Travel Protection

Travel Insurance = Peace of Mind

Is travel insurance really necessary? In my opinion as a seasoned frequent traveler, it is. Do I enjoy paying for it in addition to my vacation? No. But I do it anyway. My husband and I build it into our budget for each vacation we take. Insurance is the safety net under the trapeze artist, the rainy-day funds you hope you never have to cash in on, and the best spent money when you do. Travel protection provides peace of mind for that unexpected “whatever.”

Here you’ll read a few true-life stories. Some involve folks who had taken travel coverage and ended up needing it. And other stories about some who needed it – but didn’t have it.

There are several travel insurance carriers available to the public. Even the cruise line or tour line’s own “travel care” is generally through a third party company such as AON – so you’ll be dealing with them – not necessarily the tour/cruise line. What company and policy you choose should be based on your own research and what coverage is right for you. Because if a claim needs to be processed – it will be between you and the insurance company. Travelers purchase trip protection for many reasons – make sure the policy you choose will cover your personal concerns and give you that peace of mind.

Back to Top

Happy Endings

~ About mid-way through a Mediterranean cruise, a young woman began throwing up and had to be taken to the ship’s infirmary. Turns out she had an inflamed gall bladder and needed an IV line run for her dehydration. Subsequently, the next day a charge showed up on her shipboard account for $1350.00. She paid it and then had to spend some time collecting the needed documents (original bill from the ship) but eventually they paid her in full.

~ A few years ago a couple flew to Honduras for a land tour and at some point during the week the husband fell – cracking his elbow and breaking his arm. After surgery in a local hospital near the resort and an emergency trip home – they continue to sing praises to this day about the thousands of dollars they could have been out (but weren’t) with that emergency in Central America. How happy they were they had travel coverage even though their trip was interrupted and they had to fly home mid-week.

~ An older couple had been planning for 18 months to go on a Panama Canal bucket list cruise. A week before leaving, the wife was in an accident and ruptured a disc in her back. They had to cancel their entire vacation. If they had not had good travel insurance they would have been out all that money but after weeks of submitting certified forms from doctor’s and such they received all of their money back (except for what they paid for trip insurance.) Three years later after much healing and physical therapy they were able to see their dream cruise realized.

~ A family of four was heading to South America on a land tour over Thanksgiving. They had spent over $30,000 on this once in a lifetime vacation. The husband’s mother passed away a few days before they left and they had to cancel the trip. They had taken out travel insurance on each person and therefore was able to recoup all of their pre-paid, non-refundable expenditures.

These stories had happy endings. Be aware that even with travel coverage the reimbursement does not happen overnight. Filing a claim will most likely involve a lot of time on your part, thanks to the high incidence of insurance fraud. Though the cost of your insurance policy will not be reimbursed; if the situation qualifies, then the pre-paid, non-refundable items covered should be. That’s why it’s important to ask so many questions on the front end so you are fully aware of what is covered and what is not. Do your homework and know your policy so that you aren’t caught unaware.

Back to Top

Not-so-happy Endings

~ Two young couples in their mid-20’s planned a last-minute cruise and declined the travel insurance because their trip was only weeks away. What could possibly happen to keep them from going? Two days out from the cruise one of their grandmothers passed away and so one couple went and the other stayed behind. All the money spent on the trip was out the window. There is nothing an agent can do when you decline travel insurance – it’s risky not to take it.

~ A group out of Dallas, Texas had five couples traveling together on a spring break cruise. One couple didn’t want to take out travel insurance and the rest did. As Murphy’s Law would go – that one non-covered couple ended up cancelling after the penalty period – they were out every dime except for the taxes and port fees. It was a huge hit to them financially. If their reasons for canceling had been coverable – they would have only been out their travel insurance cost.

A fellow travel agent joked that in her experience – clients who take out travel insurance seldom need it but those who don’t seem to need it every time. That’s not always the case. Sometimes you gamble and win – but the odds are that you lose. Better to be safe, than sorry.

Back to Top

Travel Guard

There are many different companies (carriers) available for travel insurance other than Travel Guard (AIG). We will be glad to give you the contact information for other companies if you would prefer insurance with a specific carrier. Travel Guard travel insurance is available to provide coverage for your cruise/trip. Their Gold plan is the most popular comprehensive package. Click here for an electronic version of the Travel Guard Gold plan brochure.

There are two ways to obtain a Travel Guard (TG) quote through this site:

One option is to click on the banner below and process your own information online. Drouin Cruises (should) receive a copy as it is linked between TG and this website. For those who have purchased travel protection before online, you are most likely familiar with this process. Once received, it will be kept with your vacation file. The advantage in having Julie as the agent linked to your policy is – that any change you make her aware of – she can update your policy and make necessary adjustments.

A second option would be for Julie to have Travel Guard send you a quote via email. You can read the description of coverage, call TG for any questions about the policy – and then fill in your credit card information and process. It would still be linked to Drouin Cruises as the agency and so Julie can help you manage it along the way.

The following link will direct you to Travel Guard’s website for a quote/purchase of their Gold Policy.

Begin by familiarizing yourself with the Travel Guard Gold coverage. There are several other types of policies available (Silver, Platinum and ‘My Travel Guard’) if the Gold plan is not right for you. Make a list of any questions you may still have after reading the coverage details and call Travel Guard (1-800-826-1300). Keep track of the questions and answers in your travel file. And it’s probably worth noting that if something happens – getting several copies of original receipts may save you a lot of time and effort later.

Please be aware that while Julie is able to have TG email you a quote for your preferred policy – she is not able to answer specific questions about what is and isn’t covered. As of July 1, 2013 there has been a change to travel insurance’s licensing laws – legally a travel agent cannot discuss any carriers coverage or answer questions about policies. Please call their toll free number and ask them directly.

Whatever company you go with – generally speaking in order to have the most coverage you need to purchase travel insurance within two weeks of your initial deposit. A helpful tip in thinking about pre-paid, non-refundable items is this: if you were to wake up the day of your trip and not be able to go – what money would you be out?

If you want to receive a quote from Travel Guard – Julie needs to know three things:

1) The day you plan to leave for your trip (physically stepping out of your home door) and the day you (physically) walk back through the door of your home.

Jenny and John are leaving home Saturday, October 8, 2017 and returning home Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Our parents traveling with us (Bill and Francis) are driving in from Colorado two days earlier so will be leaving  Friday, October 6, 2017 and returning home Saturday, October 21, 2017.

2) Amount of pre-paid, non-refundable items to be covered. Break it down per person for flight cost (include airline name), hotel, cruise, or vacation package. If Drouin Cruises has taken care of the cruise booking or land package then they have that information already. If you’ve booked your own flights – that cost per person is necessary to include.

Jenny: Total coverage needed is $3850 (cruise is $3300 and flight on American Air is $550)
John: Total coverage needed is $3850 (cruise is $3300 and flight on American Air is $550)
Bill: Total coverage needed is $3300 (cruise – they’re flying on SouthWest and it’s refundable)
Francis: Total coverage needed is $3300 (cruise – they’re flying on SouthWest and it’s refundable)

3) Who would be the most likely person (at each address) to follow through on the claim should one need to be made?

Jenny (for our household)
Bill (for our parents – he’s more detailed oriented than mom)

Taking the time to learn about travel insurance is worth the effort. It’s a good idea to carve out an hour or so to research and learn about the policy. As mentioned earlier, this time frame needs to be done within two weeks of initial deposit. It’s to your own advantage to know and understand your coverage, should that unexpected, unwanted occurrence happen to you or to a loved one prior to your trip. Budget it in your vacation now – and you’ll be glad later.

Back to Top