Travel insurance

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Carolina2001

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
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South Carolina
About to book my 2nd trip on Amtrak. How many of you purchase the travel insurance offered? Is it worth it? Or one of those things of $27 for a $600 trip is not that much and good to if you needed but no great loss if not
 

pennyk

51 year Amtrak Rider
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I have never purchased travel insurance for the hundreds of Amtrak trips I have taken. However, I did purchase travel insurance for the 4 cruises I took in the last few years. I also purchased travel insurance for the America by Rail trip I booked in early 2020 for May 2020 (which was canceled by America by Rail before they went out of business). The trip insurance did not pay, but my credit card refunded the charges.
 

AFS1970

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
132
My wife is my sort of travel agent and she swears by travel insurance. I can't remember the company we use, but we buy it for the entire trip, train, lodging, ect. So it is less about the train but about what else might be effected. I actually bought an extra civil disturbance rider for a trip to DC once, but that was a few years ago. The policies are usually inexpensive and they do cover a surprising number of things, including lost luggage.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I've never purchased the insurance offered by Amtrak. The terms were so disadvantageous that I had to read them twice just to make sure I wasn't missing something important. I've purchased insurance from airlines for some international trips and have a card that provides some protections for nonrefundable expenses but since I've never had to actually use any of these policies it's hard saying not knowing. If anyone knows of a forum for discussing insurance details (all types) in an honest and upfront manner I would be curious to hear about it.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
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I use this site for travel insurance:

They comparison shop. I only get insurance for international trips - mainly for medical and medical evacuation coverage.
 

flitcraft

Conductor
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Jan 10, 2018
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In the Before Times, I bought annual medical and medivac insurance for international travel. I 'self-insure' for domestic travel--for example, paying a little more per day to have cancellation rights at hotels instead of the absolute lowest prices. If I were taking a cruise or any other high-priced travel itinerary which doesn't allow cancellation and refund, I would absolutely get travel insurance, and I'd read the fine print on what is covered and what is not.

Squaremouth and insuremytrip are good websites for quotes. Unfortunately, consumer reviews aren't very helpful. The majority of reviews say something like "Easy to purchase online. Luckily I didn't have to make a claim." I try to use companies that do business in a lot of states, which suggests that a number of different insurance commissioners have approved them.
 

Sauve850

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
644
Location
West Palm Beach, Florida
I dont use travel insurance specifically for an airline or train trip where Im only going for a short vacation. I do use Squaremouth to select a "vacation home rental" insurance policy ( which includes all basic travel insurance, lost luggage, delays etc as well as medical ) because I rent a home out west each summer for 2-3 months. I also take travel insurance for cruises.
 

Danib62

Service Attendant
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May 11, 2021
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216
Location
Washington, DC
In the Before Times, I bought annual medical and medivac insurance for international travel. I 'self-insure' for domestic travel--for example, paying a little more per day to have cancellation rights at hotels instead of the absolute lowest prices. If I were taking a cruise or any other high-priced travel itinerary which doesn't allow cancellation and refund, I would absolutely get travel insurance, and I'd read the fine print on what is covered and what is not.

Squaremouth and insuremytrip are good websites for quotes. Unfortunately, consumer reviews aren't very helpful. The majority of reviews say something like "Easy to purchase online. Luckily I didn't have to make a claim." I try to use companies that do business in a lot of states, which suggests that a number of different insurance commissioners have approved them.
The problem with travel insurance reviews: TornadoGuard
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
4,881
Look at what your potential losses really are, what are alternatives, what are the chances of them occurring, what do you need to cover and will insurance pay enough to make it worthwhile.

If you had to cancel, what would it cost?
One night hotel on a five night trip or all nights or none?
Train cancellation fee?
Rental car usually is cancellable with no cost.
Restaurants you don't eat at don't cost.
Airline cancellation policies
Current medical, homeowners, personal property, auto insurance coverage?
Credit card provide insurance/refund for car rental, other losses, vendor failure to deliver?

Alternatives and their cost:
Can I change dates?
Can I shorten trip?
Can I still go if partner can't or they might arrive late?

What could happen and what are chances?
Hit by lightning, war, pandemic, etc?
Pre-existing medical condition flare-up?

Can I sustain losses and be my own insurer?
Loss of baggage and having to buy clothes, etc on trip?
Something happen to others that cause me to cancel/return early?
Will trip insurance cover enough?
How long before I am liable to pay? What is my window of vulnerability? One day, 90 days? Unccancellable?
Will I get credit/vouchers in lieu of loss? Will I be able to use them?
 

JeanA

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
52
Location
NYC
I use the insurance. My folks are in their 90s and I've had to cancel trips due to medical emergencies and I've always gotten refunds from Amtrak and airlines. Hotels are booked on a hotel rewards credit card so cancelling has never cost me anything.
 

west point

Engineer
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Jun 9, 2015
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SW ATL airport
USA medical evacuation is relatively cheap for a full year. I do not want to be stranded in some out of the way place. Then have to charter a medical jet or prop to carry me to a proper hospital.
Age and medical condition is a consideration. + C-19 Delta at a bad location is important .
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,008
Location
Washington State
I don't typically carry travel insurance and if I felt the need, I would buy a thoroughly researched policy independently. I certainly don't buy the cruddy, exclusion heavy policies offered by various carriers, including Amtrak, at checkout.

I do have MedJet medical evacuation coverage, though.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
488
Location
San Francisco
ElliottAdvocay.org is a useful general info site, in their Guides and Forums sections. I have found that buying travel insurance is very much a "buyer beware" environment. Whatever policy you are considering, be sure to read ALL the terms and conditions in the policy document itself i.e. the contract of coverage.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,317
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
We buy the different type of insurance when we travel. We buy a policy that covers total loss or damage of our rental vehicle, loss of luggage and the cost of missing a connection, staying over and taking the trip the next day. I recall it being inexpensive like $60 or $70 for 9 days. We found that insurance when renting a vehicle through Hotwire.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
731
Location
Lubec, ME
We had planned a trip in 2021 to Texas via LSL and TE with the usual Allianz Amtrak offered insurance. I subsequently had a medical issue where I had to cancel. I was able to get the normally unrefunded 25% of the sleeper fare from the insurance company by just submitting a letter from my doctor and they paid promptly.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
1,313
We always buy it for out-of-country travel. Medical/hospital costs can royally screw you.
Same. I am comfortable self-insuring most aspects of my trip, but I always get a policy that covers medical care and medical evacuation. And I make sure that the policy I get is the primary insurer for medical care. These policies are very cheap.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
4,256
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
These policies are very cheap.
Except if governments issue a "Do Not Travel" advisory; then the cost rises exponentially. Some airlines were including or deeply discounting these to encourage travel, but now a week's worth can exceed your fare if they include Covid coverage. There's a lot of fine print, including force majeure clauses, to read through.
 

UserNameRequired

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
93
Location
USA
I use a specific credit card that has travel insurance as a perk for booking travel. I suspect it is very basic coverage, but better than not having it. Our work also provides us emergency evacuation insurance for foreign trips, even for personal trips. For international travel, I also like to print out our paper health insurance claim forms so they are ready to hand over if needed.

One item I am not looking forward to is that Medicare does not work in foreign countries, so when that time comes we will have to make sure that gap is covered.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2022
Messages
1
Location
USA, California
I bought travel insurance from Amtrak once when I went on a cruise. I liked the package of services they provided, and I even took advantage of it. When we were at the port, I was poisoned by local shrimps, paying for all medical expenses.
 

TEREB

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
124
Does anyone buy travel insurance?
I'm thinking it might be a wise option for our upcoming 92 trip. I really hate the idea of getting into NY late. As seniors, I no longer feel safe heading to Port Authority if we come in too late.
 

jebr

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I very rarely do. I've generally found that there's a long list of exclusions for what they'll cover, and most that I've looked at don't pay out just because you're delayed anyways - there has to be additional expenses occurred and you generally have to have some proof of onward connection that you were unable to take (not just unwilling due to time of day.) I do sometimes book on a credit card with trip delay/cancellation protection just in case, but to me that feels more like a freebie (or close to it) so I'm not as worried about the exclusions since it's just a bonus to me if it happens to pay out.

In your instance, what would you want the travel insurance to pay out for, and how long of a delay would it need to be for that to occur? It might be cheaper/easier to just "self-insure" as over time you'd almost certainly come out ahead.
 

Devil's Advocate

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In your instance, what would you want the travel insurance to pay out for, and how long of a delay would it need to be for that to occur? It might be cheaper/easier to just "self-insure" as over time you'd almost certainly come out ahead.
They're already seniors. How much time are they going to need to come out ahead? My advice is to buy a general purpose travel policy and discuss the fine print until you're comfortable. I would not advise buying insurance as part of any ticket purchase as those plans seem to be among the worst available.
 

TEREB

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
124
I very rarely do. I've generally found that there's a long list of exclusions for what they'll cover, and most that I've looked at don't pay out just because you're delayed anyways - there has to be additional expenses occurred and you generally have to have some proof of onward connection that you were unable to take (not just unwilling due to time of day.) I do sometimes book on a credit card with trip delay/cancellation protection just in case, but to me that feels more like a freebie (or close to it) so I'm not as worried about the exclusions since it's just a bonus to me if it happens to pay out.

In your instance, what would you want the travel insurance to pay out for, and how long of a delay would it need to be for that to occur? It might be cheaper/easier to just "self-insure" as over time you'd almost certainly come out ahead.
Credit card. Completely forgot about that. Thank you for reminding me.
 
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