I have been waiting to challenge him on something, but he is so darn good. Well, carpe diem, baby! It means “seize the day” in Latin. On top of it, one of my blogger friends recently said I am the “Rush Limbaugh” of this industry, implying I’m ultra conservative and overly cautious( as well as borderline insane). I’m sure he meant it as a compliment, though. 🙂 Anyway, thats how the title was born.
Kids can get sick , hurt themselves and so on. For those, who hold status with an airline , it’s possible to make changes for free, so it’s not as much of a concern. Since we don’t have any status and mostly fly on award tickets, this issue is of significance.
After all, it costs 150 dollars per person and sometimes more in certain programs, to redeposit the miles. That is a lot of money for a family of 4. But there are other reasons: medical coverage and medical evacuation, when you go abroad. Since we live in Florida, we go on a cruise to Caribbean at least once a year, so I always make sure, we get insurance.
When you see someone airlifted off the ship, their credit card gets billed to the tune of 20000 dollars or more. But it really is important to consider insurance for any trips, not just cruises. I have personally cashed in on it several times. The first one was during our grand tour of Europe, when we were stranded on the island of Santorini. The worst part was, we had a connection in Athens the same day to fly to London on a completely separate airline. So there was absolutely no rebooking help from Aegean Airlines in Santorini.
Since we had to get to London to take our flight back to the States, we booked a flight right there on a spot, on our own dime. When we got back to US, our trip insurance has reimbursed us for those expenses. I remember meeting a couple in Santorini airport, who missed their flights to USA from Athens on a separate airline. They had no trip insurance. I can’t even imagine what it cost them to book those flights. Thats why its extremely important to have a policy in place, if you have separate ticket reservations.
The fun part was hanging out with all the passengers for hours at the airport and getting to know them. We shared our stories about the island and places we stayed at. Naturally I got the best deal on lodging! I also insisted on airline providing us with food (they are supposed to do that) and then let everyone know about it. So as a result all the passengers got a sandwich and a drink. You should have seen those airline representatives staring at me. If only looks could kill!
The second time I cashed in on insurance was when I had to cancel our trip to St. Lucia because of my pregnancy. We were supposed to use award tickets for that one. The insurance company reimbursed us for the miles redeposit fees. Which brings me to another point: some cover those and some don’t.
You need to call and check for yourself. I suggest, you write down the time of the phone call and the agent’s name (yes, I am a bit paranoid). Even better, try to get a response by email, so you can have proof later, just in case. For buying insurance I recommend a website, called Insuremytrip because it will show you all the options. Look for “package” policies with broad coverage.
I suggest, you don’t go for the cheapest deal, but check the limits. For example, I would only purchase a policy, that had at least $50,000 medical evacuation limit, and $50,000 medical coverage limit per person if going out of the country. If you have any medical problems, look for “pre-existing condition waiver” option. It usually will cover any issues, as long as you purchase the policy within 14 or 21 days of your first trip payment. Package insurance normally runs around 5 percent of the total cost of the trip, but to me is worth it for the peace of mind.
Certain credit cards do provide some insurance for trip cancellation. I know when I used to have Citi Thank You Premier card, it had a built-in coverage for your tickets, in case of an unforeseen event. But when I checked into it, it did not include cruises. Plus it’s not really enough anyway. Mostly because there is no medical or evacuation coverage. To me those 2 are the most important of all, if going out of the country.
You probably will never have to use that policy and chances are, everything should be just fine. But you never know, especially with kids like mine.
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