Travel insurance tips?

Old Aug 4th, 2022, 10:17 AM
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Travel insurance tips?

We are about to make our first deposit on a trip to Uganda/Kenya that would begin at the end of November. Plan to be in Africa 3 weeks or possibly more (may add other locations). We are experienced travelers - lots of farflung trips over the years with lots of moving parts. But we've never bought travel insurance. Now the safari provider suggests doing so, we are also now both over 70, there's COVID, airline chaos..... trip expense etc. So we are considering whether we want to rely on cancellation insurance provided by credit card (Chase has good benefits) or purchase travel insurance ...... and if insurance which one how much blah blah. I know comparisons can be made on line etc and I've started looking..... but just thought I'd check in with Fodorites who might have tips about what NOT to do as well positive experiences...... Thanks!
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 03:14 PM
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I am guessing you are from the USA? If so I appreciate that Travel Insurance is not a big thing there. Here in the UK and indeed, most of Europe few would travel without insurance. Travel insurance is very country specific in terms of cost and range of cover. I have an annual policy which covers me for virtually everything. Medical costs, repatriation cancellation for a huge range of reasons - death or serious illness of a family member. Repatriation in the even of death abroad.Cancellation (inc covid).Covid before or during...

As you are both over 70 you may find that fewer companies will cover you but many will. You should declare ALL existing medical conditions no matter how trivial they may seem or a claim may not be honoured.Some conditions may result in an additional premium.

You will find that the cost will be higher the older you are. This is simply because the probability of a claim is far higher. All the more reason to take out cover. I have had travel insurance forever. The only claim I ever made was for a damaged watch. Some would argue that the premiums were money down the drain but what they buy you is peace of mind knowing that if anything does happen , you are covered.

If by chance you happen to live in the UK, I would be happy to recommend and underwriter.
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 03:46 PM
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I bought travel insurance yesterday as an add-on to an award ticket at minimal cost on the American Airlines site. I called to make sure Covid was covered, it is, my main reason for adding insurance. It has all the items I need - trip interruption, baggage delay, medical & evacuation. A month-long trip, $28. It’s to Asia, not an expensive trip & I’m well over 70.

Allianz is the company & obviously they have a marketing deal with the airline to provide good value so do look for insurance offers on your airline site. I found it on my itinerary page. Part of the reason for the low cost, I’m sure, is the fact that it’s an award ticket so no long-haul airline cost need be included.

Last edited by MmePerdu; Aug 4th, 2022 at 03:50 PM.
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 04:27 PM
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I always buy medical and medical evacuation/repatriation insurance. I don't typically cover anything else, but if I were going on safari I would cover that cost, and these days I would want cover for Covid quarantine and trip interruption. In the past I have bought from Seven Corners, and they would still be my first choice. However, you can compare policies at https://www.squaremouth.com/ and https://www.insuremytrip.com/ - specify how much of the trip cost you want to cover.

It sounds like it is too late to cover pre-existing conditions (if any) - you usually need to buy the insurance within 14 days of the first trip purchase. Do make sure that evacuation insurance covers getting you home (repatriation), not just to the nearest "suitable facility", and with two of you that it covers getting both of you home.

I have some doubts about MmePerdu's Allianz policy, especially at that price. Personally I would never buy a policy that way, and I recommend reading the fine print very carefully. One thing to check is whether the medical coverage is primary (good) or secondary (not so good).
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 05:30 PM
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Glover, I'll be interested to know what you choose. Do let us know if you don't mind.

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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 11:20 AM
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These are wonderful tips! Just what I was looking for. Nice to hear from so many familiar posters I’ve followed over the years. Thanks so much, we’ll check them all out.

While we’re here - views on Capetown as a destination? We are building our trip around 10 days in Uganda. Just about to make first deposit for that. Plan probably to add another Safari of same or lesser length in Kenya/Tanzania. We fear this will be our sole trip to Africa and kind of hate the idea of missing Capetown. Interested in others’ views as to whether Capetown merits another long flight Nairobi to Capetown.
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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by glover View Post
We are about to make our first deposit on a trip to Uganda/Kenya that would begin at the end of November. Plan to be in Africa 3 weeks or possibly more (may add other locations). We are experienced travelers - lots of farflung trips over the years with lots of moving parts. But we've never bought travel insurance. Now the safari provider suggests doing so, we are also now both over 70, there's COVID, airline chaos..... trip expense etc. So we are considering whether we want to rely on cancellation insurance provided by credit card (Chase has good benefits) or purchase travel insurance ...... and if insurance which one how much blah blah. I know comparisons can be made on line etc and I've started looking..... but just thought I'd check in with Fodorites who might have tips about what NOT to do as well positive experiences...... Thanks!
Loved Capetown when we visited in 2019 and would have loved to have spent longer. Great mix of beach and city life. Would not hesitate to go back.

we have done a few safaris but South Africa was our first taste of self drive as opposed to an organised safari and I would highly recommend that experience and South Africa is THR place for that!
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 04:17 AM
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Thanks Crellston. Now I’m going to go read your South Africa trip report!
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 07:47 AM
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You are welcome. One thing I would add. If you are only planning a short time in South Africa then I would choose to stay in one of the suburbs like Camps Bay and take Ubers in to sightsee rather than stay in Cape Town central. Addo NP is not too far from Cape Town and I highly recommend it. Nyathi rest Camp is a sort of camp within a camp and was superb for self drive game veiwing.
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 09:54 AM
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I'm surprised at your age that you've never bought travel insurance before. Not so much for the cancellation issues but for medical coverage. Maybe you have some amazing health insurance that covers you abroad, though, most people don't. I admit I never bought it when I was younger, but started buying it routinely at about age 50-60 I guess, as it was never really that expensive. I have never had health insurance that covers me abroad. Not to mention the medical evacuation, since I don't have health insurance that covers me abroad I don't know, but I would presume even if you had a US policy that would pay claims in other countries, it wouldn't pay a $25K medical evacuation bill. Or more. this has nothing to do with COVID at all. Especially if you are traveling to unusual places which you say you have done a lot, not just say western Europe.

The medical coverage part is cheap, actually, it's the nonrefundable other costs that really affect the cost of travel insurance. I never prepay huge amounts, and mainly get it for the medical. It is pretty cheap that way. So the main thing driving the quoted cost on those websites (like insuremytrip.com) is the amount of money you put in that you want to cover.

I'd check your Chase benefits as to whether that includes medical and evacuation or not. Maybe it does, don't know.

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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 07:37 PM
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Cape Town Pelagics out of Simons Town, plus the penguins at Boulders.
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