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Author: csudberry

Joined: 9/25/2012
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2003

September 25, 2012
On September 19th and 22nd the below messages were sent with no reponse received. If this isgoing to the wrong email address, please let me know or forward it and let me know the proper address.
 
Is this what an Inner Circle member should expect?
 
Chris Sudberry
813 975-8828
 
-----Original Message-----
From: bmwpc <bmwpc@cs.com>
To: online <online@gct.com>
Cc: wendy <wendy@gct.com>
Sent: Sat, Sep 22, 2012 11:19 am
Subject: 2nd Request Re Medical Expense Claim and New Matter

 
On 9/19/2012, I sent the below email regarding medical expenses and have not received a response. I would appreciate if this matter be addressed immediately and i be advised on how the medical expenses will be reimbursed.
 
Also we have received a letter from you regarding you being unable to process optional expenses that we may have incurred on the same trip. Perhaps both matters can be addressed at the same time.
 
Thank you,
J Sudberry
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: bmwpc <bmwpc@cs.com>
To: online <online@gct.com>
Cc: harriet <harriet@gct.com>
Sent: Wed, Sep 19, 2012 12:08 pm
Subject: Medical Expense Claim

During our trip to Russia last month 8/09 - 8/24, my wife Christine, became sick. She saw a Doctor on board on 8/19, but her illness continued after we arrived home. She has gone to her doctor and incurred expenses for that and for prescriptions.

When I contacted your insurer, Trip Mate, they advised me that the ONLY medical expenses covered would be those incurred during the actual tour dates. This caused me concern because we purchased the policy after being told and provide information in your brochures that says the opposite. We have been been purchasing your travel insurance for the past 15 years for our trips with Grand Circle.
 
As I stated, we were provided this information right up until our departure that clearly states " We even cover medical expenses for up to 60 days after your injury or illness." This is clearly stated in our "Your Important Information Booklet" sent to us by Grand Circle for this trip.
 
As stated, we purchased this optional insurance based upon many statements provided by Grand Circle including the aforementioned 60 day illness statement. As this was information provided by Grand Circle and information we used to make the decision to buy the optional insurance, we expect this written statement to be honored and our expenses covered.
 
While we intend to submit the medical expenses incurred during the trip to Tripmate, they will, as told to me today, not reimburse us for any expenses after the trip. However, we do expect Grand Circle to fulfil its contracted benefits as provided in your information. The insurance was purchased through Grand Circle and our payment for it was received by Grand Circle.
 
To date, Christine's post trip medical expenses resulting from her on board illness are approximately $200.00. In the forthcoming days that will come before your "60 days after your illness" benefit time limit, they may be additional expenses for doctor visits or prescriptions.
 
Obviously, we expect Grand Circle to reimburse us for those expenses or refund the cost of both our trip insurance policies. Since the payment of the medical expenses appear to be less, it would appear logical that the expense reimbursement would be the less expensive choice for Grand Circle but it's your choice.
 
To that end, please advise who, at Grand Circle, we should send our claim to. Also provide me with what documentation you will need to process my claim.
 
Thanks you,
 
James L. Sudberry for
Christine L. Sudberry gct #543426 (spouse)

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 157
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

September 25, 2012

Just sayin': I wouldn't advise listing personal information (i.e. telephone number and/or email address) in this forum.

Also, hearing about problems like this and the high cost of the insurance are the reasons that I don't buy it. However, I do buy an annual policy from Travel Guard for "medical evacuation":

MedEvac Annual Plan  

This annual plan is ideal for individuals who take frequent international trips. Covering individual trips up to 90 days in length, the Travel Guard MedEvac plan can provide worldwide travel medical evacuation that will transport you to the hospital of your choice or home if medically necessary. Plus, this plan can cover any qualified accompanying medical expenses you may incur. MedEvac also includes Security Evacuation coverage, including natural disasters (not available in all states) and optional baggage coverage.

http://buy.travelguard.com/tgi2/proc/launch.aspx?intcmp=clc-001-Nav-2-AllProductsListing&br=tgdirect&cn=1&st=36&arc=000329&dn=1&pcode=MEDANN1&plan=166384&prc=008638

 It is good for an entire year regardless of the number of vacations taken. I have been averaging 6-7 vacations a year (each one  2-4 weeks) since retirement. 

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 26, 2012

I don't understand where you get the information about 60-day coverage.  My copy of the Travel Protection Plan covering the agreement between Trip Mate and GCT specifically states the coverage begins at 12.01 on the scheduled departure date.  And coverage ends at the point and time of return on the scheduled return date.  If, for some reason these dates/times are delayed because of circumstances that neither the traveler nor GCT has any control, the terms are adjusted.

The only wording for 60 days has to do cancellations due to pre-existing conditions of the traveler, traveling companion, family member or business partner traveling with the policy holder.  And that refers to 60 days prior to the effective coverage date.

If I am incorrect, please let me know.  I have had reasons in the past few months to practically memorize this travel plan.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 274
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

September 26, 2012

I agree with the advice to not post so much private information here because it is a public website. Internet privacy and security experts often give the same advice.

The GCT Travel Protection Plan document, which I received for an April 2012 trip, specifically states in the Medical Expense section that "Expenses incurred after the Trip are not covered." But the OP wrote the statement about the 60-day extension on coverage for medical expenses is in the "Your Important Information Booklet" from GCT. I don't have any of these from previous trips so I can't verify. Assuming they are correct, I understand their expectation that GCT will reimburse them.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 26, 2012

Janice_

I do have the Important Information booklet that they sent me for my upcoming trip in July.  And the wording is exactly the same as in the insurance plan brochure.  I made a point of checking it, because I thought that perhaps that coverage had changed since I last needed to use the plan.

Pauline

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

September 26, 2012

When you purchase a policy through Grand Circle, you're actually purchasing TWO policies.  The first policy is a 'Cancel For Any Reason Policy( if you can properly call it a policy )," and that's underwritten by Grand Circle.  that's separate and apart from the policy marketed by Trip Mate, which includes such things as medical coverage, baggage insurance, trip delay, etc.  Trip Mate, not one of the companies which offer better coverage for the price, and service, is, however, like all the rest of the companies, in that medical expenses must occur withing the dates of your trip.  So they are correct in denying a claim for expenses incurred AFTER you arrive home.  That is made quite clear in the policy documents you received, and which are published in the Grand circle handbook.  If you read it when you received it, you could have questioned the aparent contradiction between what Grand Circle stated in their marketing information, and what the actual policy said.  Unfortunately, it's not a good time to clarify the contradiction after the fact.  Whether or not Grand Circle resolves this issue to the OP's satiafaction remains to be seen; we wish the OP luck.

But this brings up another point:  Purchasing travel insurance in the first place.  We recommend shopping your insurance from various sources BEFORE you book a trip.  In that way, you will be prepared to purchase your policy immediately after you book your trip.  You need to do this because of the way in which "pre-existing conditions" are defined by most companies.  We've written on this topic many times previously, and have given various sources tp peruse.  They can be searched in this forum.

As a final comment:  We've never purchased the insurance offered by Grand Circle.  We've always found we can do better, either getting better coverage which may be needed for some trips at a better price, or both.  Travel Gurad was mentioned by a previous poster, and we have found that they usually( but not always ) are the best.  But that's AFTER we shop each trip. 

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 57
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2010

September 26, 2012

I found the wording that the original poster quoted in #Your Important Information Booklet" that Grand Circle sent for my 2011 trip. I did not take a trip in 2012. I booked a 2013 trip  in late March of this year, and the wording has changed - the coverage for 60 days after return has been eliminated. Since I did not travel in 2012, I do not know when they eliminated this coverage.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 26, 2012

I had to cancel a trip in 2012 for a covered reason, and I still have the little insurance leaflet that you get with your final papers.  The wording in that is the same wording that is in my 2013 Important Information booklet.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 232
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

September 26, 2012

These problems with changes in the GCT travel insurance and GCT terms and conditions for the trip itself are of particular interest to me.  We often, and most times, book our trips a year or more in advance.  We get the Information Booklet that has the terms and conditions and the travel insurance policy in them.  I always forget to ask GCT and get lazy in calling, but I wonder if they make changes to either of these after they send me the booklets, how will they handle a prospective insurance claim or situation that falls under the terms and conditions. 

I always figure if they sent me the booklet as soon after I booked and paid and my trip is 15 months away, then they must abide by whatever is in the booklets they send me, regardless if they make changes after I receive my booklets.  That should be the contract they and I abide by, not the changed  terms.  One of these days I will pick up the phone and ask them point blank.  It's like your own insurance company changing the terms of all their insurance policies that people have, and not notifying you.  I remember getting changes to some insurance policies, but not often.  It's always in writing and gives me the opportunity to rebut, discuss, or whatever.  GCT does not seem to do this. 

I do remember other GCT travel insurance policies talking to paying claims for up to one year for medical issues originating on a GCT trip.  This was some time ago.  I just returned from a 5-day trip (not GCT) in which I purchased Travel Guard (through a tour company) for day tours I was taking, since I was paying in advance of travel.  It states that if I became sick or injured on a tour, it would pay medical expenses for up to 1 year after the end of the tour, provided the additional medical expenses was directly related to the sickness or injury that happened on tour.  I have seen these type words in GCT's earlier policies. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 27, 2012

I just asked my sister, who traveled in July/August of 2012 if she still had her Important Information Booklet.  She does, and found the reference to the 60 days in the FAQ section of the booklet, which is the 2011 edition.  And nowhere else in the booklet.  That sentence is not in the 2012 edition which I received for my upcoming 2013  trip.  

However, the actual policy I received with my final papers for my 2012 trip which I had to cancel makes no mention of the 60 day extended coverage.

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

September 27, 2012

My booklet for 2011 states:

"The plan covers medical expenses resulting from an illness or injury during your trip. We even cover medical expenses for up to 60 days after your injury or illness."

Apparently there was a change in 2012, better read the entire plan to know what else has been changed. I think there should have been a notice that the plan had been updated.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

September 27, 2012

Pauline wrote: "She does, and found the reference to the 60 days in the FAQ section of the booklet, which is the 2011 edition. And nowhere else in the booklet." "

The statement is also on page 7 in the 2011 booklet, "Accident & Sickness Medical Expense"

"Only covered expenses incurred with the 60 days following the date of the Sickness or Injury will be reimbursed."

If  GCT provided the booklet with that information to the OP, they need to pay up.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 27, 2012

The statements in the booklet should be exactly the same as the leaflet with the actual policy that you get with your final papers.  However, if the mistake is GCT's then they are responsible, morally if not legally.

It has never occured to me, and I think to most people, to actually do a line by line comparison with what's in the information booklet you receive when you make the reservation and the actual policy you receive with your final papers.  If you opt to purchase your coverage from a different company, that would be part of your decision making process.  But otherwise, we would assume that there wouldn't be any changes if GCT didn't notify us of any

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 232
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

September 27, 2012

I would think GCT would have some responsibility after the tour/cruise is over.  Let's say there was that very bad flu on the ship (can't think of the name now) and several people got sick.  That flu doesn't go away in a day or two--it does have some after affects.  Or someone fell on a piece of carpet that was loose, or a chair broke with someone sitting on it and hurt their back..  (That happened in Ireland this summer--one of our GCT travelers was sitting on a chair in a conference room and when she went to get  up the chair leg broke and she landed on her butt/back--the chair broke in pieces.)

Medical care for such instances is usually required beyond the end of the tour date.  There has to be some way to be reimbursed for such an illness or accident. 

I do sit and read and highlight certain things in both the Terms and Conditions and the Travel Protection Plan when I first get it.  Or at least before I leave for the trip.  But most of our trips have been 9-15 months after booking, so if they make changes, I'm relying on their initial mailing to me.  I'm sure there is some fine print that says "subject to changes".  But, so far I haven't had need for any medical attention after returning from a GCT tour.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 27, 2012

I got a mild case of that flu when I was on a different cruise line.  We were all sick, including a lot of the crew.  Some of us were sick for longer.  Some were really ill.  I remember that one man was sent to the hospital because he was badly dehydrated.  Another couple was airlifted home.

But once you're home, your own insurance should kick in. 

In the case of the OP, he was relying on information he received verbally from GCT and also what was printed in the Important Information Booklet, 2011 edition.  But his actual insurance leaflet/policy should have been the same as mine which specifically states coverage is only good for the times between departure from home and return.  And if it's different from what he was originally told, someone should bear responsibility.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 27, 2012

Luisa, I asked my sister to check page 7 in her booklet which is dated 10/20/2011.  And there's no mention of the 60 days extension there, only in the FAQ.  This whole thing seems very curious.  If you make changes in a publication, you should change the date of the edition.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 274
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

September 27, 2012

Although I didn't keep the booklet for my trip in April of this year, I still have the Travel Protection Plan document.  "Edition 10/20/11" appears on the lower left corner of the cover page. What do you suppose they changed from the previous edition? 

I've concluded that none of us really know what's in the Travel Protection Plan document which the Sudberrys received.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

September 28, 2012

Pauline,

The booklet that I have showing the 60-day medical coverage is for a September 2011 trip and dated 11/10/2010. So the policy changed after that, but they missed changing the FAQ page in your sister's booklet for her 2012 trip, perhaps that's what the OP has.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 28, 2012

I just went through the pages in the booklet dated 3/2012 to see if there was anything that indicated "subject to change."  And there isn't.  I think I'd have to be out of my mind to purchase an insurance policy that had a sentence like that in it.  When I get the actual policy 14 days before my departure next July, you can believe I'm going to do a line by line comparison between the two.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 274
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

September 28, 2012

Pauline, I believe that I have always received the Travel Protection Plan document in the packet of materials which was sent after I registered for a program. That's when you should read it thoroughly and decide if you want to buy the plan. If you wait until a couple weeks before the trip, it's really to late to do much about it other than question discrepancies which would probably accomplish nothing.

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