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Hello Again,

I think René and I must be on the same “wave” because a question from some new clients last week made me want to talk about insurance also!

I had a couple who was thinking about taking a cruise with Carnival within the next 30 days. The recent unfortunate events aboard the Carnival Triumph made them hesitant, but they wondered if they paid for the cruise in full, would the Carnival insurance cover them to get their money back if they later just decided not to go?

Cancelling is tricky, especially if you are in the penalty phase… after the final payment has been made.

Not all insurance is created equally and most cruise line insurance covers you for “specified reasons” like medical reasons as long as you have purchased the insurance before final payment. Changing your mind after that and cancelling may cost you big time. For example, Carnival uses Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company. Even if you cancel under the “Cancel for any Reason ” clause it states…”you may be eligible for cruise credits up to 75% of the non-refundable, pre-paid cruise vacation cost.”

Translation….you are not going to get the cost of the insurance back, nor all of your money back and you will end up with a voucher credit less than what you originally paid that is good for another cruise on that line at a future date.

Even if you cancel for medical reasons, you would need to file a claim with the insurance company, provide proof of the reason you are cancelling and wait for them to investigate your claim. Depending on what they decide you may get all or a portion of your expenses covered.

Cruise and tour insurance can differ greatly. I always recommend insurance, because you never know when it will come in handy! However, you need to be sure of the coverage before you purchase it , otherwise it will be a huge waste of money if it is not what you needed.

The tour companies I like to use have true “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage. Bad hair day, cat gets sick, car won’t start …as long as you notify the tour company the day prior …you get all of your money back minus the insurance cost! If you paid by credit card you can expect a credit back on your credit card in 10-12 business days. No vouchers and no penalties.

When looking at purchasing insurance look at the different plans offered and see which one fits your needs.

René and I have both mentioned previously that there is some nice coverage when using your cards to pay for rentals. However, René mentioned Tuesday …are there times when some extra coverage would come in handy? Do you want to have primary coverage rather than secondary? Would having coverage for your 3 children under 17 traveling with you for no additional cost appeal to you? Do you need to purchase insurance for a pre-existing condition? Some insurance prices are based on the price of your vacation and your age and that can be a bit salty, but the coverage is amazing if you should need it!

If you book your vacation with points and get an amazing deal, you still may want to give your travel agent a call regarding insurance to ensure while you are away you have that extra peace of mind.

Until next time! – Tamara

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Posted by rene | 10 Comments

10 Responses to “Tamara talks about travel insurance too – what more can we learn?”

  1. Wes says:

    Believe an important point about purchasing travel insurance is to cover pre existing medical conditions–often many companies require you to purchase insurance within two/three weeks of cruise deposit to get pre existing med condition coverage. Tho the company CSA will cover pre existing conditions if you buy their plan before final payment as Tamara mentions above. Recommend buying travel insurance from either of the sites below.

    tripinsurancestore.com

    insuremytrip.com

    squaremouth.com

    Also, good travel insurance 101 primer here:

    http://www.travelinsurancereview.net/travel-insurance-101/

  2. Delta Points says:

    @Wes – hey thanks for nice info. This has been a week about learning about travel insurance. I am just tweaking my final post for tomorrow and my recommendations.

  3. Andrew says:

    My regular insurance is a high deductible type plan. So now I make sure that the medical coverage for my travel insurance is primary. I have asked if secondary medical coverage would pay for my out of pocket deductible and was told no. So something to think about when deciding Primary vs Secondary mentioned in the post.

  4. Pamela T says:

    I would love a post about the ins and outs of buying travel insurance when part or all of your trip is paid for with points. Tamara alluded to this, but I’d like to know how to value a trip when buying the insurance, what is covered, what dates to use (points part? Paid part?), what is actually covered when you don’t “pay” for part of the trip. All these things confuse me and more, and I’d love some guidance. Especially since I am not medallion anything and would have to pay a bit to make changes. Thanks in advance.

  5. Joe C. says:

    In addition to “Cancel for Any Reason,” there are a lot of other things that travel insurance can cover as well – from what goes wrong getting to the ship, to what happens while you’re afloat. For instance: travel insurance can also cover trip cancellation due to the illness or injury to an immediate family member, devistation to your home, traffic accident that prevents you from getting there, and weather emergencies. In addition, travel insurance can also provide coverage for medical situations while on the boat, medical evacuation from the boat (if necessary), and inconveniences to the traveler – such as baggage loss or trip delay. When considering a travel insurance plan, it’s important to look at the entire picture, and really understand what is covered, what is not, and in what situations the insurance takes effect.

    (In the spirit of full disclosure: I am an employee of a travel insurance company.)

  6. Chris B. says:

    Solid trip insurance for a cruise or any international leisure travel is a no-brainer, in my opinion. If for no other reason than the cost of a helicopter to come get you at sea is going to cost quite a bit ;). Plus, it can help you get to the ship if you miss ship’s movement.
    .
    However, I generally do not get travel insurance when on a domestic trip, since I have pretty good health coverage and know/understand the way things work in the United States. Is it actually important that I get travel insurance for domestic leisure travel? If so, why?

  7. Delta Points says:

    @All – The topic of travel insurance is a good one for Flying Delta. I will do my homework, touch on when I buy it (I some times do) and why for a later post. Thanks – Rene

  8. Pointasaurus says:

    Our daughter will be going to Africa on a mission trip this summer. Anyone have advice/recommendations on medical insurance?

  9. Ken says:

    Had one recent experience of using travel(ish) insurance. 18 of us flew to Austin in November for an auto race. I had purchased the tickets for the group, for $530 each, totaling $9,500. Ticketmaster offered insurance for $7 per ticket, so I went for it (first time I ever did so). Two days before the race, one member of our group shattered his ankle and had surgery and couldn’t travel. A few weeks afterwards, he and I submitted the insurance claim, and we recently got his ticket price refunded!

  10. Wes says:

    We take a different approach to our travel insurance needs and self insure up to departure. Therefore, we buy travel insurance wheels up to wheels down to cover lost luggage, trip cancellation, medical evacuation, delays, et. al. Further, for 2013 we bought Travel Guard’s annual insurance plan to cover our three cruises and land trip to Cuba (underwriting is now checking to see if this is Cuba journey is covered). Our approach is based on our relatively young retirement ages, good health, and good health of immediate family members. We understand the risk if something happens pre trip–we lose the cost of our trip.

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