Do you use Travel Insurance

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boriss

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Wouldn't it depend on the person and the desired destination along with "world factors?"

For example, pre-Covid I used to travel a LOT (sometimes monthly)... never bought insurance (e.g. self-insured). Never had issues either in 20-years of flying all over the world. Small caveat, I did have a form of travel protection through my travel credit card and my health insurance covered medical no matter where I am in the world (probably at a lower rate, I don't recall). Never had to use the insurance though.

Fast forward to post-Covid and diving, I have DAN insurance for me and my son, who also dives. It was a requirement for technical training and I'm glad I have it anyway. The cost is minimal and although I hope I never use it, I've seen a few incidents on boats where someone (usually older) would have problems breathing after surfacing, would get put on O2 and it would be a mandatory trip off the boat directly to EMS/hospital. They don't even ask, the boat delivers you directly to the dock where EMS is waiting (I've seen one guy protest that it wasn't necessary, but they didn't want to take the risk and forced the issue). When diving, the last thing I want on my mind is doing monetary calculus about the benefit vs reward of getting treatment. So in short: DAN insurance is a must IMO.

Now, back to diving and travel. If I'm going somewhere that's super expensive and a once-in-a-lifetime trip, like Chuuk Lagoon, I'd be way more inclined to pay for insurance. Otherwise? Self-insure based on the variables that apply to me. I've had a few instances in the past where I bought insurance (not travel) and it had so much little fine print it wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.

Obviously everyone's financial, life, health and risk situation will be different, but I'm in the mostly self-insure camp, except for exceptions :wink:
 

Lorenzoid

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We have collected on all of our claims. Some examples:
- a snow storm delayed our arrival by 1 day for a LOB. Insurance paid for 1 night in hotel, meals and a water taxi to catch up to the LOB.
Did that require a special "liveaboard rider" option on the policy, like DiveAssure offers? I was under the impression that's exactly the kind of scenario the liveaboard rider is for. But I really haven't looked into it.
 

ThatDogDontHunt

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Did that require a special "liveaboard rider" option on the policy, like DiveAssure offers? I was under the impression that's exactly the kind of scenario the liveaboard rider is for. But I really haven't looked into it.
No. It is standard trip interruption coverage, not related to a LOB. Our trip got interrupted and the insurance covered our costs to get back on track. From their perspective a LOB is just a small cruise ship.

I am unaware what a LOB rider would cover.
 

Brodydog

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When I first started diving I bought trip insurance for my trips. Then a good friend explained with all the times he did not buy trip insurance that all the money saved by not buying it would more than cover the loss of a trip that got cancelled or interupted. I don’t buy it anymore and I have found what he said to be very true.
 

Lorenzoid

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No. It is standard trip interruption coverage, not related to a LOB. Our trip got interrupted and the insurance covered our costs to get back on track. From their perspective a LOB is just a small cruise ship.

I am unaware what a LOB rider would cover.
What is the name of the company/product, if you don't mind me asking? I bought Allianz Global last time, when I wanted coverage for the possibility of having to quarantine in a hotel not of my choosing. The LOB-leaving-without-me scenario wasn't on my radar, but it may be in the future. As for catching up with a cruise ship, I was under the impression that plain vanilla "trip interruption" insurance doesn't cover that either; rather, you'd need what's commonly called "missed connection" or "travel delay" coverage. Policies that are commonly marketed as "cruise ship insurance" (and that DiveAssure LOB rider I mentioned) and travel insurance that specifically includes "missed connection" or "travel delay" benefits cover it. The DiveAssure LOB rider also covers missed dive days, which is a unique issue for divers that cruisers don't have, but that's not the topic here.
 

ThatDogDontHunt

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What is the name of the company/product, if you don't mind me asking? I bought Allianz Global last time, when I wanted coverage for the possibility of having to quarantine in a hotel not of my choosing. ....
Disclaimer: Insurance is regulated at a state / province level, so what is available differs geographically. Even more confusing, the same product name sold by the same company may have slight (or even significant) variations in different areas.

When we lived in Ontario we used a Blue Cross product that was only available in Eastern Canada. When we moved to BC the "Blue Cross" product was totally different and offered by a different company that turned out to be very difficult to deal with. They would not provide the policy wording until after you bought a policy. So we currently use a product sold by the BCAA. I do not know who actually underwrites the product.

I will attach the policy wording for your reading entertainment:
 

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ThatDogDontHunt

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... The LOB-leaving-without-me scenario wasn't on my radar, but it may be in the future. As for catching up with a cruise ship, I was under the impression that plain vanilla "trip interruption" insurance doesn't cover that either; rather, you'd need what's commonly called "missed connection" or "travel delay" coverage. Policies that are commonly marketed as "cruise ship insurance" (and that DiveAssure LOB rider I mentioned) and travel insurance that specifically includes "missed connection" or "travel delay" benefits cover it. The DiveAssure LOB rider also covers missed dive days, which is a unique issue for divers that cruisers don't have, but that's not the topic here.
We only use pure vanilla "full coverage" high cost type products. They are generalized, have the widest range of coverage and the smallest amount of exclusions. And high cost. Did I mention that proper travel insurance is not cheap?

If you look at specialized products (think "dive insurance" or "free credit card insurance") then the products tend to have much narrower coverage and many more exclusions. This keeps the cost down. They are cheap and restrictive. This also ends up creating surprises, confusion and disappointment when the product owner eventually finds out what is NOT covered.

These low end products often use the same terms (i.e. trip interruption") but then provide a very restricted definition since they only cover a small subset of what is expected.

Your example of trip interruption is a perfect example. My free credit card insurance provides a trip interruption benefit which is really trip continuation benefit and as you noted it does not cover many desirable scenarios. So it is insufficient. It is free and of very limited benefit.
 

Lorenzoid

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We only use pure vanilla "full coverage" high cost type products. They are generalized, have the widest range of coverage and the smallest amount of exclusions. And high cost. Did I mention that proper travel insurance is not cheap?
Out of curiosity I looked through the range of Allianz Global Assistance products of which I mentioned I bought a mid-range option. I see there are more expensive options that cover what we're talking about here. It DOES get expensive, with the price correlating with the traveler's age and I'm sure various other things. Hundreds of dollars for two older divers for a couple of weeks. Makes you think, how much would that water taxi or island hopper to catch up with the liveaboard cost me out of pocket? I'm not arguing the insurance isn't "worth it." But the odds are in their favor or they wouldn't be selling it. Fortunately (he says facetiously) there is no liveaboard or fancy dive resort trip in my immediate future.
 

ThatDogDontHunt

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Out of curiosity I looked through the range of Allianz Global Assistance products of which I mentioned I bought a mid-range option. I see there are more expensive options that cover what we're talking about here. It DOES get expensive, with the price correlating with the traveler's age and I'm sure various other things. Hundreds of dollars for two older divers for a couple of weeks. Makes you think, how much would that water taxi or island hopper to catch up with the liveaboard cost me out of pocket? I'm not arguing the insurance isn't "worth it." But the odds are in their favor or they wouldn't be selling it. Fortunately (he says facetiously) there is no liveaboard or fancy dive resort trip in my immediate future.
Annual trip insurance products that we have used have 2 price components which have always been broken out separately.

The cost of the travel medical is based on your age (and goes up or becomes unavailable as you age). You have no ability to alter this cost or the covered benefits.

The trip cancellation / interruption cost is based upon deductibles (if any), maximum allowed trip length and maximum cancellation benefit limit. You can reduce this cost by picking higher deductibles, doing shorter trips and choosing lower cancellation payouts. This cost can vary very wildly based upon your choices.

If you only do 1 trip a year then annual trip insurance likely does not make financial sense. It is cheaper to purchase single trip insurance. We found that at 2 or more trips in a year an annual policy was cheaper - and in general provided more comprehensive benefits.

Travel medical insurance is a must have. A medical emergency could easily cost hundreds of thousands - a friend had a heart attack in the Caribbean. No insurance. Oops.

Adding even limited trip cancellation / interruption onto the medical may often make sense?

Since we are no longer working full time we travel more now (not just diving) and having the annual policy is a no brainer for us. YMMV.

P.S. the water taxi to catch the LOB was around $700US fifteen-ish years ago. Likely $1000 or more now?
 

Lorenzoid

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Travel medical insurance is a must have. A medical emergency could easily cost hundreds of thousands - a friend had a heart attack in the Caribbean. No insurance. Oops.
I have been buying GeoBlue medical-only insurance for coverage outside the US. Still, it's like a hundred bucks each for my wife and me, just for medical. When I was younger, I just took the risk. In my travels I still meet younger Americans who have no medical insurance at all, at home or while traveling. Boggles the mind.

I hope to join your ranks of the fully-retired and buy annual travel insurance very soon.

Safe travels!
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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