I’ve written before that I’m a great believer in travel insurance I personally have cashed in on it twice. Of course, you shouldn’t look at travel insurance as a CD or some sort of investment because most likely you won’t come out ahead if you end up insuring each and every trip. Just like in casino, the house always (well, usually) wins.
Still, I strongly recommend you consider it, especially if you are a family with limited savings. You are buying a peace of mind, and that’s worth something, right? You have probably heard that certain credit cards come with travel protection benefits. Some of them are Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Thank You Premier card.
In fact, I recently used the latter to pay for my taxes on award tickets to Jamaica (read yesterday’s post). So we were all set, right? This is a tricky subject because you may or may not be covered.
According to this post on View From the Wing, travel insurance will only cover you up to the amount you paid in award taxes. However, there is a special benefit you can purchase when flying on this type of ticket, and it will reimburse your return air expenses.
Update: Read comment by Holly who had a good success with Chase Ink Plus covering extra 2 days of hotel when her flight was delayed.
Let’s take a look at what the terms for Citi Thank You Premier card say:
Sounds great, right? Be aware that cruise usually doesn’t count because it doesn’t fall under “transportation” category in “trip cancellation/interruption” coverage. Notice what else is missing: Emergency evacuation and medical coverage.
Those benefits should be your primary concern, especially when going to a foreign country with poor medical facilities. If you have to be flown to a nearby country with better medical care, it can potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sure, your health insurance may cover it, but it may not.
That’s why I decided to get a quote form InsureMyTrip. Since my out-of-pocket cost was minimal (we were traveling on award tickets), I decided to opt for only medical policy. The great thing about Rapid Rewards is that you can cancel and redeposit your points with no penalty.
That’s why I didn’t feel that package insurance with broad coverage was necessary in our case, especially since we had Citi benefit to fall back on. Here is the quote for 4 people for a 3-day trip to Jamaica:
I wanted to see more details, and it included a medical coverage for up to $50,000 per person, plus evacuation benefit of $500,000. I decided to go with $0 deductible, and it increased the quote by $6.
So, basically, for only $16 we had this very important coverage for an entire family and almost ended up using it. I doubt that this amount will bankrupt anyone, but paying for emergency medical evacuation probably will.
I realize that many times I come off as too conservative and cautious. I hardly do any M/S, I try to stick to official credit card offers etc. I am the tortoise of this hobby and not the hare, and that’s OK by me.
Oh, that reminds me of a “Scrubs” episode where dr. Cox was talking to a chief of medicine. I had to look it up and here is the cleaned-up version. No hidden meaning, I promise:
“You know, Bob, I’ve been thinking about all the times that you’ve manipulated me and toyed with me, and, well, I can’t help but recall that children’s fable about the race between the tortoise and the pain-in-the-butt chief of medicine that everybody hates.
You see, Bob, the pain-in-the-butt chief of medicine that everybody hates kept running out in front of the tortoise and taunting him; but right at the end, I’m sure you remember what happened.
Bob, the tortoise bit clean-through the chief of medicine’s calf muscle, dragged him to the ground, where he and all the other turtles devoured him alive, right there on the racetrack. It’s a… disturbing children’s book, Bob, I know, but it’s one that stuck with me, nonetheless.”
It’s dark, no? Maybe a little too dark for a family blog. But then again, this is not your typical “momma” site, is it?
Readers, do you buy travel insurance?