Anyone actually used insurance?

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
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:
This make no mention of evacuations within reach of U.S. Coast Guard installations. I will try and find the story ABC World News did on a former coworker whose appendix burst on a HAL ship 1,000 miles west of San Diego on the way to Hawaii. U.S. Coast guard sent two helicopters (one as a back up in case one crashed!) and a refueling fixed wing aircraft to evacuate him to San Francisco. Cost him nothing, no travel insurance. Or just watch a few episodes of Deadliest Catch, seems like crew members on those fishing board get evacuated frequently by the Coast Guard, again, all at no charge.
 

insureman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
This make no mention of evacuations within reach of U.S. Coast Guard installations. I will try and find the story ABC World News did on a former coworker whose appendix burst on a HAL ship 1,000 miles west of San Diego on the way to Hawaii. U.S. Coast guard sent two helicopters (one as a back up in case one crashed!) and a refueling fixed wing aircraft to evacuate him to San Francisco. Cost him nothing, no travel insurance. Or just watch a few episodes of Deadliest Catch, seems like crew members on those fishing board get evacuated frequently by the Coast Guard, again, all at no charge.
Right. Those are maritime evacuations. They evacuate fisherman all the time here off the coast of Massachusetts that's one of their primary missions. Years ago when I was in the Navy we did something similar with one our CH-46 helos off the New Jersey coast.
 

deliela999

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 27, 2019
I did once, about 9 years ago. I was supposed to be 30 weeks pregnant for my brother's wedding. I cleared it with my doctor before I bought plane tickets, and bought the insurance in case something happened. Well, my daughter was born at 28 weeks + 5 days. It took about 5 months to get my money but part of that was due to my other priorities at the time. They sent a form that my doctor's nurse and I filled out together. The catch was a follow-up form they sent to the office directly. The questions were worded a little tricky and the nurse answered one wrong so my claim was denied. I called and they said if I provided office notes they could reverse their decision. They were trying to catch it as a pre-existing condition. I sent the office notes and got checks in the mail. They refunded the cost of the plane tickets so I was only out the cost of the insurance.
 

ironz

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Lest one think the Coast Guard is going to bail you out of any medical situation, I'll post another scenario. If you break your hip on deck and are stabilized on the ship, then dropped off for medical treatment at a port (thinking the small Alaska port towns), you will get an ambulance ride to the hospital and then, if you need to get transported to the lower 48, the Coast Guard isn't going to do that. Or if you have a stroke while on an excursion, the CG isn't picking you up from the port town and taking you anywhere-- you enter the medical system where you're at.
There are a lot more injuries/illnesses that don't need a dramatic air/sea rescue from the Coast Guard than not. A lot of patients will be stabilized on the ship and then taken off at the port. Keeping in mind that the port towns (again, talking Alaska) are not large cities with major medical centers. Most complicated stuff gets transported eventually to Seattle or Anchorage.
(I worked at a hospital on the Alaska coast-- several stories I won't go into here, but I saw quite a few people's cruises end at that port, sadly.)
That leaves the family (and hopefully the patient) needing to book travel home from the port town-- you may want to have some coverage for nights in hotels you didn't think you would use, new airline tickets, cancellation of other plane tickets, etc.
 

Starwind

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2014
Lest one think the Coast Guard is going to bail you out of any medical situation, I'll post another scenario. If you break your hip on deck and are stabilized on the ship, then dropped off for medical treatment at a port (thinking the small Alaska port towns), you will get an ambulance ride to the hospital and then, if you need to get transported to the lower 48, the Coast Guard isn't going to do that. Or if you have a stroke while on an excursion, the CG isn't picking you up from the port town and taking you anywhere-- you enter the medical system where you're at.
There are a lot more injuries/illnesses that don't need a dramatic air/sea rescue from the Coast Guard than not. A lot of patients will be stabilized on the ship and then taken off at the port. Keeping in mind that the port towns (again, talking Alaska) are not large cities with major medical centers. Most complicated stuff gets transported eventually to Seattle or Anchorage.
(I worked at a hospital on the Alaska coast-- several stories I won't go into here, but I saw quite a few people's cruises end at that port, sadly.)
That leaves the family (and hopefully the patient) needing to book travel home from the port town-- you may want to have some coverage for nights in hotels you didn't think you would use, new airline tickets, cancellation of other plane tickets, etc.

And the same can happen in the Bahamas or Caribbean. More than once we've been on a DCL cruise that has made an unscheduled (daytime on sea day, middle of the night...) or extra early port into Nassau to offload someone to an ambulance due to a medical issue.
 

lanejudy

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
The U.S. Coast Guard may do the evacuation. But there is no guarantee they will do the evacuation. If another air ambulance is closer or more readily available, that's what you get. If the U.S. Coast Guard is closest and not busy with another issue, they will be the ones who respond. Remember -- airlifting is often a serious time-sensitive need, and you won't be able to say "no, I'll just wait for the USCG please."
 

Chemist

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Don't forget that the medical care received on the ship isn't free.
My little guy came down with pink-eye after dinner one night. The medical office wasn't open, but they were willing to take an off-hours visit (for extra money.)
We happily took him down, where he was diagnosed with pink-eye (that was obvious) and a throat infection and given antibiotics.

The whole thing came to about $300, including the extra cost for after hours. Well worth it, one of the best doctor experiences we've ever had, especially compared to other vacation doctors visits! (Let's just say medical staff on a Disney cruise are good with kids.)

However, if a simple case of pink eye and a peek down a throat is $300, I suspect an actual injury or illness will be a lot more.
 

princesscinderella

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2011
My 3 year old got the dreaded norovirus on a fantasy cruise about half way through (she was known to suck on her fingers still). I took her to the ship doctor and she was quarantined for 24 hours and it would be lifted as long as she stopped vomiting. Our stateroom host was amazing and gave us extra of everything. They would call our room at random times to make sure we were still in it and not wandering the ship. We also had a special menu with items that are usually charged for including free laundry service. I had all the documents from the ship dr which stated quarantine in the cabin so I submitted it to the insurance (travel guard) and they reimbursed for the two days the two of us were in quarantine prorated based on the cost per person of the cruise. I buy insurance every time and thanks to you guys on the DIS I’m going to look into the annual policy as we have 4 cruises planned this year and it would be way more cost effective.
 

Gramms

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
We have ALWAYS used travel insurance for cruises because of the associated costs. On our first cruise, we flew to GA ahead and stayed with family and my legs swelled way up, and by the time we got to the Magic, I was in real trouble. I saw the Dr. onboard. He gave me the option of leaving then(not!) or waiting till I got home to have tests done, which I took, while using ice packs and elevating my legs while I could on the cruise. After the cruise, I had a lot of tests and Dr. visits, and treatments totaling about $5k! My insurance paid it with little trouble. It was Travelguard International. We have used them every time until now because now they aren’t used by our travel agent anymore and aren’t rated as high, but I’m not sure why.
On our third cruise, I took a fall and messed up my back pretty bad. Again, Travelguard took all my documents that came in over several months of treatments and paid for everything. If they hadn’t, we would have been out more than 10k! I tell everyone I know to always use travel insurance! The cost is so small compared to what you can lose if you don’t have it and something happens, Also, when you are on a cruise, you’re in ports where you’re doing things you’ve never done before in foreign countries with foreign people. Anything can,and does happen, often! Be prepared!...
 

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
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.
I've filed two claims and received the money back from Travel Insured International, which I book via USAA's Travel Deals. One claim was for illness so I got my promised 100% back. Another was Cancel For Any Reason, so I got my promised 75% back. I was never jerked around by them and I regularly book travel insurance through them. They offer a lot of options for plans. For my upcoming cruise I've booked emergency medical evacuation coverage only, because of DCL's current flexible cancellation & refund policy and the fact that my airline tickets were purchased using credits. One thing I like is that it's easy to change your covered trip with them (maybe it also is with other insurers, but I wouldn't know). I can just go online to change the dates and destination, and the insurance cost will adjust if needed.
 
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meliscan

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 18, 2012
I have always had trip insurance. Even when I do vacations that aren't cruises. I use Allianz most of the time. They were very easy to work with when we had 2 hurricanes interrupt our cruise in 2017. We were able to book our flights out of another airport 36 hours before our departure and the covered teh flights, extra hotels etc. I would never travel without the insurance. Most US medical plans don't cover you out of the country. Also the insurance can help you with a medical evacuation. Think of having to be helicoptered off a ship or on a private plane from some island. Totally worth the small amount for insurance when you are look at thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills.
 

Sir William

RETIRED!
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Used it twice. First time DW broke her foot. Second time we were stranded in San Juan for 5 days due to a major snowstorm that closed most of the eastern seaboard. Insurance covered our expenses.
 


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