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Old Jun 28, 19, 8:23 pm
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 333
Here's my experience so far:
I have never purchased medical insurance or evac insurance for vacations. However, I knew I wanted cancellation insurance for a cruise + land tour to Norway next year. $15k total.

So I read a million threads in the Insurance forum
on CruiseCritic, including
  • Horror stories from people who relied up credit card insurance reimbursement (Chase Sapphire, Citi, etc. where the paperwork you faxed gets lost over and over again...)
  • A lot of first-hand experiences from people who actually ended out filing claims with the travel insurance they purchased
Net: I ended out purchasing a policy from Trip Insurance Store underwritten by the insurance company Travel Insured.

How I made the decision after reading all the threads:
I was approaching the deadline to purchase in order to get the pre-existing conditions inclusion.
(14 - 21 days, depending on which policy, after the first trip-related purchase )
I wanted that inclusion even I haven't missed a day of work for illness in... 5 years-ish... I just liked the idea of it. I also liked that it would force me to make a decision sooner vs later.

After reading multiple people raving about how helpful Steve the owner is, I phoned the Trip Insurance Store's number at 7pm central time on a Friday night, long after anyone 'should' have been there. Steve answered the phone. Even though he had a cold, he:
  • thoroughly answered my "what-if" questions
  • told me things I had not thought of
  • promptly followed up with an email about his recommendations.
I felt guilty for taking his time at night when he was sick, but very appreciative for his help. Steve's recommendations cost less than what I thought I needed. Not sure I have ever met a business owner who actually tries to talk me into spending LESS than I had planned.

Anyone who answers the phone at that office is a subject-matter-expert rockstar brainiac. Moreover, based on all the first hand testimonials on CruiseCritic, if a claim must be filed and the insurance company pushes back, they will go to bat for the client. To me, this is HUGE.

Usually, I want to purchase whatever I buy directly from a seller. However, in this case, when a company like Trip Insurance Store, who I hope does a ton of business because they deserve it, goes to bat for me with an insurance company, the insurance company will take more notice than if only I, one individual consumer, argue with them. An insurance company would know that this seller has sway.

They also have a very informative website.
It's so awesome how they show, in plain-speak, the "strengths & quibbles"
for the insurance plans they sell
ex: (not the one I bought, but related to a discussion of trip insurance that covers all trips in a year)
RoamRight Multi-Trip Annual Trip Cancellation Insurance

I recently purchased the airline tickets (non-refundable first class Austin to Heathrow, on BA non-stop) part of my Norway trip.
To add that onto the policy I simply emailed Deanna dates and amount. She automatically added that onto the policy and charged my card for the incremental cost. No phone calls needed.

And WOW, after reading how much medical evacs while on vacation can be, I will never stray outside the bounds of my domestic US medical insurance coverage without it, even though I'm a healthy person. If something is going to go wrong enough to seek medical care on a trip, my guess is it would be a major accident. I will not always buy the cancellation insurance part though.

The one upgrade I purchased was "Makes medical and baggage coverage primary". Maybe a $35 fee.
After reading people describe how you'd have to first: file with your primary medical insurer, then: wait for it to reject since you were outside the US, I decided that the time and aggravation savings would be worth it.
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