone, if you prefer. You should note though, and something like this may be true of other companies too, that as I remember pre-existing conditions were only covered if you purchased the coverage with two weeks of making your initial payment on the trip. You should check and be sure about that.

Posted by
13 posts

I work in the Tour Department at Rick Steves' and, unlike other tour companies, we do not sell or offer Travel Insurance. We have Cancellation/Interruption coverage that is included in your payment,. This is not insurance. For above and beyond insurance coverage for air tickets, luggage, health insurance, pre-existing etc. there are several agencies that would be willing to answer questions and help you put together a package that fits your personal needs.

Posted by
260 posts

Thanks for the clarification, Tara and others. Ironically, in the past I have probably purchased more than I needed since I didn't really look at what RSteves Co. pal ready provides -- in cancellation protection. I realize RS isn't same as actual insurance. Will be a more aware consumer in future!

Posted by
507 posts

Thank you, Tara. I leave to my husband to purchase the insurance.

From your comment I hear "buyer beware." A travel agency can offer insurance. If one does not ask questions & blindly pays for it, a traveler
could find the policy covers less than what he expected.

While watching this thread I realized we made our down payment w/insurance payment. The brochure for the policy coverage arrived with the invoiced amount due on the account. We paid for a policy that provides comprehensive coverage which is what we need.

Posted by
170 posts

Nancy,
Please Google an article by Peter Greenberg (a well-known travel editor) titled Do You Need Travel Insurance? Excellent article to answer so many of your questions. We have research many policies over the years and always return to Travel Guard. One thing that is important to us is Medical/ Evacuation coverage. If you are buying this coverage there are only a few policies that let YOU decide what hospital you want to go to, where to evacuate you to, etc. Most policies leave it up to the insurance company to decide where you are sent.

Travel Guard also suggested to us to pay on your insurance policy as we put money down on the trip, instead of paying the policy a year in advance. So as we add cost for airfares, trains, our final payment we call them and they bill us for that portion.

Posted by
350 posts

I have not purchased travel insurance for years. I figure I can self-insure the costs of a cancelled or shortened trip. My medical insurance includes a network of hospitals in Europe and other places that work with "The Blues" to provide coverage. I figure I have saved the cost of at least one airfare and 1/2 a RS trip so far by not purchasing insurance. Needless to say, I make sure all the details are taken care of ahead of time so as to reduce the need for emergency funds.

I do purchase emergency medical evacuation insurance. I am not willing to self insure on something that can easily cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Posted by
507 posts

pdbphoto,

Contrary to your opening sentence of your post, you DO BUY travel insurance that meets your needs- travel insurance for emergency medical evacuation only.

Posted by
2788 posts

I have gone to Europe for 12 of the last 13 years and have taken 12 RS tours. At the beginning of my travels I researched travel insurance thru insuremytrip.com and had picked out Travel Guard as the one whose offerings most closely fit my needs. Later on, I received a flyer from them in one of my RS tour packages and deducted that RS would not be including that if they were a bad company. I continue to take out travel insurance from TG each year and always make sure to file for a policy as soon as I make my first payment on my trip to Europe which is usually my RS deposit so that any pre-existing conditions are covered. Since I am on Medicare, I feel that I need to protect myself, especially if it would come to a medical evacuation. I find their premiums very competitive for their coverage and I opt to take out an additional umbrella options at very little additional cost.
I can not comment on their performance for claims since I have never had one, thank goodness. RS #13 tour to Bulgaria coming in June. aloha