Travel insurance

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Jan 15, 2012
I purchase travel insurance primarily for getting us back home if a serious injury or illness occurs (medical transportation). We are in our seventies and illness/injury is our primary concern. We have more than adequate medical insurance to cover the doctor and hospital bills. Recovering the cost of our tickets and lodging is not a big concern.
I never purchase the insurance offered by Amtrak, cruiseline, etc. I'll deal directly with the insurance company and purchase something that meets our needs.
Jul 11, 2008
San Francisco
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.
It's not clear to me what risk(s) you want to cover. Missed connection at Port Authority? Need for additional overnight accommodation? Forfeiture of prepaid hotel and other costs? Medical costs in event of a mugging or other medical emergency? Lost/delayed baggage? etc.

If you have Medicare and a good supplemental policy to cover the remaining 20%, and you're traveling solely within the US, you probably don't need extra medical coverage. For the other risks, you have to balance the cost of the premium against potential out-of-pocket costs after carefully reviewing the policy coverages and especially the documented exceptions to the coverage.

There are third party sites on the Internet that can help you evaluate different policies based on what you tell them about your risks. There are also some good general purpose articles about the types and pros and cons of travel insurance coverage.

Here is just one example article I quickly came across.



Enthusiastic Transit Rider
Gathering Team Member
Jan 23, 2012
"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
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.

Depends on whether they have any claims that would've been covered, and what the potential loss that they'd cover might be. Based on TEREB's post, I got the impression that it's primarily to cover paying for a hotel night and/or some sort of alternate transportation out of Penn instead of Port Authority should they be "too late." That's something I wouldn't insure against regardless of age - at most the coverage would pay a couple hundred dollars for a hotel room and any policy broad enough to cover a 3-6 hour delay without onward connections is likely going to be quite expensive compared to what it'd pay out.

There's definitely reasons to get travel insurance, and fully agree to do research and get a travel policy independently. Medical is a big one, particularly when traveling outside of whatever network your health insurance has. I can also see it for a particularly expensive trip with a lot of non-refundable bookings if the pricing is in line with what you feel the risk is. If it's just to pay for a hotel after a delayed train before taking a local bus home, though, I'd suggest even a senior self-insure for that unless it happens to be covered under a policy they plan to buy for other reasons anyways, or the additional cost is quite low.


Train Attendant
Sep 10, 2021
We buy it whenever we leave the US. The medical and hospital bills can be staggering, and your regular policy, most likely, will not cover them.
If Medicare, it most definitely works in the USA only. Our employer's health insurance policy is international, I usually carry a paper claim form just in case. Our employer's life insurance also interestingly (maybe not so interestingly after thinking - it will help avoid having to pay a claim!) has international medical evacuation coverage. Travel & Medical Assistance - axa-assistance-us-site I have a credit card that has extra travel insurance that I always use to book motels, events, travel, etc. with. The credit card travel insurance provided on different cards appears to vary depending on the credit card company.

Devil's Advocate

May 24, 2010
Emergency evacuation is one of the more confusing products I've ever considered. Serious injury or illness often precludes flying to another country and even when that's possible it may not be desirable or happen the way you expect. Instead of a private jet you could end up on a stretcher in a curtained section of the economy cabin on a standard commercial flight. That sounds pretty miserable to me. Evacuation can even make things worse by taking a patient from a country with reasonable medical costs to a much more expensive medical system. In many cases a very sick or injured person is better off being treated locally until they are healthy enough to travel normally.