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Travel Guard Bought Through Big Box Store

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In researching travel insurance for an upcoming trip, part of which is a cruise booked through the famous big box store, I noticed that the big box store provides a link to a special Travel Guard website.  The pricing there seems way better than comparable Travel Guard policies bought directly from AIG / Travel Guard, and also seems way better than other products I have seen recommended from other insurers.  It covers 100% of the insured trip cost, 150% of the insured trip cost in case of trip interruption, $50,000 medical expenses (although it does apply as excess, which I know is not ideal) and $1 million for evacuation/repatriation of remains.  

 

Given the price, I am inclined to go with this policy, but I was wondering if others have experience (positive or negative) with the Travel Guard product sold via special link from the big box store?

 

You can contact me directly here if you prefer.  

 

Tom & Judy

Edited by TFree
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IIRC, the med evac on that particular policy written for said big box store travel  will get you back to the hospital of your choice in the U.S., while the regular Travel Guard policies (gold, silver) will not, and I cannot speak for their platinum.  Read the whole policy, to make sure.

Edited by Walfam

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Just make sure that it covers all that you need, such as pre-existing conditions, if appropriate, CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason), if needed (and at what percentage), and how they handle illness in non-traveling family members, if necessary, etc...

 

GC

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On February 16, 2019 at 2:36 AM, TFree said:

In researching travel insurance for an upcoming trip, part of which is a cruise booked through the famous big box store, I noticed that the big box store provides a link to a special Travel Guard website.  The pricing there seems way better than comparable Travel Guard policies bought directly from AIG / Travel Guard, and also seems way better than other products I have seen recommended from other insurers.  It covers 100% of the insured trip cost, 150% of the insured trip cost in case of trip interruption, $50,000 medical expenses (although it does apply as excess, which I know is not ideal) and $1 million for evacuation/repatriation of remains.  

 

Given the price, I am inclined to go with this policy, but I was wondering if others have experience (positive or negative) with the Travel Guard product sold via special link from the big box store?

 

You can contact me directly here if you prefer.  

 

Tom & Judy

 

I'm interested too.  I'll be following to see what responses you get ! 

I did not purchase the cruise through the big box store, but I wonder if insurance is still available to me for purchase .  I'll try to go thru the big box site and see where it takes me. 

If you could share the name of that policy I'd appreciate it. 

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1 hour ago, RTR08 said:

 

I'm interested too.  I'll be following to see what responses you get ! 

I did not purchase the cruise through the big box store, but I wonder if insurance is still available to me for purchase .  I'll try to go thru the big box site and see where it takes me. 

If you could share the name of that policy I'd appreciate it. 

RTR08: I just worked my way far enough through the website to see that if I book the coverage online, it will require listing the big box store booking number.  So I suspect the big box must be the agent for them to quote you this price.  However, feel free to call and ask.  The phone number I was given directly by the big box store is 888-691-2173.  

 

The name of the plan is Travel Insurance Plan (in my case for the state of California, I don't know if it would have a different name in other states).  It is issued by Travel Guard, an AIG company.  You can buy Travel Guard policies directly, but (a) the price will be higher; and (b) the terms and conditions might be different (I have not compared them side by side).

 

Tom & Judy

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2 minutes ago, TFree said:

RTR08: I just worked my way far enough through the website to see that if I book the coverage online, it will require listing the big box store booking number.  So I suspect the big box must be the agent for them to quote you this price.  However, feel free to call and ask.  The phone number I was given directly by the big box store is 888-691-2173.  

 

The name of the plan is Travel Insurance Plan (in my case for the state of California, I don't know if it would have a different name in other states).  It is issued by Travel Guard, an AIG company.  You can buy Travel Guard policies directly, but (a) the price will be higher; and (b) the terms and conditions might be different (I have not compared them side by side).

 

Tom & Judy

Thank you very much!  Sending that info  was very kind of you , sure appreciate it!  

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I went ahead and booked the Travel Guard policy through the special big box store link.  Since I had to enter both the big box confirmation number and my big box member number, I am pretty sure that this link only works for bookings where the big box store is the agent.  The coverage seems good enough to deal with my primary reasons for buying travel insurance.  And the price was right.  I obviously hope it won't be needed.

 

Tom & Judy

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35 minutes ago, TFree said:

I went ahead and booked the Travel Guard policy through the special big box store link.  Since I had to enter both the big box confirmation number and my big box member number, I am pretty sure that this link only works for bookings where the big box store is the agent.  The coverage seems good enough to deal with my primary reasons for buying travel insurance.  And the price was right.  I obviously hope it won't be needed.

 

Tom & Judy

 

Thank you for the update.  In the last 24 hours I’ve spent at least 4 hours reading about travel insurance/ cruise insurance and comparing the benefits. 

Ive learned a lot.  (I’ll be checking my Medicare supplement policy today for foreign country coverage!) 

I saw the Travel Guard policy options, and I guess the  Platinum would have  good benefits. I didn’t check any higher levels. I’m glad you got a discounted premium thru your BB store.  I’ve never used a BB to book a cruise , but next time I will consider it.

There are a few other insurance companies I’m comparing cost vs benefits - I sure wish there was an annual policy , since we have 2 cruises planned this year. 

There is an annual policy you can buy with an evacuation company, but medical is not included in that one. 

Thanks again! 

I too hope you never have to use your insurance!   Safe travels. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, RTR08 said:

 

Thank you for the update.  In the last 24 hours I’ve spent at least 4 hours reading about travel insurance/ cruise insurance and comparing the benefits. 

Ive learned a lot.  (I’ll be checking my Medicare supplement policy today for foreign country coverage!) 

I saw the Travel Guard policy options, and I guess the  Platinum would have  good benefits. I didn’t check any higher levels. I’m glad you got a discounted premium thru your BB store.  I’ve never used a BB to book a cruise , but next time I will consider it.

There are a few other insurance companies I’m comparing cost vs benefits - I sure wish there was an annual policy , since we have 2 cruises planned this year. 

There is an annual policy you can buy with an evacuation company, but medical is not included in that one. 

Thanks again! 

I too hope you never have to use your insurance!   Safe travels. 

 

 

RTR08:

 

A couple comments for whatever they are worth.

 

1.  I agree, I wish there was an annual trip cancellation/interruption/medical/evacuation policy available, as we also have multiple trips planned this year.  But I have never heard of one.

 

2.  There is a medical/evacuation annual policy available, the Geo Blue Trekker Choice Multi-Trip plan.  We bought it last year because we already had in place separate trip insurance on portions of the two major trips we had planned (poor planning on our part), so we already had most of the trip cancellation/trip insurance coverage we needed, but we needed medical and evacuation coverage for parts of the travel where we were on our own and not on a cruise.  If all you cared about was the medical and evacuation coverage, that might be an option.  This year my plan is to probably get the big box Travel Guard policy to cover both our spring trip and our fall trip (a Celebrity cruise with the big box as agent is part of both trips).  This will provide all the pieces we need in some fashion: trip cancellation/trip interruption/medical/medical evacuation.

 

3.  You can apparently tailor this policy (and I am sure the other competitor policies as well) to cover only the costs where you are truly at risk.  For example, on our spring trip, there are four components: international airfare, time on our own, a Collette Travel land tour purchased with Marriott Vacation Club points, and a Celebrity cruise purchased with cash.  We in effect had to buy Collette's own travel insurance on the cost of that tour, because only their special policy also protects the value of the MVCI points if you had to cancel at the last minute.  We didn't need to insure the international business class airfare per se, because the fare we got is refundable before departure for a $450 pp charge, or changeable for a $500 pp charge.  So we wanted a policy that would cover the entire length of time we are gone (a month) but cover only the cost of the Celebrity cruise, plus the costs of the airfare change or cancellation fees.  So that is the amount we insured.  

4.  If I didn't have the discounted coverage available through the big box, I would definitely have used either Steve at www.tripinsurancestore.com, or www.insuremytrip.com.  I found them both very helpful when I dealt with them last year and when I priced their coverage this year.

 

5.  By all means check your Medicare Supplement plan.  It probably provides some coverage.

 

Tom & Judy

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16 minutes ago, TFree said:

RTR08:

 

A couple comments for whatever they are worth.

 

1.  I agree, I wish there was an annual trip cancellation/interruption/medical/evacuation policy available, as we also have multiple trips planned this year.  But I have never heard of one.

 

2.  There is a medical/evacuation annual policy available, the Geo Blue Trekker Choice Multi-Trip plan.  We bought it last year because we already had in place separate trip insurance on portions of the two major trips we had planned (poor planning on our part), so we already had most of the trip cancellation/trip insurance coverage we needed, but we needed medical and evacuation coverage for parts of the travel where we were on our own and not on a cruise.  If all you cared about was the medical and evacuation coverage, that might be an option.  This year my plan is to probably get the big box Travel Guard policy to cover both our spring trip and our fall trip (a Celebrity cruise with the big box as agent is part of both trips).  This will provide all the pieces we need in some fashion: trip cancellation/trip interruption/medical/medical evacuation.

 

3.  You can apparently tailor this policy (and I am sure the other competitor policies as well) to cover only the costs where you are truly at risk.  For example, on our spring trip, there are four components: international airfare, time on our own, a Collette Travel land tour purchased with Marriott Vacation Club points, and a Celebrity cruise purchased with cash.  We in effect had to buy Collette's own travel insurance on the cost of that tour, because only their special policy also protects the value of the MVCI points if you had to cancel at the last minute.  We didn't need to insure the international business class airfare per se, because the fare we got is refundable before departure for a $450 pp charge, or changeable for a $500 pp charge.  So we wanted a policy that would cover the entire length of time we are gone (a month) but cover only the cost of the Celebrity cruise, plus the costs of the airfare change or cancellation fees.  So that is the amount we insured.  

4.  If I didn't have the discounted coverage available through the big box, I would definitely have used either Steve at www.tripinsurancestore.com, or www.insuremytrip.com.  I found them both very helpful when I dealt with them last year and when I priced their coverage this year.

 

5.  By all means check your Medicare Supplement plan.  It probably provides some coverage.

 

Tom & Judy

 

Great information!   I am diligently working on this today.  

Our spring cruise is a 14 day transatlantic, with some land days in Europe following the cruise, before returning to the US.  

Our autumn cruise is a repositioning back to FL., but, again/ several sea days. So my main concern is evacuation expenses (and medical)  in the event of illness/accident  during all those sea days.  Im actually willing to not even insure the cost of the cruise, that cost, although not a small amount, kind of becomes insignificant  to me when compared to the evaction expenses that could be incurred.   

We never thought of this type of coverage when we were younger, now, it’s all I think about.  All the “what if’s” are making me crazy.   

I was going to buy the policy online, but I think I’ll use your guy Steve and be able to talk to someone. 👍🏻

Thank you again! 

 

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43 minutes ago, TFree said:

RTR08:

 

A couple comments for whatever they are worth.

 

1.  I agree, I wish there was an annual trip cancellation/interruption/medical/evacuation policy available, as we also have multiple trips planned this year.  But I have never heard of one.

 

2.  There is a medical/evacuation annual policy available, the Geo Blue Trekker Choice Multi-Trip plan.  We bought it last year because we already had in place separate trip insurance on portions of the two major trips we had planned (poor planning on our part), so we already had most of the trip cancellation/trip insurance coverage we needed, but we needed medical and evacuation coverage for parts of the travel where we were on our own and not on a cruise.  If all you cared about was the medical and evacuation coverage, that might be an option.  This year my plan is to probably get the big box Travel Guard policy to cover both our spring trip and our fall trip (a Celebrity cruise with the big box as agent is part of both trips).  This will provide all the pieces we need in some fashion: trip cancellation/trip interruption/medical/medical evacuation.

 

3.  You can apparently tailor this policy (and I am sure the other competitor policies as well) to cover only the costs where you are truly at risk.  For example, on our spring trip, there are four components: international airfare, time on our own, a Collette Travel land tour purchased with Marriott Vacation Club points, and a Celebrity cruise purchased with cash.  We in effect had to buy Collette's own travel insurance on the cost of that tour, because only their special policy also protects the value of the MVCI points if you had to cancel at the last minute.  We didn't need to insure the international business class airfare per se, because the fare we got is refundable before departure for a $450 pp charge, or changeable for a $500 pp charge.  So we wanted a policy that would cover the entire length of time we are gone (a month) but cover only the cost of the Celebrity cruise, plus the costs of the airfare change or cancellation fees.  So that is the amount we insured.  

4.  If I didn't have the discounted coverage available through the big box, I would definitely have used either Steve at www.tripinsurancestore.com, or www.insuremytrip.com.  I found them both very helpful when I dealt with them last year and when I priced their coverage this year.

 

5.  By all means check your Medicare Supplement plan.  It probably provides some coverage.

 

Tom & Judy

 

Hi Tom & Judy,

 

There are annual trip cancellation/interruption/medical/evacuation policies. Here's some info about them:

 

The annual trip cancellation plan I like has these drawbacks:
- OR and PR residents cannot get this
- 30 day maximum trip length
- Age 74 is maximum age
- Lower medical and other coverages
 
The annual travel medical plan I like (Geo Blue Trekker Choice) has these drawbacks:
- MD, NY and WA residents cannot get this
- 70 day maximum trip length
- Age 84 is maximum age
- $100,000 medical maximum for over age 69
 
Both plans can cover pre-existing conditions.
 
Steve
 

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Here's some more info on the Costco Travel Guard plan that tends to get overlooked when comparing to other similar plans:

 

- Trip Delay is higher but requires a 12 hour wait versus 5 or 6 hours for other plans.

 

- The medical and nearly everything else is Secondary, not Primary. Primary is better for anyone on Medicare with a Supplement they bought on their own.

 

EXCESS INSURANCE LIMITATION
The insurance provided by the Policy for all coverages except Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption shall be in excess of all other valid and collectible insurance or indemnity. If at the time of the occurrence of any Loss payable under the Policy there is other valid and collectible insurance or indemnity in place, the Company shall be liable only for the excess of the amount of Loss, over the amount of such other insurance or indemnity and applicable deductible.

Edited by iamtrustworthy
forgot a space between words

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If you have multiple travel, cruise or otherwise, in the same 12 month period, GeoBlue annual is hard to beat, and it is primary.

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21 minutes ago, thinfool said:

If you have multiple travel, cruise or otherwise, in the same 12 month period, GeoBlue annual is hard to beat, and it is primary.

 

GeoBlue's a great plan. It only covers outside the USA, though.

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1 hour ago, iamtrustworthy said:

 

GeoBlue's a great plan. It only covers outside the USA, though.

Yes, tho most cruises/cruiselines discussed on CC are outside the US.  Also, an applicant must have health coverage in effect for the US to qualify for GeoBlue. (medicare qualifies)

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Just now, thinfool said:

Yes, tho most cruises/cruiselines discussed on CC are outside the US.  Also, an applicant must have health coverage in effect for the US to qualify for GeoBlue. (medicare qualifies)

 

Here's the wording on what qualifies as a Primary Plan:

"A Primary Plan is a Group Health Benefit Plan, an individual health benefit plan, or certain governmental health plan (including Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage plans) designed to be the first payor of claims for an Insured Person prior to the responsibility of this Plan. Medicaid and Veterans Administration health benefit plans are not considered a primary plan under this policy."

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14 minutes ago, iamtrustworthy said:

 

Here's the wording on what qualifies as a Primary Plan:

"A Primary Plan is a Group Health Benefit Plan, an individual health benefit plan, or certain governmental health plan (including Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage plans) designed to be the first payor of claims for an Insured Person prior to the responsibility of this Plan. Medicaid and Veterans Administration health benefit plans are not considered a primary plan under this policy."

Thanks...and just a little addition....medicare is not medicaid.

Edited by thinfool

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We are booked on a Nov cruise and have looked into the insurance offered by Celebrity and Cruiseone- which is called LeisureCare.

Seems  like they both are not that great as far as coverage goes. We really dont want to be over insured but would like to be covered in case something unexpected happened.

Dont you have to consider your own health care such as Medicare and what is covered by your Credit Card that you pay your cruise with?

I'm not an expert at this insurance thing but just looking for a good policy at a reasonable price. We usually cruise on 7-10 days Caribbean cruises. Any thoughts?

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3 hours ago, iamtrustworthy said:

 

GeoBlue's a great plan. It only covers outside the USA, though.

Thank you!   👍🏻

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1 hour ago, thinfool said:

Thanks...and just a little addition....medicare is not medicaid.

 

You're welcome. This is the wording from the policy.

 

I'm surprised by how many people I speak with are travelling with a family member who has a State sponsored Medicaid plan and they want a plan that covers pre-existing conditions. They generally are past the deadline to get a plan with pre-ex coverage.

 

Not all Medicaid plans include "Medicaid" in its name so when someone wants a plan that covers pre-existing conditions, I get to deliver the news that there are no plans for that traveler.

 

Last Friday someone called me saying they thoroughly read the GeoBlue policy and were ready to buy it for their 22 yo son. When I asked what coverage he had, they said "It's a Medicaid plan." They were less than thrilled to hear my answer especially because the other places they called hadn't mentioned this fact.

 

Like many insurance policies, someone can easily and accidentally void their policy's coverage. They would end up finding out after the trip that they weren't covered.

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1 hour ago, iamtrustworthy said:

 

You're welcome. This is the wording from the policy.

 

I'm surprised by how many people I speak with are travelling with a family member who has a State sponsored Medicaid plan and they want a plan that covers pre-existing conditions. They generally are past the deadline to get a plan with pre-ex coverage.

 

Not all Medicaid plans include "Medicaid" in its name so when someone wants a plan that covers pre-existing conditions, I get to deliver the news that there are no plans for that traveler.

 

Last Friday someone called me saying they thoroughly read the GeoBlue policy and were ready to buy it for their 22 yo son. When I asked what coverage he had, they said "It's a Medicaid plan." They were less than thrilled to hear my answer especially because the other places they called hadn't mentioned this fact.

 

Like many insurance policies, someone can easily and accidentally void their policy's coverage. They would end up finding out after the trip that they weren't covered.

 

Steve: Question please:   When the policy only covers foreign countries outside of the USA, would international Waters (such as a cruise ship) fall within the parameter of the policy? 

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37 minutes ago, RTR08 said:

 

Steve: Question please:   When the policy only covers foreign countries outside of the USA, would international Waters (such as a cruise ship) fall within the parameter of the policy? 

 

Hi RTR08,

 

Yes, but not because you are in a foreign country as you likely have not arrived there in the beginning of the trip.

 

It's a simple question with a complicated answer, so bear with me so there's no ambiguity. This wording is from its Certificate.

 

The "Home Country" is the U.S. "U.S." means the 50 states of United States of America including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Excluded Services
The Plan does not provide benefits for Expenses incurred in the Home Country.

 

Trip Coverage Start Date: The Insured Person's coverage under the Policy for a trip during the Period of Insurance starts as stated below:
For a scheduled trip to a Foreign Country, when the Insured Person boards a conveyance at the start of the trip.
An Insured Person is eligible for benefits during his/her Period of Insurance ONLY during the Trip Coverage Period.

 

 

 

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On 2/20/2019 at 9:55 PM, iamtrustworthy said:

 

Hi RTR08,

 

Yes, but not because you are in a foreign country as you likely have not arrived there in the beginning of the trip.

 

It's a simple question with a complicated answer, so bear with me so there's no ambiguity. This wording is from its Certificate.

 

The "Home Country" is the U.S. "U.S." means the 50 states of United States of America including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Excluded Services
The Plan does not provide benefits for Expenses incurred in the Home Country.

 

Trip Coverage Start Date: The Insured Person's coverage under the Policy for a trip during the Period of Insurance starts as stated below:
For a scheduled trip to a Foreign Country, when the Insured Person boards a conveyance at the start of the trip.
An Insured Person is eligible for benefits during his/her Period of Insurance ONLY during the Trip Coverage Period.

 

 

 

 

THank you ! 

Steve, are you the same “Steve” mentioned in Tom and Judy’s post above? 

If so, can I use the www link they mentioned, or do you want to send me a dot com address to make a connection? 

 

Chris 

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49 minutes ago, RTR08 said:

 

THank you ! 

Steve, are you the same “Steve” mentioned in Tom and Judy’s post above? 

If so, can I use the www link they mentioned, or do you want to send me a dot com address to make a connection? 

 

Chris 

 

Hi Chris,

 

Yes, that's me. Use the link they mentioned.

 

Steve

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I just tried the Bigbox store Travel guard and it was quite odd IMO.

I have purchased numerous Insuremytrip policies, but TravelGurad asked no questions, gave me little choice and just quoted a very low number. I am quite hesitant to purchase it now.

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