Rookie Sunday: I FINALLY did something I should have done YEARS ago. A wise travel move!

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this featured topic.

Almost 7 years ago at the Chicago Seminars I talked to a long time NWA/ Delta flyer from Minnesota who was, at the time, one of the main Delta speakers at the event. He was brilliant in the way he used SkyMiles to the absolute maximum value and I learned so much from him. But this post is not about history or the once amazing value of SkyMiles but about something else he said.

We were talking about travel cards and points and specifically Delta Amex cards that offer no travel insurance at all. Back then I would simply purchase all my Delta tickets with my Delta Reserve card (ridiculous today – I know) as it was a way to help me reach my yearly spend goals for bonus MQMs etc. Earning 2x SkyMiles, back then, had real value and I gave up any travel protection for the points. Even today many make the same choice with say their non-Delta Amex Platinum cards. I asked him what he did and he said he did not care that whatever card offered or did not offer protection.

Wait – really? Why? Then he then said something that has stuck in the back of my mind for years and every time I fly or buy a ticket and more. He said:

I have a yearly travel policy that covers me for my travels.

Like most of us I have seen Delta, and others, bug me to buy insurance for a single trip at the final payment step. Same thing goes for cruises etc. But one that covers you for the year? Yep!

ALL TRIPS PREMIER<-LINK is for me the perfect fit and my family since it covers both of us when we travel for the cost of one high end travel card annual fee. Beyond just travel delays that I get from cards like my Chase Sapphire Reserve card this plan gets us:

  • Trip Cancellation $2,000 / year
  • Trip Interruption $2,000 / year
  • Emergency Medical/Dental Coverage $50,000 /year
  • Emergency Medical Transportation $500,000 /year
  • Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000 / year
  • Baggage Delay $2,000 / year
  • Travel Delay $1,500 / year
  • Travel Accident Coverage $50,000 / year
  • Collision/Loss Damage Insurance $45,000 / year
  • 24-Hr Hotline Assistance
  • Concierge

This is clearly WAY more than I could ever expect from a travel card and it hits a bunch of personal issues I may face and could save my “bacon” in the coming years.

For example, when weather is bad (think days of delays like Delta had a while back) this is going to be huge. Same goes for bag issues or other travel delays. Beyond that there are other important bits for me.

I scuba dive and have paid for DAN dive insurance each year I dive. With this plan I have medical coverage as I always dive with a Dive Master never below 120 feet (and we always do).

My amazing USAA automotive policy does not cover me when I rent a car say in Grand Cayman and the add-on insurance can be as much as the rental cost. With this I am covered (still excluded Israel, Jamaica, Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, cars that retail over $75,000 and rentals longer than 45 day rental).

I am becoming a “frequent floater” in the past few years and this year will take 5 (some short, some long). While reading up on cruising I have come across nightmare after nightmare of the cost of medical treatment onboard or along the way (or to get home). This peace of mind alone, to me, is worth this policy.

I could go on and on for me personally but the bottom line is this is a buy it and forget it (until you need it) and covers me for any tickets, or cruises or car rentals, I buy while I have the coverage in place. No need to call or add – it is just automatic. Any other coverage I have is still in place unless this is needed.

Gosh, I should have done this annual travel protection plan years ago but I am happy I finally made this wise move! – René

 

 

 

 

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23 comments

  1. So I just started looking at it but I couldn’t find the details of what the covered reasons were for trip cancellation until you buy the policy.

  2. @Hal – At the bottom of the policy choices click on: “Certificate of Insurance/Policy” for bits.

  3. Good post. Travel insurance is an often forgotten topic. The husband of an acquaintance recently suffered a heart attack while cruising. The medical evac alone was 10s of thousands. He’s doing fine, and since returned to cruising, but can you imagine the financial hit had they not had travel insurance?

  4. @MJ – Exactly why I jumped “onboard” if you will. Well worth it. Not to mention all the other nice bits!

  5. While it sounds like a good deal (and perhaps it is, I didn’t check the price) the limits for the couple of things you are actually likely to use seem pathetically low. For example, travel delay protection covers $1500 per year? I think many of us can run through that rather quickly! (Unless they make it crazy hard to use, such as you have to be delayed 12 hours or something!)

  6. @Bill G – For a higher plan you get more coverage. Even so, one max yearly claim on this point alone would cover years of premiums.

  7. @sabhi – It is outlined clearly in the “Certificate of Insurance/Policy”. Since I do cruise each year this is one of the reasons I got this.

  8. Interesting. I’ve graduated to taking trips far more expensive than this, but it seems like the medical evac/emergency medical coverage might be worth it even if if the actual trip cancellation insurance is completely inadequate.

  9. Rene, We will be on our 20th cruise and just booked #21 over in Europe for next year and paid $358 for insurance. Paying this one time a year, even if a bit more would be great. However, I could never get it to price the Premier package. I will call them on Monday as we are travelling on another vacation on Tuesday.

  10. @Byron – When selecting plan you can for a higher fee choose much higher totals for cancelation insurance.

  11. Rene,

    Could not get it to give me a price on premier. What do you think Premier is for 2 people 63 of age.

    By the way our two favorite cruise lines are NCL and Celebrity. The Getaway and Breakaway are right there with Celebrity’s top ship. I cannot imagine how those ships costing 2 to 3x more could be any better.

  12. I read the “bits” i.e. fine print but could not find, what kind of coverage do you get if you are traveling on an Award (i.e. miles) ticket? I would assume you’re getting zero $$ for the actual plane ticket; but would other things get covered, such as Trip Interruption / Cancellation costs, even though it’s an Award ticket?

  13. For air travel, my protection plan is my Delta ticket. For each of the past three years I have flown 220K miles, 140 or more segments. I have had only two missed connections. In both instances they honored the back up itineraries I chose and I kept my FC upgrades. In one instance it was the last flight of the day and they paid for my hotel.
    Delta is not responsible for weather delays but they have been very cooperative in allowing me to change itineraries when there’s a good chance weather will cause a missed connection.

  14. @Byron – I a little younger than you but for my wife and I who both cruise this was perfect. We normally book suites so for a cancel we are not getting our money back but more for if we need to visit the doctor onboard or need to med flight home. As MJ points out that can cost a small fortune and at my age (and yours) that is no longer a risk I am willing to take.

  15. @Jim A – FF tickets are covered. Even redeposit fees. Example see page 3 in the bits that says:
    “FREQUENT TRAVELER/LOYALTY PROGRAM COVERAGE
    If You used frequent traveler awards (frequent flyers miles or
    hotel rewards) for any part of a Trip, the Company will pay the
    fees incurred by You for re-depositing those awards in Your
    account if the Trip is canceled for any of the reasons under
    Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage.
    Please refer to Your Letter of Confirmation for the maximum
    coverage amount available under Your plan.”

  16. It’s better to buy a policy that covers actual medical bills outside the country. There are some that cost about the same that covers medical/hospital bills. Most of this policy is easily covered by my credit cards.

  17. Glad you are addressing travel insurance. Washington Post recently ran an article that shows that insurance purchased from a travel provider is very poor – insufficient limits of coverage and hassled with claims. Much better to buy direct from an insurance company, either by trip or annually.

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