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Old May 13th, 2014, 06:54 PM
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Default Travel Insurance Advise Hawaii

Any Travel Insurance experts out there?

Have always purchased the typical comprehensive travel insurance for our cruises, which have always been Caribbean or Mexico, and sometimes have customized them a bit by adding extra Evac coverage since we were so far from home. But I got to thinking about what we need for our upcoming POA Hawaii cruise. Since we will still be in the USA, our medical insurance through our employer should cover us, I assume. And we will never be more than a few hours from land, I don't think, so is evac coverage really necessary?

Is it possible to just get the cruise/trip itself covered minus the medical and would this be advisable? Is there anything I'm not thinking of?
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Old May 13th, 2014, 09:53 PM
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The first thing that came to my mind was, even though you may not be more then a few hours from land at any point is, in case of a critical situation, being airlifted in a timely manner, evac would be critical.

Depending on what the policy states as ordinary coverage for evac, ask a travel professional if they think bumping it up another level, would be prudent...The insurance we had gave us the luxury of a first class repatriation from St Thomas, home.

Having been in a position where the possibility of using this, was high for us, having it would give us peace of mind, even that close to land.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 11:21 PM
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There may be some without medical, but I'm not aware of any. You might want to check with your credit card company - some of them offer a relatively limited policy when travel is purchased using their card.

Just always be aware that some insurance companies are better than others and even the biggest names aren't necessarily the best. So best price isn't always best deal. It's the service after the claim that sets them apart and we've fired big names because their service to our clients were not good.

And lastly, keep in mind that some places sell travel protection, which is much different than travel insurance and should be avoided at all costs!

Pete
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Old May 14th, 2014, 04:22 AM
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If you are ONLY doing Hawaii, then I would call your medical insurance company and ask what coverage you have for on board care, getting home (repatriation) and medical coverage in Hawaii.

Your extent of coverage, deductibles and limits may be different in another state but most insurance, and Medicare cover you in Hawaii.

You will not be charged for medical evacuation from the cruise ship in the Hawaiian Islands. This would be done by the U.S. Coast Guard and there is no charge for this. If you require an ambulance from the port to a local hospital your coverage could be different in another state.

Best advice: Call your insurance provider(s).

If you are not looking for medical then I would also check with your credit card company for what travel insurance they offer for trip reimbursement, delay and luggage protection. Chase, Capital One and American Express have fairly decent policies, if you pay for your trip with their credit card.

Take care,
Mike

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Old May 14th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I think our insurance will likely pay under Out of Network Benefits. Will call our insurance company with a few questions, or dig out our plan details to review. On board care I would think would fall under out of network benefits. Repatriation? It is great to know that Coast Guard Evacs are no charge! Thanks for the info!

If no plans are available without medical, looks like I may have to buy a policy which has a minimum of medical coverage. That, along with our other insurance should pretty much cover everything, I hope. This is an expensive trip. Based on what we have paid for other less expensive trips, it looks like the same level of coverage would run us around $400 for this one. Hopefully, if I don't have to buy coverage I don't need, we can get by for less.

Pete, can you elaborate on the difference between "travel protection" and "travel insurance"? I have no idea what we have been getting. I thought it was insurance, but maybe I am uninformed! We often buy through T.G. Not sure if I can say the name of a company here.
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Old May 14th, 2014, 02:27 PM
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What's the difference between travel protection and travel insurance? It can be huge!

Do not buy travel protection - it's not the same as travel insurance. Don't assume that what you are buying from your agent is travel insurance. Make sure you read the policy before you buy it and find out if it will cover you in situations that might arise.

There was a story on our local news that I thought would help explain it:

It's about a couple who purchased travel protection through their travel agent with their Mediterranean cruise worth over $6800. The husband injured his knee playing golf that required surgery and they had to cancel their trip. Even though they had all the documentation from their doctor showing he had to have the surgery, this was considered 'elective surgery' by the travel protection company. They lost all their money. And because this was not sold or advertised as travel 'insurance', there was nothing the State insurance commission could do about it.

Here's another story that you'll find interesting; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/yo..._r=2&emc=eta1&

Bottom line, always buy travel insurance not travel protection, but ask questions, read the policy, and make sure you know exactly what you are getting. And as I said, don't assume a big name means best policy - it ain't true! Some of the biggest problems we've had with companies have been some of the biggest names in the business. We use to sell policies from 5 different companies and ended up firing 3 of them (big name companies) because their customer service was terrible. It's the service when a claim is filed that defines a company, not the price or the policy.

I know you've heard me say this before, but this is definitely one of those cases where you really need to talk to your agent. Most longtime reputable agents have worked with companies and built up a good business relationship based on trust, respect, and good service. An agent can be invaluable when deciding on travel insurance companies and policies. And NEVER purchase the insurance offered by the cruise line or the airline - definitely not a good idea! Usually not good coverage and not good service. (I could tell you some horror stories about these.)

As I always say, you hope purchasing the travel insurance is a waste of your money because if you need it, it's usually not for a good reason. But if you need it, you're damn glad you've got it!

As was stated by others, check with your medical insurance, but I'm sure you'll probably find you're covered. However, don't forget that there are usually co-payments involved. If you have travel insurance, which includes medical, then this is a secondary policy and it'll usually cover those co-payments so that you don't end up with any out-of-pocket expenses. So having extra medical insurance is not necessarily a bad thing. Besides, if you do need to be evacuated, depending on where you are, what's available, the weather, and what the arrangements are between the Coast Guard and the local authorities, you may or may not be evacuated by the Coast Guard. And you may or may not be evacuated by air. So don't automatically assume it'll always be the Coast Guard and always be by air in every situation and that there will never be any costs involved.

I learned from a first-hand experience when we had to cancel our 2 week European trip that included a 7-night river cruise at the last minute (literally a few hours before our flight was to depart) to rush our 28-year old son to the hospital with chest pains. Long story short, he ended up having to have his gallbladder removed 3 days later. Needless to say, we were really glad we had the travel insurance as they reimbursed us for 100% of our out-of-pocket expenses.

It was definitely one of those situations that made my old adage come true: It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Pete
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Old May 15th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Here is another travel insurance story. My wife and I were sitting in airport waiting to travel to Miami to board our ship. My wife gets a phone call from our daughters friend who's crying and she says our son in law was killed in an auto accident. We got off the flight and got our baggage off. While my wife called our daughter I called our travel agent. Travel agent filed all the paperwork while we attended to our daughter. We got 100% refund. Never travel without it.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 07:47 PM
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Well, our medical insurance does cover us when out of the country. I confirmed that with our Medical provider today. Seems a shame to have to pay for additional Sickness and Accident coverage in Hawaii, but they do not sell travel insurance policies without it. Of course we want the cruise itself covered along with air and so forth. It is going to be pricey, almost $350 total, but it is a pricey trip, so I guess it is to be expected. I guess we could "self" insure and just be out the money if something happened. I know it's crazy, but when I buy insurance, I always feel like I have "insured" that nothing will happen. If I don't buy it, I feel like I have guaranteed that something WILL happen. So I guess I'll bite the bullet and pay it just to make sure nothing happens.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 09:58 PM
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The way I look at it TB, it is a small price to pay for piece of mind so to speak... You just don't want to face the odds that something could happen and you wouldn't be covered. I am sure you will have a save uneventful trip with no worries...have a ball.
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Old May 19th, 2014, 10:27 PM
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Having a travel insurance is better than travel protection. travel protection may be illegal and can have many loop holes to deny claim. When I travlled to germany last year I bought cheap travel insurance for 15 days. It only cost me 25 Euros.As you are going to cruise I think you should take some cruise related insurance.

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Old May 20th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
The way I look at it TB, it is a small price to pay for piece of mind so to speak... You just don't want to face the odds that something could happen and you wouldn't be covered. I am sure you will have a save uneventful trip with no worries...have a ball.
Yes, now that I have bought the insurance, I am insured that nothing will happen! . Was just hoping that I did not have to buy medical coverage I did not need, but now we are double covered and I can relax and enjoy the trip!
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