and Outs of Trip Insurance
insurance is strongly recommended. It's for your protection.
1. Some or all of the monies
you pre-pay for a trip are at risk of not being refunded
if you have to cancel your trip because of illness,
injury, or death of you, your traveling companion, or
a family member.
2. If you become ill on your
trip or a family member at home becomes extremely ill
or dies, it could be very costly if you have to interrupt
your trip to return home early.
3. It is also very costly if
you need special accomodation because of an illness
or injury while traveling. For example, if you end up
in a body cast, you may need to occupy two seats when
you fly home or even be put into the larger seats in
first or business class. You would not want to have
to pay that extra cost yourself but you would have to
in an emergency if you don't have the right travel insurance
4. If you need emergency medical
assistance on your trip, you will have to deal with
the expense and bother without any help if you don't
have trip insurance. Remember: Medicare doesn't cover
medical expenses when you travel outside the US.
5. If you miss your flight for
no fault of your ownas when you are involved in
an accident on the way to the airport or the connecting
flight you need is cancelled or lateyour whole
trip can be ruined if it means you won't be able to
get to the cruise ship before it sails or to the tour
before it starts. It could be expensive to do what it
takes to "catch up" with your trip.
6. If your luggage stays behind
and you've gone to Paris, you will have to deal with
the airline to help you get a change of clothes so you
can start enjoying your trip. And the airlines really
limit how much help they are willing to be in such a
can get insurance at any time up to the date of travel.
But sooner is better because you don't have protection
until you buy the insurance. Also, the best level of
protection occurs when you buy early enough to have
a "pre-existing condition waiver" as part
of the policy. A delay in buying trip insurance just
reduces the value of the insurance to you.
Travel insurance companies protect
you against loss due to unforeseen and unforeseeable
situations. Obviously, if you buy a trip knowing that
will need to cancel, the insurance company won't want
to insure you because you are a bad risk for them. But
if the situation is just one of possibly
needing to cancel, then they will insure the trip provided
you buy their insurance soon after you make your first
payment on the trip; that's the way they recognize that
you and they are willing to share the risk. It's their
incentive to get you to buy their insurance.
conditions. The travel insurance company
will allow cancellation due to illness that is part
of a "pre-existing condition" as long as the
insurance is bought within a given number of days of
the initial deposit on the trip. For example, an insurer
may require the insurance be purchased within 15 days
of the initial trip deposit. This is called a "pre-existing
condition waiver." E.g., if you been treated for
a heart problem in the past, that is a pre-existing
condition. If you have a heart attack and need to cancel
your trip because if it, ordinarily the pre-existing
condition would disqualify you from getting a refund
of the money paid on the trip. However, by getting the
insurance early enough to qualify for the pre-existing
condition waiver, you would be entitled to the refund.
I need insurance if I am not spending much money for
Let's say you are using your
frequent flyer miles to get to your destination and
you are staying with friends when you get there. Or
that your lodging reservations have lenient cancellation
policies. You still should get trip insurance. That's
because you still need the medical assistance provisions
and the help with lost luggage. And, since the cost
of the insurance is based on the amount of trip cost
at risk (hardly anything in this case), you can get
those medical and luggage benefits at very reduced cost.
Why would you not want trip insurance?
do I get trip insurance?
1. Call (800) 759-3238 or email
Carole at Tropical Traveler and ask for a trip insurance
quote. She will be able to help you pick an insurance
policy that gives you the coverage you need at a price
you are willing to pay.
2. What Carole will need to know
about each traveler to be covered is:
The departure and return
date for the trip. The return date should be the date
the travelers finally reach home.
The name of the cruise
line or tour company, if any.
The main travel destination.
Each traveler's name
as is shown on a photo ID (when a passport is not necessary)
Each traveler's date
The cost of the trip
for each traveler. Include only those costs that are
at risk; for example, if there is no penalty if you
don't pick up the rental car that's booked for you,
don't include it as a cost that is at risk.
The date when the initial
payment of at-risk money was made for the trip.
Your phone number and
The best time to call
you with a quote.
note for divers and others indulging in "hazardous"
Most trip insurance policies
do not cover you for injuries sustained while engaging
in scuba diving, bungee jumping, sky diving, or similar
risky activities. If you plan on doing anything that
could be construed as unusually hazardous, contact Carole
for more information. She will help you identify and
buy a policy that will work for your trip.
have you considered joining the Divers
Alert Network? DAN members are eligible for
dive accident, group term life, and equipment insurance.
As a diver myself, I would not be without my DAN membership.
The cost is minimal and the benefits immeasurable, such
as 24/7 emergency hotline assistance in the event of
a dive accident. Contact Carole
for a referral or more information about DAN.
insurance from Divers
Alert Network may be a good choice for you,
too, because DAN's insurance provides such good medical
coverage while you are traveling. Plus, you buy a policy
annually, so all the trips you take during the year
will be covered. Remember, however, that the DAN insurance
is not trip cancellation insurance. For that you will
need to buy a policy from another travel insurance company
for each trip you take.