Travel Insurance, it's more important than you realize
I am a huge advocate of buying insurance and trip protection, but I wasn’t always this way, early in my career. In fact, I thought it was just another way to spend money on something you never used or wouldn’t use because most people don’t cancel their vacations.
I learned quickly that losing the money someone paid for their vacation is awful but it’s still money they planned to spend. On the other hand, finding yourself on vacation and needing emergency care can cost thousands. Depending on the severity of the illness or if there is an accident, being airlifted can run over $50,000.00 and that doesn’t include any other treatment.
It isn’t only someone who is older that needs to consider this protection, young people are also at risk. My ex-husband was snorkeling in the Bahamas and he went out too far and a boat ran over him. He was in the intensive care for over 10 days and eventually airlifted to FL for surgery. Had he not been covered there is no way we could have afforded a bill exceeding 200k.
I had a client not long ago who had a minor heart attack in S. America. They had insurance but in the emotional state her husband was in, immediately, he forgot and called the airlift company. He was told unless he paid 50k upfront, they wouldn’t take her, and this was on top of the current bills at the hospital. Luckily, he did call the insurance company who took care of everything, including airlift to FL, hospitalization and provided medical transport back to their home city. I believe in total this cost close to or over 200k.
I had another client that used the insurance 3 times in one year! It was always refunding the penalty, but her words were “the value far exceeds the cost if you need it”.
The cost of insurance is normally based on age and the cost of the trip, so it does vary. These policies are medically underwritten, so they are different than a policy you would buy through a cruise line or tour vendor/operator. Most of those, if not all, do not cover pre-existing condition and have a much lower medical coverage limit.
Some companies offer insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason but what most people don’t realize is the non-covered reasons are much broader than other policies and you get a percent of your penalty as a credit to use with that company, not a refund.
When you buy the insurance makes a difference, even if you go through a cruise line or tour operator. Most of the time they allow you to add insurance on but pay later, with your final payment. What they don’t tell you and most of the time don’t know is, your policy isn’t effective until you purchase it. The purchase must be specified for insurance and not added to the reservations as a partial payment.
This could affect your coverage if something medically came up before you bought the policy and you did cancel because of that medical reason, it wouldn’t be covered.
It’s complicated and unfortunately, most agents and vendors and cruise lines are not aware of the ins and outs and misinformation isn’t going to change the outcome. All claims are done by a separate department who looks only at the facts. You may buy your insurance through a cruise line, but the policy is with another company, an insurance company.
It’s so important that for a limited time, Concierge and VIP Travel is offering a free service that will review and advise on your policy or suggest a policy even if you didn’t book your vacation with us.