Anyone actually used insurance?

Keyser

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 1999
We've never seriously considered trip insurance, but I'm at least looking into it for our upcoming trip - mainly to handle cases of either dealing with Covid-related emergencies during the trip or in case there were a family (not traveling with us) emergency.

I've looked at some sites that let you search policies, and see a lot of reviews. There are thousands of reviews out there, and by now I've read through hundreds, and it seems almost all are within 5 categories:
  • Giving good reviews because of responsive customer service to questions they had (seen a lot of these, more for some companies than others)
  • Giving good reviews because the insurance brought them peace of mind (seen a lot of these on lots of companies)
  • Giving good reviews because they filed a claim, but they haven't actually heard anything back yet (not sure why they would have given a 5-star positive reviews for this, but I've seen several of these ?!?!?)
  • Giving bad reviews because they have filed a claim and are waiting excessively long to hear anything (I've seen dozens of these from several companies)
  • Giving bad reviews because they filed a claim and it was denied (I've seen several of these from several different companies)
I found exactly one case where a person posted a review who had actually filed a claim and gotten it covered. While I'm sure I could find more,, and I imagine many people for whom it works never bother to write a review, I'm concerned that even if I were to purchase insurance, it wouldn't actually do anything for me.

I know some people here are regular insurance-purchasers. So, I'm wondering if anyone has actually had experience with some travel insurance company where their claim was actually honored/paid, and if you would mind sharing which insurance company that was (not the website you bought it through - the actual insurer), and if you're willing, what type of thing they covered.
 

anricat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Yes, we have used trip insurance before. When we had our Med cruise in 2018, my husband became very ill a couple of days after we disembarked. We think it was probably something he ate in Rome. Traveling home the next morning was impossible (he literally couldn't keep anything down - it was terrible) and he needed to see a doctor as well because he was absulutely miserable and dehydrated. The insurance paid for an extra hotel for a couple of nights. However, the benefit was nowhere near what the hotel cost. I think it only covered like $100/night or something. It did cover some meals as well, but again, not much. It also paid for some portion of the doctor visit and medication after our health insurance denied the claim. That was a hassle though because our health insurance was a MAJOR pain to deal with in this regard. They kept saying that they needed a receipt with codes on it, but foreign doctors don't use those codes so they kept saying that they couldn't process the claim. Really all I needed them to do was officially deny the claim so that the trip insurance would pick it up. It look a lot of phone calls, but it got done.

At the end of the day, I think the money we got back was about what we paid for the insurance so it was a wash, but they (the trip insurance company) were super easy to deal with. It was Travel Insured International. Had we needed evacuation or something, it would easily pay for itself.

I don't use them any more, not because they weren't good - on the contrary, but because I now buy an annual plan that covers the multiple trips we (usually) take in a year and they don't offer that. In 2020 I used Allianz and did one cruise (January) on our annual plan. The other cruise (Greece in June 2020) was obviously cancelled. I contacted Allianz about not being able to travel and they did give me a pro-rated refund for the remainder of the year, which I thought was really nice. So not a claim, per say, but they were good to work with in terms of dealing with a pandemic related situation. They could have easily said, "nope, you bought an annual plan, that's on you."
 

diablodancer

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
We've never seriously considered trip insurance, but I'm at least looking into it for our upcoming trip - mainly to handle cases of either dealing with Covid-related emergencies during the trip or in case there were a family (not traveling with us) emergency.

I've looked at some sites that let you search policies, and see a lot of reviews. There are thousands of reviews out there, and by now I've read through hundreds, and it seems almost all are within 5 categories:
  • Giving good reviews because of responsive customer service to questions they had (seen a lot of these, more for some companies than others)
  • Giving good reviews because the insurance brought them peace of mind (seen a lot of these on lots of companies)
  • Giving good reviews because they filed a claim, but they haven't actually heard anything back yet (not sure why they would have given a 5-star positive reviews for this, but I've seen several of these ?!?!?)
  • Giving bad reviews because they have filed a claim and are waiting excessively long to hear anything (I've seen dozens of these from several companies)
  • Giving bad reviews because they filed a claim and it was denied (I've seen several of these from several different companies)
I found exactly one case where a person posted a review who had actually filed a claim and gotten it covered. While I'm sure I could find more,, and I imagine many people for whom it works never bother to write a review, I'm concerned that even if I were to purchase insurance, it wouldn't actually do anything for me.

I know some people here are regular insurance-purchasers. So, I'm wondering if anyone has actually had experience with some travel insurance company where their claim was actually honored/paid, and if you would mind sharing which insurance company that was (not the website you bought it through - the actual insurer), and if you're willing, what type of thing they covered.
Not much help as I’m in the UK so the specific insurer used wouldn’t be of any help but thought I would reply as I’ve found insurance very helpful and covered most of my issue.

I broke my ankle in Japan a few years ago, I paid for my initial hospital treatment up front (it came to around £800) and they refunded the vast majority of it. They covered my Tokyo Disney Resort tickets as I broke my ankle the day before I was due to go, helped arrange a fit to fly hospital appointment and covered this, and then covered upgrading me to business class on both of my fights home so that I could stretch out in my cast. Cannot stress enough how important insurance can be.

The liaising part can be a pain, not going to lie. They weren’t quick to reply and couldn’t make their minds up over whether I should come back early or not. But overall so, so worth it and an inexpensive policy covered thousands.

You want to look at the excess policy (what you have to pay before they’ll cover the rest) and of course declare everything you suffer from and medication you take as this can invalidate your claim very easily.
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
My Travel Agent includes a disclosure with all their bookings that they do not sell Travel Insurance, nor do they have a recommendation on whether their clients should or should not purchase Travel Insurance on their own.
The Travel Agency got caught in a lawsuit back when they did sell Travel Insurance. A client filed a claim because his vacation was canceled by his employer two days before his cruise. The employer knew the man had a cruise booked. The Travel Insurance company promptly paid the claim, then filed suit against the client's employer to recover what they paid out. I believe the term in the insurance world for this is "subrogation". When you buy any kind of policy, in the terms, you agree that the Insurance Company can try and recover what it paid out if there is a person that caused the loss to happen. It went to court, and ultimately my Travel Agent was cleared as a defendant, but not until they had spent thousands on lawyers fees. The employer lost in court, and ordered to reimburse the Insurance Company for what they paid out, plus all court costs.
That had to be an awkward situation for the employee in the end, even though his loss was fully covered.
As for me, in all my cruises I have only purchased Travel Insurance twice.
1) For our Disney Cruise, because we were traveling between Christmas and New Years when air travel is high and weather bad. And it is by far the most expensive cruise we have every taken.
2) Our cruise two years ago on Celebrity because they had a promo going, full Travel Insurance for only $25. It was an off season October cruise from Vancouver, and the price was right. It was a nearly empty ship so I understand the need for incentives to get people to book.
 

a1tinkfans

Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Yes we ve bought it several times. We did have to file a claim and we did collect all of our out of pocket expenses which were considerable. The most important part of the travel insurance policy is it’s Exclusions. If you ready those and it’s Not there, you are covered. There are many choices out there. I utilized a popular company that provides multiple carriers with their prices and policies for review. Pre existent waiver costs more. The closer you purchase to booking typically costs the least. You can purchase some policies until departure, clearly much more money. remember too that you will only be compensated for what is Actual out of pocket. So if your flight gives you future credit, no collecting there. It’s important to know Exactly what you’ll be out of pocket and then the policy cost. Is it worth it at that point.. that’s the question. Traveling during any of this pandemic/new variant popping up makes some sense to have coverage. Safe travels!
 

Ralph&Pam

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
We've never seriously considered trip insurance, but I'm at least looking into it for our upcoming trip - mainly to handle cases of either dealing with Covid-related emergencies during the trip or in case there were a family (not traveling with us) emergency.

I've looked at some sites that let you search policies, and see a lot of reviews. There are thousands of reviews out there, and by now I've read through hundreds, and it seems almost all are within 5 categories:
  • Giving good reviews because of responsive customer service to questions they had (seen a lot of these, more for some companies than others)
  • Giving good reviews because the insurance brought them peace of mind (seen a lot of these on lots of companies)
  • Giving good reviews because they filed a claim, but they haven't actually heard anything back yet (not sure why they would have given a 5-star positive reviews for this, but I've seen several of these ?!?!?)
  • Giving bad reviews because they have filed a claim and are waiting excessively long to hear anything (I've seen dozens of these from several companies)
  • Giving bad reviews because they filed a claim and it was denied (I've seen several of these from several different companies)
I found exactly one case where a person posted a review who had actually filed a claim and gotten it covered. While I'm sure I could find more,, and I imagine many people for whom it works never bother to write a review, I'm concerned that even if I were to purchase insurance, it wouldn't actually do anything for me.

I know some people here are regular insurance-purchasers. So, I'm wondering if anyone has actually had experience with some travel insurance company where their claim was actually honored/paid, and if you would mind sharing which insurance company that was (not the website you bought it through - the actual insurer), and if you're willing, what type of thing they covered.
Just over three years ago, we had to cancel a DCL cruise just over two weeks prior to a scheduled British Isles cruise, due to a medical emergency that prevented me from traveling. We were able to recover only 25% of the cruise fare from DCL. Our travel insurer covered the other 75% plus our non-refundable airfares. Submitted the required documentation online and received the insurance settlement in less than three weeks thereafter. We have continued to use that insurer for subsequent travel, but have not had any further claims.

We used Allianz. It was one of their standard travel policies. Currently, they have some policies that specifically include Covid coverage which would be otherwise excluded under the standard pandemic exclusions common to many policies.
 

LeiaOfAlderaan

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
I started buying travel insurance when I started cruising in 2017 because people on these boards recommended it. I’ve had to file claims twice. First was when I developed some health issues a few days before a cruise and had to cancel. At the time I used TravelGuard through Costco, which used to be very reasonably priced. (Costco uses someone else now.) I had all my $ back in I think a month or so. The second time I used it was on a trip to Hawaii. Developed a minor problem on Christmas Day and had to go to the ER since no one else was open. My health insurance stinks so after they paid I still owed over $800. That time I used Travel Insured and they were really easy to deal with and got my $ super fast, in like a week or two after I submitted my claim. Now I get insurance for every trip that has non-refundable components.
 

Mommb

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
I bought the insurance sold through Disney Cruise Line in 2011, for a Mediterranean cruise. (DCL changed providers a few years later, so it wasn't with the company they use now.) Shortly after the final payment date, I had a major medical event. I held out hope that I could still cruise, but at a check-up a few weeks before the cruise, my doctor advised me that due to the possibility of complications due to my condition, it was not safe for me to travel. I asked my travel agent to cancel the cruise and filed an insurance claim. I soon received a form for my doctor to sign indicating that she had advised me not to cruise and that my condition was first diagnosed after I had purchased the insurance. I received a refund of the cancellation fee (which at that point was 75% of the cruise fare) for me, my husband, and my two kids. The check arrived about -6 weeks after I returned the form.

On subsequent European cruises, I took the time before the final payment date to research other travel insurance companies that could cover the entire trip including airfare and pre/post cruise hotels at a lower cost than I had paid for just the cruise. I found a policy through the company we use for home and auto insurance. Fortunately, I have not needed to file another claim.
 

insureman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Yes. Used it for non refundable airfare on Norwegian Air in 2018 to the UK to catch the Magic on a WBTA. Cancelled the cruise before the PIF date. Bought the insurance outside of DCL.
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Just over three years ago, we had to cancel a DCL cruise just over two weeks prior to a scheduled British Isles cruise, due to a medical emergency that prevented me from traveling. We were able to recover only 25% of the cruise fare from DCL. Our travel insurer covered the other 75% plus our non-refundable airfares. Submitted the required documentation online and received the insurance settlement in less than three weeks thereafter.
The only time we might have used travel insurance was when my mom had a stroke six weeks before a HAL cruise. But HAL was great, refunded 100% of the fare and Alaska Airlines 100% of the air fare. Our travel agent said it would have been a bad business and public relations move for HAL to do anything else. And my mom had cruised with them many times before.
 

stkgator

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
In the past, I have never considered purchasing travel insurance but with COVID, I was concerned about the possibility of becoming stranded outside of the US and incurring the additional medical, transportation, and food/lodging expenses.

You can find annual travel insurance to cover medical for a few hundred dollars which also includes limited trip cancelation coverage along with lost/delayed baggage.

Since I have two separate week-long family cruises scheduled in the next few months, along with a few 3/4-day cruises, the cost of an annual policy seemed more reasonable, but probably more importantly, some peace-of-mind in these crazy times that we are in.

Annual travel insurance will cover all of your travel - not just cruises - which is an added benefit.

The company I ended up with is Allianz. Since I have not made any claims, I can NOT vouch for the integrity or reliability of the company.
 

insureman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
I really don't worry about the trip interruption reimbursement for travel insurance. As we get older I am more concerned about medical and medical evacuation costs. I also look for a policy that has a pre-existing condition waiver endorsement.
 

Chemist

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
My aunt used hers on a trip to China. She got sick, admitted to the hospital, diagnosed with leukemia. Travel insurance evacuated her, but on a commercial flight. (I believe she was well enough to fly commercial post blood transfusion in Beijing.) I hope that they would have put her on a private plan if necessary.
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
I really don't worry about the trip interruption reimbursement for travel insurance. As we get older I am more concerned about medical and medical evacuation costs. I also look for a policy that has a pre-existing condition waiver endorsement.
You really need to do you homework as to where you care going and what your insurance already covers.
My cruises have all been to the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii and along the Pacific Coast. As a U.S. Citizen any medical evacuation would be done by the U.S. Coast guard at no charge.
My health insurance has always covered international treatment. As the representative of the insurance company put it, they don't even charge extra for that because healthcare costs a pretty much lower outside the U.S. so the insurance company saves money if you need treatment outside the country.
However, in a few months I will be moving to Medicare. I may very well be in the market for medical coverage since regular Medicare does not cover care outside the U.S. However, I plan to use a Medicare Advantage Plan, and I don't know yet what if any coverage they offer outside the U.S.
 

RedHead0186

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 6, 2021
We've never seriously considered trip insurance, but I'm at least looking into it for our upcoming trip - mainly to handle cases of either dealing with Covid-related emergencies during the trip or in case there were a family (not traveling with us) emergency.

I've looked at some sites that let you search policies, and see a lot of reviews. There are thousands of reviews out there, and by now I've read through hundreds, and it seems almost all are within 5 categories:
  • Giving good reviews because of responsive customer service to questions they had (seen a lot of these, more for some companies than others)
  • Giving good reviews because the insurance brought them peace of mind (seen a lot of these on lots of companies)
  • Giving good reviews because they filed a claim, but they haven't actually heard anything back yet (not sure why they would have given a 5-star positive reviews for this, but I've seen several of these ?!?!?)
  • Giving bad reviews because they have filed a claim and are waiting excessively long to hear anything (I've seen dozens of these from several companies)
  • Giving bad reviews because they filed a claim and it was denied (I've seen several of these from several different companies)
I found exactly one case where a person posted a review who had actually filed a claim and gotten it covered. While I'm sure I could find more,, and I imagine many people for whom it works never bother to write a review, I'm concerned that even if I were to purchase insurance, it wouldn't actually do anything for me.

I know some people here are regular insurance-purchasers. So, I'm wondering if anyone has actually had experience with some travel insurance company where their claim was actually honored/paid, and if you would mind sharing which insurance company that was (not the website you bought it through - the actual insurer), and if you're willing, what type of thing they covered.

Keep in mind when looking at reviews (for anything) that people are much more likely to gripe than praise. You're much more likely to see negative reviews than positive reviews, and you'll likely see a disproportionate amount of negative reviews vs. positive reviews as compared to actual customer experience. Not saying to ignore reviews, just saying it's always good to remember that and take things with a grain of salt.
 

insureman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
You really need to do you homework as to where you care going and what your insurance already covers.
My cruises have all been to the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii and along the Pacific Coast. As a U.S. Citizen any medical evacuation would be done by the U.S. Coast guard at no charge.
My health insurance has always covered international treatment. As the representative of the insurance company put it, they don't even charge extra for that because healthcare costs a pretty much lower outside the U.S. so the insurance company saves money if you need treatment outside the country.
However, in a few months I will be moving to Medicare. I may very well be in the market for medical coverage since regular Medicare does not cover care outside the U.S. However, I plan to use a Medicare Advantage Plan, and I don't know yet what if any coverage they offer outside the U.S.
You must be speaking of a maritime evacuation with the Coast Guard. If you get hurt on a zipline on an island in the Caribbean I will almost guarantee the Coast Guard is not coming to give you medical assistance. Unless your last name is Biden or Pelosi.
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
You must be speaking of a maritime evacuation with the Coast Guard. If you get hurt on a zipline on an island in the Caribbean I will almost guarantee the Coast Guard is not coming to give you medical assistance. Unless your last name is Biden or Pelosi.
If you are a U.S. Citizen they will. Someone got hurt, slipped and fell on the rocks on Labadee, (in Haiti) Royal Caribbean's out island. U.S. Coast guard evacuated.
 

insureman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
If you are a U.S. Citizen they will. Someone got hurt, slipped and fell on the rocks on Labadee, (in Haiti) Royal Caribbean's out island. U.S. Coast guard evacuated.
Was the passenger brought back to the ship and then evacuated?
 

insureman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
From the US Embassy in the Bahamas

Preparing for and Managing the Process of Medical Evacuation
If you find yourself or a family member in a position for which medical evacuation has been deemed necessary by a licensed physician, the physician or medical facility may provide administrative resources to support coordinating such logistics.
A medical evacuation requires advance arrangements for a U.S. hospital to receive the individual being evacuated. Please be aware that the U.S. receiving medical facility may wish to speak to the local facility treating the patient; and that the patient cannot be moved until the attending physician(s) determine the patient is sufficiently stable to be transferred.
Medical evacuation costs can be substantial. The patient and/or patient’s designated representative is responsible for all costs of medevac services. Costs are sometimes covered by private medical insurance or travel insurance purchased before a trip. Payment in part or in full may be required in advance, so contacting insurance or other sources of funds should be undertaken as early as possible in the process. At times, premium credit card companies have emergency medical assistance available for certain members.
The least expensive way to medically evacuate a U.S. citizen is via a commercial air carrier. The patient, a family member, or doctor should contact the airline directly to explain the situation, and ask what information they need. If commercial carriers are not available or cannot provide the services required due to the urgency of travel or severity of the medical condition, you or the patient can contact an air ambulance service. A list of air ambulance services appears below.
The U.S. Embassy in Nassau assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or reputation of the service provider. Lists are provided as a convenience to U.S. citizens in The Bahamas and in no way constitute an official recommendation by the U.S. Government or its representatives.
Air Ambulance Providers
At times, family members or patients find themselves overwhelmed with the coordination requirements when medical evacuation is required in an unfamiliar destination. While certain facilities may have resources to support a patient or caregiver during such times, there are resources available to support patients and family members. Companies providing such services are listed below:
 


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