Travel Insurance Yay or Nay?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Travel Insurance Yay or Nay?

What do you think of travel insurance?

Have you ever bought travel insurance? Have you ever had to use it?
Talk to me about where you buy it, why or why not you buy it!

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finngirl's picture
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We always have cancellation insurance for any trips we do. We've bought Disney's cancellation insurance in the past just because I was too lazy to research other options. It's not cheap though, and I'm sure I could get a better deal elsewhere. While travelling at home (Canada) we don't need extra medical insurance, but if we are travelling outside the country, it's reassuring to know we won't be stuck with a 6 digit medical bill if something awful happens. Even being in our 60's now, it's only an extra $80 or so for a week's travel for both DH and I, so we consider it money well-spent. (We purchase that through our bank - even pre-existing conditions are covered with them).

We've had friends who've had to cancel trips at the last minute for medical and family emergencies - some have had insurance, some haven't. The ones who hadn't now make sure to buy it, and those that had were grateful to get their money back. Our airfares are usually booked through seat sales, and are non-refundable. The cancellation insurance is worth it just to be sure we can recover those costs, even if other costs are refundable.

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Miss Mikki's picture
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I have annual travel insurance from American Express. I had been told that I may not be able to get travel insurance because I had cancer last year or if I could get it, it would be very expensive. I paid an extra premium to cover my medical situation so annual travel insurance for me and my husband for unlimited worldwide trips was PS398.00 (around $600) which I thought was very reasonable under the circumstances.

When we cancelled our May 2012 trip, we had annual insurance through HSBC bank and received a full refund of our flights from them (around $2000 as we were booked premium economy) If we had not been insured we would have lost that money as Virgin would not refund the flights.

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I haven't bought insurance in the past but because I am getting older I just feel better about being covered. I don't mind the extra money because I feel it is money well spent. I buy insurance for both air and package.

Eeyore's picture
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We've never purchased the insurance! We live on the edge! lol

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We do not purchase the insurance either. We drive though and usually just have a room only reservation.

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JanJ's picture
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For us, its included on our Visa when we use it to pay for travel - cancellation, trip interruption and medical insurance. I would never travel without medical, but the other insurances I have traveled without, just not lately. When we booked with Ken's parents in 2009, I wasn't able to go due to health reasons, so we did have to use the cancellation insurance that trip and the in-laws got their money back and took us to Disney in 2010 - the trip that started it all!

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I usually don't, but that's b/c except for plane fare, I will never book a non-refundable hotel room, so I figure I'll get the room refunded and just pay the change fee for the plane. BUT...If it's my trip is not refundable, I will get the insurance. I learned the hard way a few years ago booking a cruise for myself and a friend. I had the option to get the travel insurance, but couldn't get ahold of her and didn't want to spend $50 or $75 (can't remember the amount) of her money w/out asking (this was several promotions ago, and sometimes that was the difference in making rent or not). I went without. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks later and we had to cancel the trip. We lost $500 ($250 each). To this day I could kick myself for not buying the insurance!!

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Magic Mirror's picture
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We only used it for Alaska because of the amount of money we had invested and how far in advance we had been planning.

I was glad we did as we almost had to cancel because Amy had her gall bladder out. Luckily we still went but it was a
relief to not be worried about money if we had cancelled.

Allie's picture
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We did for our honeymoon to Mexico since it was in September (hurricane season) and was a more expensive trip then we normally take. Otherwise we normally live dangerously and forgo travel insurance Wink

Vettelover's picture
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wheelchair At my age I always buy the travel insurance because you just never know. Smile We usually fly down to WDW and it is usually in winter (March this coming year) and with the unpredictability of snowstorms which can cause much more havoc with airline flights than rain, we feel safer with the insurance as a back up if anything should go wrong. I have had a couple of flights cancelled because of storms but it was always on the return flight where I really didn't care and didn't loose DVC points because of the delay.

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We started buying it about 5 years ago because my niece was diagnosed with a brain tumor (first cancer in my family, ever) and passed away less than a year later. It opened my eyes to really believing that we just never know what today will bring. Might as well lighten up, enjoy life, but plan smartly. My life changed a Lot, but I actually am much more stress-free and enjoy it more.
Since then, I've been diagnosed with the RA and with that, you just never know what each day will be like. One day is fine, the next I'm out for the count. It's weird. So I'm glad we buy the insurance now because it makes me feel better to know that if I just can't make it, I don't have to.

DisneyDee27's picture
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I buy the insurance for cruises but not usually for land vacations. I did buy the insurance for HK and Tokyo mickey

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Revroy's picture
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Yes my wife and I add it. 2010 we had plans, booked all ADRs, had all paid for and two days before the trip he had to have emergency back surgery. the insurance saved our bacon.

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The Colonel's picture
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I have never bought travel insurance. If I had, I would now be out lots of money. So what I have saved to date, will more than pay for any travel cancellations I have in the future. The costs of cancelled travel are not really cataustrophic anyway.

I do get medical insurance for foreign travel though, because not only is medical evacuation very expensive, in most foreign countries my health insurance will not be accepted and I may be refused care. So to me, that's worth a few bucks.

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Mad Hatter's picture
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Mr. Hub guided me to this thread and it helped me, so I thought it worthy to knock the dust off of it and bump it back up.

I haven't made a big deal of it, a few mentions over the past few months maybe, but had planned a trip back to the World after taking a break to allow my wife to complete her masters degree. As she entered into her final semester early this year, the time had come to plan for our magical "I Just Graduated!" return trip. I booked the trip early, and because of aging relatives we decided to go ahead and purchase the insurance offered with our package, never really expecting to use it, but thought it would be, well, nice "insurance", just in case. ADR's booked at 180, watched flight prices and rolled the dice when the price got low (and low is relative, a special trip called for first class!), got everything done, now waiting on the 60 to go mark for FP+'s, which we hit yesterday. The lead up excitement and planning for that all summer was magical. That's when the ball dropped, and old man cancer came crashing into the Mad Hatter's tea party. During the month of July, so far my wife has received a cancer diagnosis, been through two surgeries, and had the first of six chemo treatments. As scheduled, our first planned Disney day would fall on chemo treatment #4. So obviously we will have to cancel this trip, and plan on a "Triumph over cancer" trip come 2016 or 2017, whenever we can get it worked out again. I'm now realizing that the trip insurance is probably no good for the airline tickets. Mr. Hub as I stated earlier sent me to this thread and thanks to all of you I realized I may have a way through my credit card to recoup those costs as well. So thanks to everyone for suggesting that a couple of years ago! And I hope my story may help some of you that might be considering the insurance option.

As for us, prognosis is very good, but it will be a bit of a rough ride for the rest of the year. So throw a little pixie dust our way, and we WILL be back in the World soon!

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bighug bighug bighug

Sending lots of pixie dust and hugs. Hoping your DW is feeling better soon!!

The Colonel's picture
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The cost of the trip is trivial in comparison to your wife's health. I wish her and you all the best.

That said, won't you be able to use the credit with the airline? You should just have to pay a change fee I would think.

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Mad Hatter's picture
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Yes Colonel, this is true to a point. I will be issued a credit with the airline for future use, provided that all travel on those funds is completed within 1 year of the original date of purchase. Mine was purchased in Feb 2015. While all treatments will be completed in November, it will be several months before my wife will be able to accumulate enough leave time to take another trip. I didn't mention it earlier, but due to enhanced risk of infection, she will not be allowed to return to work until maybe December, and in the meantime, will have to exhaust all current leave time. And absolutely you are correct, the cost is trivial compared to her health.

Thanks to you and oHIo for the warm wishes!!

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Allie's picture
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So sorry to hear that, Mad Hatter! Many good thoughts and pixie dust being sent to you and your wife! bighug

crazycatperson's picture
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My hopes and prayers for your wife's speedy and full recovery. And then I hope you have the best celebration vacation ever.

Mad Hatter's picture
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Thanks Allie & CCP!

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The Colonel's picture
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Mad Hatter wrote:
Yes Colonel, this is true to a point. I will be issued a credit with the airline for future use, provided that all travel on those funds is completed within 1 year of the original date of purchase. Mine was purchased in Feb 2015. While all treatments will be completed in November, it will be several months before my wife will be able to accumulate enough leave time to take another trip. I didn't mention it earlier, but due to enhanced risk of infection, she will not be allowed to return to work until maybe December, and in the meantime, will have to exhaust all current leave time. And absolutely you are correct, the cost is trivial compared to her health.

Thanks to you and oHIo for the warm wishes!!

I had a similiar situation- actually not so similar, I just forgot to use my credit. Mrs. C called the airline executive offices and convinced them to extend the expiration date. Anyway, the point is, they can extend the expiry date, especially under your circumstances.

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sending lots of pixie dust to you and your wife! muchlove

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Best wishes to you and your wife, Mad Hatter.

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I hoped this thread helped in some way Mad Hatter. Hope your wife has a fast and complete recovery.

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Definitely sending some Pixie Dust your way!

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I don't buy insurance in the spring and summer but I do buy it because Ohio is too iffy especially in winter.

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Mad Hatter's picture
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Thanks to everyone for your well wishes, pixie dust, and wealth of ideas and experience in these things. I plan on digging into the details this weekend, actually making the cancellations, talking with the airline, credit card, Disney, and travel insurance company to try and get to the best possible solution. I also plan on looking at other insurance options and what the costs would have been under my circumstances. I'll share my experiences with all of you and hopefully someone will benefit when planning your own travel, whatever the destinations may be.

Thanks again to all of you for your support, and for those of you who will be travelling to the World, especially in Sept-Oct for all the fun and festivities that take place then, post a few extra pictures this year, we'll be there with you in spirit!! mickey

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Prayers and pixie dust to you and your wife for a full and speedy recovery.

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Pixie dust sent your way!! We will think of you in October! mickey

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On the original topic, we normally don't buy travel insurance. Park tickets can be used at another time, whether they're APs or just regular tickets. Flights can be rescheduled. Rooms can be cancelled, or if we're on an RCI timeshare exchange the money lost doesn't amount to a huge loss. But for our big anniversary cruise, oh heck yes we bought the travel insurance.