Looking for travel insurance recommendations.
September 12, 2012 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Taking my US citizen husband back to Australia to visit my family in November and a question today on AskMeFi reminded me we need to get travel insurance.

Things the insurance would need to cover. Cancellation of trip due to work changes as my husbands job is full of last minute dramas. Health insurance for my husband, I am still an Australian citizen so am covered by the Australian system. All the usual general cancellation of trip due to illness, missed connections, lost luggage and the like coverage. The policy would only be for 4 weeks.

I've never bought travel insurance in the US before and I am looking for company recommendations as every site I went to through google looked dodgy. If you've had great service from a travel insurance company or at least great service for an insurance company now is the time to sing it's praises.
posted by wwax to Travel & Transportation around Australia (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We used Travel Guard. They were wonderful. We were covered medically and for missed flights. Great customer service. And very well priced! Covered us for over 3 months in Europe (going from the USA).
posted by amicamentis at 11:33 AM on September 12, 2012

Best answer: Have you already bought your plane tickets? It might not be the cheapest of all options, but many of the airlines offer you an affiliated travel insurance as an option while you're in the process of purchasing.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:56 AM on September 12, 2012

Best answer: Does your US citizen husband have regular US insurance? When I was visiting Australia (while still living in the US with US insurance) my policy covered me for emergency care abroad. He should call and verify.
posted by olinerd at 11:57 AM on September 12, 2012

Best answer: If you're going to pay with a credit card, you might check the fine print of your credit card agreement. My Visa card includes automatic travel insurance. My local medical insurance covers me while abroad, so I don't buy anything extra unless I'm going to a place where evacuation might be necessary.
posted by ceiba at 12:11 PM on September 12, 2012

Best answer: The only reason to get travel insurance would be if your husband doesn't have health insurance (as olinerd correctly indicates, most [all?] health care companies cover care outside the United States).

Otherwise, go without travel insurance. If trip insurance were worth getting (ie, the expected benefit of the insurance was more than the cost of the insurance), it wouldn't be sold. Unless you literally can't afford to pay for any eventuality in the trip (in which case, you probably shouldn't be on the trip), there's no need for travel insurance.
posted by saeculorum at 12:47 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: Going without insurance for missed flights etc is not something I would feel comfortable doing. I know of 3 instances in just my family where they have had to make use of the insurance for lost luggage ,medical and missed trips to illness over the years and in once case had almost 10K in travel costs reimbursed for a couple of hundred of insurance on a round the world trip. So it's an expense we've got no doubts about, I'm a belt and suspenders kind of a person if that makes sense and just feel better for having it.

We paid cash for the trip, if I'd known about the insurance though I'd have paid by credit card and will do that next time so thanks for the heads up on that. I'll also check if our US health insurance will cover him overseas.
posted by wwax at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2012

According to independenttraveler.com, the most reasonable, best bargain international travel insurance comes from STA Travel.
posted by misha at 3:23 PM on September 12, 2012

Best answer: Just FYI, for international flights travel insurance likely makes sense, because you are dealing with some really expensive flights, but you should know that you have some protection even without it, and in many cases it is just an unnecessary expense.

I know of 3 instances in just my family where they have had to make use of the insurance for lost luggage ,medical and missed trips to illness over the years and in once case had almost 10K in travel costs reimbursed for a couple of hundred of insurance on a round the world trip.

As others have noted, medical conditions are often covered by your (or in this case, your husband's) own personal healthcare. Your homeowner's insurance policy (you have a house, right?) probably covers lost luggage expenses as well. The airlines may also cover up to $3300 in lost baggage per traveler. So they might have been covered without even spending that couple hundred dollars, is all I'm saying.

If you are particularly concerned that you might have to cancel for business reasons, you might just want trip cancellation insurance, with the caveat that you need to be absolutely sure the policy will cover "cancellation for any cause," as most only cover you in the even to personal injury, illness or death, and don't kick in at all even if you lose a job and can't afford the trip any more!

I think Trip Insurance Store has "cancel for any cause" travel insurance.

And you should absolutely buy tickets with a credit card when possible! It's easier to get replacement tickets if they get lost, plus automatic travel insurance comes with some cards. It's a good idea to take pics of anything expensive in your luggage (and keep the receipts handy if you have them), in the event your luggage goes lost (I usually try not to travel with anything too expensive, but my iPad went missing on a recent flight). If you also bought the item(s) with the same credit card, you may be covered for replacements under their purchase protection, making it even easier to recoup the lost.
posted by misha at 3:46 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You may need to move quickly, Travel Guard offers "had to work" coverage (see page 9) but you have to buy it within 15 days of the initial deposit (as I understand it, the first non-refundable payment for any part of the trip). If you do that, you also get coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, which can be a nice bonus.

You would need to be able to get a notarized letter from an "officer" of the corporation, which might or might not be a major hassle depending on the size of the company. If it's small, you probably have access to the CEO, but you're going to need at least a VP who may be way above your husband's level if it's a big company, extremely busy, and not necessarily that interested in inconveniencing herself to help with a travel insurance claim. Just some things to think about.
posted by wnissen at 8:19 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

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