The right travel insurance

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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,266
6,332
113
San Francisco
#21
What we tell clients:
If you can afford to lose everything you have paid if you have to cancel your trip, or if you can afford to pay out of pocket for any accidents or hospitalizations while you are traveling - then you don't need travel insurance.
If you can't, you do.
So true, Neil, just get out a legal pad and a calculator to add up what you'd lose and decide if you can deal with kind of that loss. Then the decision becomes easy.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#23
We have purchased through Alliantz previously but have never had to use it. I recently heard a prominent radio talk show host speak negatively of the company as her husband took ill suddenly and died before their planned trip and Alliantz after making them "jump through hoops numerous times" denied the claim. She contacted Delta airlines who refunded all their money. Thoughts on Alliantz???
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,233
3,126
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#24
We have purchased through Alliantz previously but have never had to use it. I recently heard a prominent radio talk show host speak negatively of the company as her husband took ill suddenly and died before their planned trip and Alliantz after making them "jump through hoops numerous times" denied the claim. She contacted Delta airlines who refunded all their money. Thoughts on Alliantz???
Dear @kittie koukalik i don't think there is anything wrong with the company however Travel insurance companies have hundreds (if not more) policies and each has different terms, benefits and price points. No two policies are the same. It's very possible the person whose story you heard simply did not have the right policy.

I would strongly urge you to do your research before buying your Travel Insurance and know what features are important to you before you buy and also that policies generally have a 10 day period after purchase to read your policy and make sure it's everything you need. Please read it before purchasing too.
There are several great websites that have really good education and policies to choose from some of them are:
Thetripinsurancestore and Insuremytrip And squaremouth.com (who is a sponsor of our site). All these sites have phone assistance which I personally like because I find trying to buy online to be confusing and have lots of questions because my situation never seems to fit in the "little box".
I hope my comments are helpful! Bottom line it's purchasing the right policy that is important :)
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,633
11,984
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#25
We have purchased through Alliantz previously but have never had to use it. I recently heard a prominent radio talk show host speak negatively of the company as her husband took ill suddenly and died before their planned trip and Alliantz after making them "jump through hoops numerous times" denied the claim. She contacted Delta airlines who refunded all their money. Thoughts on Alliantz???
They are fine and so are most travel insurance companies but they have paperwork that has to be filed to prove your claim and if you don't provide what they need, they DO give you a hard time. The onus is on the passenger to prove their claim. If you use a travel agent to book, they can help with claims.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,266
6,332
113
San Francisco
#26
We have purchased through Alliantz previously but have never had to use it. I recently heard a prominent radio talk show host speak negatively of the company as her husband took ill suddenly and died before their planned trip and Alliantz after making them "jump through hoops numerous times" denied the claim. She contacted Delta airlines who refunded all their money. Thoughts on Alliantz???
I wouldn't put a lot of faith in a talk show host's experience with travel insurance, kittie. Travel insurance coverage is a supremely personal thing and everybody needs to do their own research to find the best policy for their needs.
 
Mar 4, 2015
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#28
We have purchased through Alliantz previously but have never had to use it. I recently heard a prominent radio talk show host speak negatively of the company as her husband took ill suddenly and died before their planned trip and Alliantz after making them "jump through hoops numerous times" denied the claim. She contacted Delta airlines who refunded all their money. Thoughts on Alliantz???
Allianz policies were marketed as "Access America" until 2012.

I don't believe they enjoyed a good reputation as "Access America" and they were the subject of most of the consumer travel insurance complaints that Chris wrote about from 2009 to 2012 (see: http://elliott.org/tag/access-america/)

On the other hand, they did sponsor a 5 part series of articles authored by Chris about travel insurance in 2011.

You can peruse more recent articles since the Allianz re-branding here: http://elliott.org/tag/allianz/ and here: http://elliott.org/?s=Allianz . You can use the search box on the home page to find articles involving other insurers and compare (of course we would expect insurers with larger market share to have more complaints).

As you can see, Allianz is currently an underwriter of this site.

Note that neither Squaremouth nor TripInsuranceStore.com currently offers Allianz policies for sale. FWIW.
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,633
11,984
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#29
We mainly use Travel Guard and Travel Insured. I have never had a problem with either. As long as the required documentation is provided. And we've had to get involved once or twice to help clients get the paperwork they need. But in 14 years we have had one claim not honored and we told the client not to cancel because it wasn't going to be a covered reason.
 
Likes: VoR61
Mar 4, 2018
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#30
How do you go about finding a reliable travel insurance broker? This is not something that our home owners insurance company offers
 
Oct 10, 2016
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Huntley, IL
#33
This post was created by Promal and posted here by request of Mike Z

The right travel insurance policy can make you whole if you have to cancel your vacation before you leave for a multitude of reasons that have nothing to do with how young, old or healthy you are. The rule of thumb to go by - if you can't afford to lose everything you have paid for your vacation if you have to cancel you need travel insurance. If you need to be evacuated from a cruise ship because you become seriously ill and don't happen to have $72,000 available for an evacuation - you need travel insurance. If you do not have medical insurance that covers you in any country you may be traveling to - you need travel insurance.

Pre-trip, a policy can cover you for many unforseen circumstances. What if you fall and break a leg two weeks before you are leaving? What if your boss tells you that due to an emergency at work, it's either your job or your vacation? What if a hurricane or a fire destroys your home before you leave or you have a car accident on the way to the airport? What if your flights are canceled and you can't rebook right away and miss some or all of your vacation or if an elderly parent is hospitalized or passes away right before you are ready to leave? What if your airline or cruise ship loses your luggage and you have no clothes for your entire vacation? All of these scenarios can be covered by purchasing the right travel insurance policy.

Insurance during your trip is just as important. Some of the scenarios we've actually seen - a passenger who has a stroke in the middle of dinner on a cruise ship. A helicopter landed on the ship to transport the client to the hospital. Average cost of a medical evacuation is $72,000. How would you pay that without insurance? In Bermuda, a client on a motor scooter was sideswiped on the road and had to go to the hospital for treatment. This client refused travel insurance and had to pay a $3,000 hospital bill before he was permitted to leave the hospital. Another client had a massive heart attack, spent three weeks in a hospital in Costa Rica to be stabilized and then needed a med jet flight home. His insurance reimbursed him for over $100,000 in medical and flight bills. Another client received a phone call that her mother had passed away. She had to forgo the remainder of her vacation and get last minute flights to return home. Her insurance helped to reimburse her for the added expenses.

What should you look for in a policy? Consider all the expenses you are pre-paying. If you are booking air and hotel and prepaying everything, insure the entire trip. Cancellation policies vary for hotels, some charge cancellation penalties regardless of when you travel once booked, some only have cancellation fees if you cancel 30 days before, some a day before. If you are booking air and a hotel that is not pre-paid - that is only guaranteed by a credit card but has a generous cancellation policy, where you can cancel up until two days before arrival, you may only want to insure your airfare.

Another thing to ask is if it is primary or secondary coverage. Secondary coverage, which is what most travel insurance coverage is, picks up whatever your primary medical (or even homeowners) insurance doesn't cover. Primary insurance is usually more expensive and pays immediately.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you usually must purchase at the time of making your deposit or within two - three weeks of the day you make your deposit. One thing to note is that you must be medically able to travel the day you book insurance. Some less expensive policies do not offer a waiver for pre-existing conditions so check the policy carefully before purchasing. Pre-existing coverage is also needed if you have an elderly parent or immediate relative who may be in a precarious medical state that could cause cancellation of your trip as the date gets closer.

An additional thing to consider when you book your insurance is weather. A few years ago, a volcano in Iceland exploded and the ash closed air space over much of Western Europe. Thousands of people were unable to fly to or from their vacations. Those passengers who had purchased travel insurance with coverage for weather provisions were able to get refunds on their trips based on the coverage they had. Many of those who didn't have insurance weren't able to be fully reimbursed. Those that suddenly decided to try to book insurance once the volcano blew were unable to buy coverage because the weather scenario already existed. It is too late to book for weather coverage once the storms have already developed. If you are traveling during hurricane or winter, buy that coverage right away.

The amount of coverage is important. Some lower priced policies offer minimal coverage, with perhaps $10,000 in medical insurance or $25,000 emergency evacuation. If you are a U.S. citizen traveling within the United States, your medical insurance might cover a medical emergency or hospitalization and you might not need a policy with coverage. If you are traveling outside the U.S. check with your medical insurance company to see if you would be covered in the country you are traveling to. If you aren't, get the best coverage you can afford. $10,000 is not a lot of coverage if you have to be hospitalized for an extended period.

For frequent travelers, there are annual policies that can be purchased but most offer minimal insurance that you might need to purchase another policy to cover what the annual doesn't.

Some suppliers offer Cancel For Any Reason insurance. That type of insurance (known as CFAR) will cover cancellation for almost anything that traditional insurance doesn't cover - such as changing your mind once booked, your childs friend that you may be taking with you on a trip and the kids have a fight and the friend doesn't go, etc. (Usually pregnancy and any emotional conditions aren't covered regardless). These policies are typically 40% higher than a regular policy and usually do not refund 100% of your costs.

Where can you buy insurance? Your travel agent has policies they sell and are usually well versed on what each policy covers. Check with your credit card company but read the details carefully to see what is actually covered and how much. We've seen folks put in claims that their credit card company rejected. Call your credit card to ask if they cover all the above scenarios. Call the insurance company you are considering to ensure you understand what you are purchasing.Airlines will usually offer insurance before you finalize your booking, most suppliers offer insurance as well.

There are many travel insurance websites that will have comparisons of various policies - www.insuremytrip.com and www.squaremouth.com are two. You can do a Google search and find additional comparisons sites.

A consumer that is prepared to ask the right questions when looking for travel insurance can easily find an affordable policy that will take the worry out of their vacation. Don't leave home without it.

Promal
 
Oct 10, 2016
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Huntley, IL
#34
I would never leave this country without travel insurance. My biggest fear is not getting sick, as being on Medicare, that will cover me in the States. My biggest fear is the need for emergency medical evacuation. If I go to Canada or Mexico I buy the basic plan as the cost to evacuate would be "minimal" being that it is near the US. However, if I go overseas, I buy the next plan up which covers up to $500,000 in medical evac. I also have learned that Travel Guard makes you insure yourself from the day you leave home until you get back. I do not need to do that, as Medicare covers me in the US. Travelex, on the other hand, lets you cover however much you want. If we want to lay over somewhere for a day or two, I only insure the cost of the overseas part.