Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: travelfan1

Joined: 12/10/2012
Posts: 2

December 11, 2012

Did you use the GCT travel insurance or an independent?  Why?  Has anyone compared the medical evacuation and medical coverages of the different travel insurances?  What do you recommend?

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 118
Trips Taken: 16
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

December 11, 2012

Search this forum - and the similar one on OAT - there are TONS and TONS of discussions on this topic!

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 413
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2002

December 11, 2012

Gary is correct -- this subject has been covered in many different threads. But the quick answer (from my perspective) is look at what GCT (TripMate) provides and what it costs. Then go to InsureMyTrip.com and compare hundreds of other available travel insurances and then make the decision based on what you learn.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 531
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

December 11, 2012

Look under "Font size" under the photos at the top of the page and you'll see the "SEARCH" box. Enter Travel Insurance and you'll find enough posts to keep you busy for quite a while. The topic has been well covered.

Author: svncontinents

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

December 12, 2012

 Ellislaw1-See your thread about Travel Insurance on the OAT web site.  We've reposted a relatively detailed response that we had previously posted. 

Author: pamvaughan11

Joined: 6/17/2012
Posts: 16
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

China twice, Japan, SE Asia, England and Ireland multiple times, other European countries, Guatemala twice, East Africa.

Traveler Since: 2012

December 30, 2012

 When my luggage was delayed for 3 days on a recent trip to Sicily, the tour guide would have taken care of the insurance part if I had had it through GCT. Since I got it through an independent company, CSA, I took care of it myself when I returned home. I was re-imbursed in a timely manner by them. You can also check www.insuremytrip.com for a price comparison and also for reviews by travelers.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

January 01, 2013

I read all of the posts from previous threads, so when the Ukraine river cruise was cancelled in November, and I had to choose another cruise, I first went on line and looked at InsureMyTrip and other sites to find packages, individual premium prices, for the coverage I wanted.  Most had low reimbursement for baggage lost or delayed, poor medical coverage, and low repatriation/evacuation.  After looking at the prices for higher coverages and costs for them, I decided GCT was my best buy since they already included higher coverages and much lower price package.  I just keep thinking of the man who had a heart attack the first morning after arrival in Sorrento on the Amalphi Coast and Tuscany tour in 2008.  He spent the whole 2 weeks   we were in Italy in the hospital, discharged to the hotel, awaiting air evacuation which had to be accompanied by a doctor, a team of  nurses, technicians.  His wife went on the some day tours while we stayed the 8 days in Sorrento, but left the tour and stayed in the hotel while her husband was still in the hospital.  The man would have been evacuated earlier except they couldn't get a doctor and nurse staff to accompany, and the doctor wouldn't release him to travel on his own.  Since I don't know when the good Lord will decide my time is up, I will continue to buy travel insurance.  I t hink Pauline said once or twice, it's easier to book a tour and buy the travel insurance all at once rather than do a lot of searching on line.  My time is better spent doing other things than spend each day on line looking for something I can just go down the street and buy, saving shipping charges.  So, I will continue to buy insurance from GCT for our trips.

Author: svncontinents

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

January 01, 2013

 We recommend www.insuremytrip.com for comparison shopping, however, one should know that not every legitimate insurance company is included.  But they do offer a good enough sample.  We have heard that it is run by TripMate( the company Grand Circle has some kind of business relationship with ), but we never checked it out, so that must be taken as hearsay.  When comparison shopping, one should be thoroughly familiar with the coverages as well as the exclusions of the various policies.  You generally don't get all that through the www.insuremytrip.com web site; you have to actually go to the company to find out what may be missing.  Once you do, you discover that a company which APPEARS to offer the same coverage at a lower price, is actually offering a policy which is quite a bit more restrictive than another.  IOW, you get what you pay for.  

We have never purchased the Grand Circle policy, because having done a good deal of research, we know what questions to ask.  After you've done some comparison shopping on the insuremytrip web site, we would recommend you call DAN DRENNAN at the TRAVEL INSURANCE CENTER.  He's a broker who deals with most companies( he doesn't deal with Allianz, formerly Access America, which under certain circumstances can give you gthe best deal ), and he will explain to you what all the coverages mean, and what exclusions they have.  So you can then purchase the one you feel is best for you.  In short, if you don't do some research and shopping, you wind up buying a pig in a poke.  The TripMate policies are NOT usually the best value for the money.  Buying insurance from Grand circle certainly is convenient, but convenience costs money. 

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 67
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2009

January 01, 2013

I agree with everything Svncontinents says.  I thought I would mention, though, that I travel as a single and I would have to depend on, and possibly inconvenience other travelers or the Program Director if anything happened and I could not act on my own behalf.  For that reason I opt to rely on the Grand Circle provider. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
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

January 01, 2013

kba.  That's a good point, about traveling solo.  I also do now, but I never considered that part of my decision process.  I purchase the Trip Mate insurance when I reserve my trip.  Although I've never needed to call upon their services while abroad, it's very reassuring to know that it's there.  When I've had to cancel two different trips for covered reasons, their response was immediate and I received my complete reimbusement very quickly. 

The important thing, and I hope that everyone now agrees, is to purchase the best and most complete travel insurance you can find, depending on your needs.

Author: pegheeter1

Joined: 6/28/2010
Posts: 22
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2001

January 01, 2013

 Let me add a comment on this topic, which may be useful for some travelers.

 My husband and I did a breakaway for five days after our basic tour last fall.  GCT arranged the air fare for us - including our return from our breakaway days.  We did all our own arrangements fr the breakaway days - hotels, etc.  But -- and this is useful -- the GCT insurance covered us not just for all the basic trip but also for the breakaway days.  For us this was important as well as quite convenient.

Since GCT is widerly encouraging breakaway days, or arrive early for your trip, etc., this might be useful knowledge.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

January 01, 2013

svcontinents:  When I looked at InsureMyTrip site, and clicked on a package, it brought me to the insurance company offerings, and I called several of the companies--I want to hear from the company, not buy what I don't see on line.  I called at least 3 or 4 companies, spending a lot of time, but I got their info from my web searches.  I still chose GCT over all those I called, including AAA's Allianz, which I have purchased several times on my own in the past.

Pauline and I agree, Trip Mate, while not using them, have been the best for us.   Some of you have recommended Travel Guard.  When booking a Princess cruise for next year (2014), we did not use Princess' insurance due to price and non-features.  We instead studied different plans of Travel Guard and my research on line for other companies, and decided to get the Travel Guard since it was best and cheapest of those I called, getting a discount through my travel agent.

During our back to back next Sept-Oct 2013, we also have a "break-away", well sorta.  We must pay for a 3-day hotel stay in Athens before picking up our other cruise.  Grand Circle booked our air from Paris to Athens and got us fantastic prices at their usual hotel in Athens, with a view.  The GCT travel insurance will also cover that.  Anything 'they" book for us, they cover, even if we pay extra for that which is not covered on the trip(s) we take with GCT.  That is confirmed in an email to me by GCT. 

 

Author: svncontinents

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

January 01, 2013

 to all who replied.  It appears that there are some misconceptions as to who does what in the event that one has to use one of the policie's covered reasons.  First, EVERY insurance company has toll free numbers that you can call if there is a medical emergency( even overseas-usually a number which will accept collect calls ), and which is manned 24 hours/day, where you can get both advice and professional opinion.  EVERY company.  That's not a benefit that TripMate has by itself.  Second, the PD of any Grand Circle trip will handle for you alternative arrangements should you have to interrupt your trip for a medical emergency.  That's a service Grand Circle will provide for you regardless of whether you purchased their insurance, some other company's insurance, or have no insurance.   Making a claim for reimbursement is your responsibility, which you usually do when you get home.  An exception to that is the cancel for any reason clause which comes from Grand Circle, and NOT TripMate, if you use it.  Third, and this is for singsling in particular, you didn't get any benefit for your breakaway by purchasing TripMate insurance.  You paid for it.   You would have paid less if you didn't take your breakaway. All policies, even TripMate's policy are based essentially on cost and length of the trip.  TripMate was glad to insure your additional days; you paid for it.  If you had purchased your insurance elsewhere, the other company( or TripMate for that matter ) couldn't care less whether you purchased part of your trip from one company, and part from another.  They are only interested in total cost, length of trip, and some factor in an age factor, as well as what state you live in.  If you booked your trip and then called  another company to book your insurance, you would have found that out.

In summary, as we have said many, many times, all travel insurance is NOT created equal.  some coverages are better than others, and some are more cost effective than others.  We have found that TripMate has NEVER given us better value for the money spent.  Had we purchased TripMate insurance for either of our upcoming OAT trips, we would have spend as much as $800 more for LESS coverage than the insurance we purchased.  

As a final comment, TravelGurad has been mentioned a number of times.  That company( curiously, owned by AIG, which some say is now run by the Government ), frequently has both the best and most cost effective coverage, BUT NOT ALWAYS.  All that entails is that one should not substitute, in our opinions, a small personal convenience for the best possible value for their money.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 531
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

January 02, 2013

I agree with svn on this one.

One reason that other insurance could be cheaper is that age is a factor when purchasing travel insurance individually. OAT/GCT has pro-rated the premium so everyone pays the same, but if someone younger buys insurance elsewhere it could be considerably less; older travelers would probably pay about the same as Trip Mate.

There are several A and A+ rated insurance plans listed on insuremytrip so I think it's worth making a comparison.

I've taken breakaway a couple of times when using insurance purchased through insuremytrip. I put in the date of departure and the date of return and I'm covered for that time.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
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

January 02, 2013

I purchased Travel Guard insurance when my son and I went to Israel in November.  That does have an age factor in the pricing, so what we were charged were different amounts.  And considerably less than what I've been paying for Trip Mate insurance.  But the trip was much shorter than my usual GCT trips, and the cost of the air fare wasn't factored in, unlike Trip Mate which is based on the entire package.  Mine could have cost more because the price changed at age 80, but I was still 79 when the trip started and the insurance kicked in.  They didn't pro-rate it.

We did have to use the concierge service, because our AF flight to Paris from Boston was six and a half hours late leaving Boston and we would have missed our connection to Tel Aviv.  My son called Travel Guard, and they got us on a later flight and requested aisle seats.  Then he called our travel agent, and she notified the company in Israel so that there was someone to meet us and the hotel in Jerusalem knew we'd be late.  That was important, because by the time we got there it was Shabbat.

Author: svncontinents

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

January 02, 2013

 Pauline-Travel Guard will factor in the cost of air fare if you tell them what the cost is.  We do this all the time when we purchase a policy after having booked a Grand Circle or OAT trip.  We simply give them the total cost, including the air fare.  It STILL comes out cheaper than Grand Circle's TripMate, and the coverage is generally better.  For our trip to Nepal, we purchased a Travel Guard package with much more extensive coverage than TripMate offered for the same trip, for just about $800 LESS for two people.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

January 02, 2013

sv:  I don't believe I said I got a " benefit" for the period of time we will not be under the GCT tour for 3 days.  I just mentioned that those days were included in the travel protection plan.  I did not anticipate being covered, because I had read some time ago that GCT was not responsible for any aspect of activity during a traveler's break-away.  I probably misunderstood what all this meant, because we hadn't taken any trip with a breakaway before.  I do understand that now, and as one other person on this thread mentioned they had a breakaway and travel protection was covered during this period, I only mentioned our 3 days were covered, too, and I gave the reason it was covered--anything GCT books for a traveler is covered in the travel protection plan.  I do understand I "paid for it".  And, yes, I do understand travel guard does insure by age groups, and so do a lot of the other companies' plans that I reviewed.  It is not any one's business what  insurance any of us use--some of us have indicated why we use GCT or why not.  You seem to be concerned that we must consider the money we pay so we can get "the best deal."  Well, I feel I can do what I want because no one is my mother or father at this point in my life, and if I want to do something and it costs more, no one else should be concerned.  Nuff sed on this subject from me.   

Author: svncontinents

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

January 02, 2013

 singsling-apparently we misunderstood you as well.  The way your post was phrased, we thought that you thought you were getting something you felt you may not have been entitled to.  We're glad you clarified it.  As far as your other comment, of course, you are free to spend your money in any way you choose.  When it came to making purchases, most people we have met in our lives have expressed a desire to get the best value they could for the money they spend.  We regret that we applied our assumptions to you, and apologize to you if our assumptions were misplaced.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
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

January 02, 2013

It's a trade-off.  How much time do you want to waste researching all the travel insurance companies to make sure you don't spend more money?  Or do you just go with the company you've used before and found satisfactory?  I know what choice I make, and I'm perfectly at ease with it.  If some people feel that I, and others, are making a mistake in doing so, they could do us the courtesy of not pointing it out on every occasion.  I'm 80 years old and I can make my own decisions.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 531
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

January 03, 2013

Singsling,

You're right, covering breakaway travel has changed. When I took breakaway in Istanbul (I think two years ago) I was on my own for insurance even though GCT had made the flight arrangements.

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.