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Travel Insurance

What is the best travel insurance to use for a trip to Europe including a river cruise and time spent in Paris and Zurich?

Posted by
8500 posts

There is no "quick and easy" answer for this question. There are different features available in travel insurance and you will need to pick a policy that matches the features that are important to you.

Cancellation Insurance: Do you want to be able to be reimbursed for costs if you must cancel the trip?
Trip and/or Baggage delay: Do you want compensation for either of these circumstances?
Medical Costs: Will your health insurance cover you overseas?
Travel Costs to return you home after a health emergency: Would you want these costs covered?

It may be a good idea to check and see what your credit cards already cover.
Next, decide what is important for you. Remember, most travel insurance must be purchased within a certain time period of the first payment to eliminate any pre-exisiting conditions issues.

Then go to a site like insuremytrip.com and compare policies and costs with the features that are important to you.

Posted by
1068 posts

Lots of different kinds. To answer it would help to know: What coverage are you looking for? What can you reasonably afford to lose? What is your health (generally) like? Any big issues (e.g., sick relative)? When/where are you traveling (hurricane season is different than other times for example.) Me, I usually get only med evac., I already have medical when traveling and can afford to "self-insure" my trips. But that may or may not be your case.

Posted by
5837 posts

Read and understand the fine print, especially the exclusions.

As a for example, Travel Guard only excludes "participation in professional athletic events", not amateur events. In contrast, Allianz Global Assistance extends the excursion to amateur events: "participating in or training for any professional or amateur sporting competition".

A cheap policy that does not cover you (because of an explicit exclusion) is not a good buy.

Posted by
1062 posts

I received a call from the tour company yesterday that the trip insurance that they recommended, Travel Guard is increasing the cost of the trip insurance from $452 to $540 starting this Friday. I was able to lock in the lower price if I paid by credit card right away. I only mention this to let everyone know that the price that they may have looked at a while back may now be 20% more.

Posted by
16672 posts

Since a river cruise probably represents a significant expense, you likely want trip cancellation insurance. Such policies are generally bundled with delay or trip,interruption coverage, and medical and evacuation coverage, for little additional expense. Read carefully to be sure you understand the covered reasons for refund if you cannot make the trip. Also look at the coverage for pre-existing conditions if you have any.

We use Insuremytrip.com to find a suitable policy for our trips. The cost of the policy is based upon the total cost of the trip ( including only the non-refundable expenses, such as the cruise, flights, and any pre-booked hotels or tours which are non-refundable); your age, the length of the trip ( number of days), and perhaps the destination. Plug these and the state in which you reside into the form and it will quote you a price from a number of different companies. Then pick 3 to compare for coverage.

Your cruise company may recommend a particular company, which is worth looking at for comparison.

Posted by
4010 posts

Use insuremytrip.com to select what features are important to you. The website will then provide insurance companies and their policy costs for you to compare and select.

Posted by
1597 posts

Check what coverage you already have with your credit card. You may be surprised.

Posted by
4978 posts

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
2528 posts

What Bob said as I was surprised there are some significant cancellation/interruption coverage in one of my credit cards. Read the fine print carefully! Further, MedjetAssist is a resource to consider.

Posted by
5837 posts

Most travel policies have medical evacuation coverage. But they USUALLY will only evacuate you to the nearest hospital than can treat you.

I have been fortunate not to have tested my travel insurance policies. But if I take my Travel Guard policy literally, it would appear that if needed, they would transport back to a medical care facility near my home. Excerpts from my last Travel Guard Silver policy follows.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION & REPATRIATION OF REMAINS The Company will pay for Covered Emergency Evacuation Expenses incurred due to an Insured’s Injury or Sickness that occurs while he or she is on a....overnight Trip with a Destination of at least 100 miles from the Insured’s Primary Residence.

Emergency Evacuation means:
(a) Transportation from the place where the Insured is injured or sick to the nearest adequate licensed medical facility where appropriate medical treatment can be obtained; and/or
(b) Transportation from a local medical facility to the nearest adequate licensed medical facility to obtain appropriate medical treatment if the onsite attending Physician certifies that additional Medically Necessary treatment is needed but not locally available; and the Insured is medically able to travel; and/or
(c) Transportation to the adequate licensed medical facility nearest the Insured’s home to obtain further medical treatment or to recover, after being treated at a local licensed medical facility, and the onsite attending Physician determines that the Insured is medically able to be transported.

My interpretation of the certificate language is that if needed for treatment or recovery after being stabilized, travel policy would pay for transportation to a medical facility nearest to my home.

Posted by
2788 posts

I have gone to Europe for 14 of the last 16 years and have taken out travel insurance ever since I went on Medicare seven years ago since they do not cover me in Europe. I went to insuremytrip.com and compared several policies including one from Travel Guard which was recommended by someone at RS headquarters. I decided on TG and have used them ever since. I have never had to make a claim, thank goodness, but have read good comments from folks who have. I go to Europe for about a month which is not cheap. I take out one of TG's more complete policies plus I add a big umbrella coverage. I paid $487 for the two of us this year.
TG will cover pre-existing conditions if you take out one of their policies within a very short time of making your first payment towards your trip, being that airfare or tour deposit or hotel deposit. $487 may seem like a lot of money, it is, but it is only a small percentage of our total cost of our trip. We have taken 14 RS tours and they have a generous cancellation policy so we do not add that onto our TG policy. TG allows you to add coverages or costs once you take out their initial policy.

Posted by
4978 posts

Edgar, Please note that I stated "Most travel policies...." and "...USUALLY will only evacuate you...". Yes, there are exceptions. All policies are different and the devil is always in the details. That's why it pays to do an in-depth comparison of all the "ifs, and, and buts" in each policy. The Med Jet Assist policies, which are strictly for medical evacuation, have a number of plans from short term trips to annual coverages. One of the ironic things about all insurance is that it one of the few things we buy with the hope we'll not have to use it.

Posted by
5837 posts

TC: My point exactly. Read the fine print, preferably before buying and not after you need to make a claim.

Posted by
5697 posts

And if you want to rely on your credit card insurance (I do), make sure you know what the card requires to cover you -- some companies only need only "some" of the trip expenses paid with that card, others limit the insurance reimbursement based on the amount/percentage of trip expenses paid with the card.
Best to know this before you put your airfare, tour deposit, whatever on a card.

Posted by
16672 posts

For those who rely on credit cards for travel insurance protection, can you describe what is covered? I reviewed my American Express card terms and conditions and saw the following travel benefits:

Roadside assistance

Rental car coverage ( loss or damage, not liability)

Assistance by phone with legal or medical issues, such as finding care, but not payment for medical care

Accidental death or dismemberment benefit: the kind that pays specified amounts for death, or loss of a limb or eye. To have this coverage, one must pay the full cost of travel by “common carrier” ( such as airline) with the card, so travel on frequent flyer miles is not covered.

That is it. There is no trip cancellation coverage, no medical coverage, no evacuation coverage.

Are there credit cards that include these types of coverage as well?

Posted by
2528 posts

As for comparing travel insurance policies, I prefer the Squaremouth website as the sort function is very useful.

Posted by
5697 posts

@Lola, look at Chase cards (Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve) for cancellation insurance. Reserve also has evacuation coverage.

Posted by
440 posts

Use a comparison site this way you can tailor what you need and what you don't and they give you a range of options to choose from.

Posted by
9106 posts

Most travel policies have medical evacuation coverage. But they
USUALLY will only evacuate you to the nearest hospital than can treat
you.

I have purchased over a hundred different medical/evacuation policies over the years from many different companies, and have never come across any policy that didn't cover the costs of transport home for recuperation/further treatment. Some of the inferior policies limit payment to the cost of an economy class seat back home (which would be inadequate if one has a broken leg/hip), to covering up to $100,000+ of the cost (which is what I always go for). Always read the fine print.

Posted by
10344 posts

insuremytrip.com and medjet are sites that may be helpful.