Contributors to this thread:
How many of you had travel insurance before this Virus? And how many will now purchase it for the future? I had never even considered it, even for my 2022 griz/caribou hunt in the Yukon..... I believe I have now changed my mind.
Just be careful with insurance, be it travel, business, or other types of insurance. Pandemics are typically not covered. Lots of business owners finding that out the hard way right now. When buying travel insurance you have to pay attention to the details.
Insurance companies are the biggest crooks in the world!
Pat is spot-on here.
Really doubting travel insurance will cover travel disruptions and government prohibitions due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. They would likely honor a claim if you were infected at the scheduled time of your trip and could not go due to an unforeseen medical emergency. However, here is a direct quote from a major travel insurance company about COVID-19, “Claims due to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories or fear of travel are generally not covered.”
I have a trip to Azerbaijan scheduled for the first week in June that is now likely toast. But if that’s the worst thing that happens to me and my family this year I’ll consider myself lucky.
“Claims due to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories or fear of travel are generally not covered.”
If you schedule travel when these things are known you shouldn’t be covered. I would argue that if you booked before it was known it would be covered. My wife and I do use travel insurance and it would be covered if booked before and was unknown. Our policy has saved our butts/$$ a couple of times. Like every policy, read it and understand it before you sign and pay.
All good info, though I would say that this pandemic is a crazy fluke. I booked last January for a trip 3 1/2 years away. The outfitter worked with me on a small non refundable deposit and kept me locked in at the current years price. Future hunters booking the same exact hunt will be paying 3500 more than what I booked for. So I feel good and am not worried there. But I feel this Corvid thing has opened my eyes up to not thinking anything can happen.
Im planning to buy travel insurance for my trip to Greenland this year. I’ve never purchased it before. Im taking a helicopter ride into camp. If anything goes wrong with my international flights, I’ll miss the helicopter ride into camp. Good advice here. I’ll read the fine print before getting insurance.
I’m scheduled to go brown bear hunting in Alaska this May. I purchased travel insurance last year when I booked the hunt. But I talked to outfitter this week . He said if I can’t come he will refund my money or roll hunt over till next year. I had already bought my license and bb tag. I talked to AG&F this week and they are making a decision in next week or two if they will refund fees or let them roll over too
We are scheduled for a european river cruise in june. Travel insurance would only cover this if there is a level 3 CDC restriction. However if there is a level 3 the cruise line cancels and refunds anyway.
If we simply choose not to go over covid, insurance also wouldn't cover it
"If we simply choose not to go over covid, insurance also wouldn't cover it"
That's it in a nutshell up until the last couple of weeks. My wife had a trip to Peru booked for May through a tour company. Her insurance kicks in as soon as the tour company issues a cancellation. She also recently (before Covid became real serious) booked a cruise for one year from now but already at that time Covid was excluded. But she has a full deposit refund clause she can invoke anytime between now and December.
As always, read the fine print because it's mostly about protecting them to the maximum the law allows. Remember, their lawyers wrote it!
I had a hunter a few years ago who bought trip insurance through www.travelguard.com because he had health issues. He paid for his November hunt to me in full by August 1, submitted his contract and proof of payments to travelguard.com and then cancelled soon after and got back most or all of his money. He said he bought a policy where he could cancel for any reason. It was all his idea and he assured me it worked great. I’ve recommended it on my website ever since.
Now maybe that will all change or maybe I missed some details of his claim or something but that was the story to me at the time. I never sent him back any money or moved any money to another year. I kept it all and he was fine with that.
I talked to 3 different travel insurance companies today. Read the fine print and call them. You'll be surprised at how little they cover.
Insurance is legalized robbery
That the victims voluntarily sign up for
If you can't use travel insurance for something like this, what the hell can you use it for?
I've heard from a few outfitters that did have clients with travel insurance for their trip and they indicated the traveler is going to be able to get their money back.
Nick—back from the outfitter or from the insurance company? Just curious.
Interestingly enough I mailed a $10k check for my stone sheep deposit for 2021 before Thisnwhole thing got crazy. My guy just called today and said “man, I got your check, but I don’t feel too good about cashing it with all this shit going on. I’m gonna tear it up and hold your spot and We can figure out the $ later”. Obviously a slightly different situation than a hunt paid for months ago, but a pretty stand-up way for him to handle it IMO.
Jim you are definitely booked with a stand up guy.
We had a trip to Mexico booked for April 12th. Had insurance but it would not cover pandemic. It was getting close to pucker time but Delta Vacations canceled this week and gave us a full refund. Glad we didn't have to test the insurance.
FWIW....I get emails from Upper Canyon Outfitters. The below was passed along regarding getting travel insurance. I have not checked them out to see what the deal is...just passing it along.
"As you know, this is a rapidly evolving situation and our response may change as we learn more. We are taking a number of immediate steps:
For now, we are updating our deposit return policy to be more flexible to give peace of mind to our clients. We continue to strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. We have partnered with the Dude Ranch Association and the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association to offer you a choice in travel Insurance. The Global Rescue’s Signature Travel and Signature Plus (Cancel for any reason) insurance allows you to insure all your expenses and covers all activities. While a Travel Insurance Policy can be purchased at any time, purchasing a policy within 20 days of making your initial trip deposit gives you the widest range of policy options specifically canceled for any reason. Ask an agent about a rider that covers for “Fear of Travel” We hope this helps you book with confidence. Dude Ranch Association Travel Insurance Mt. Outfitters and Guides Travel Insurance "
"If you can't use travel insurance for something like this, what the hell can you use it for?"
you can use if for events that are covered in the agreement but not those that are excluded. The policy is available for review prior to entering into so guys can determine if it meets their needs or not. if people choose not to red the fine print that is a choice they make at their own peril......but the information is in there.
Similar to a life insurance policy not covering suicide. You need to know going in what covered events are or are not included as not everything that ends badly is covered.
Bou, I know a tad bit about contracts and the importance of reading the fine print. My question was more tongue in cheek than serious. That said, why the hell would anyone buy trip insurance if that insurance didn't cover the individual not being able to go on the trip for a reason that is surely out of their control?
Never mind, I know.
I've always purchased it, not so much for a reason like we are currently experiencing, but for any medical reasons that may occur overseas. I want the insurance to the be primary and God forbid, I get killed or die while overseas, it covers getting my body back home. I get tired of reading these articles where some millennial fell off a cliff while trying to get the perfect 'selfie' then the family has to start a 'go fund me' page to try and get the expenses up to have the body returned home. Then as you read deeper, this person makes a living out of traveling to exotic places and has traveled the world, all under the ripe old age of 25. Forgive me, but if you can afford to travel the world in your bikini, then no one other than yourself should have to pay to get your body back home for a proper burial. As far as trip cancellation, it cost more to include the 'cancel for any reason' clause into your contract, but in times like this, that would have been money well spent.
From what I've seen, the prices for travel insurance are high and the amount of events that are covered is low. As an example, missed connections are approx. $1,000 payout per the insurance. Let's say you've booked a $10,000 hunt. The outfitter charters an airplane to get you to camp. If your international or domestic flight is delayed and you miss the chartered flight to camp, you're out $10,000 and went on a long flight for nothing. You can "possibly" charter a plane to get to camp, but that cost is on you. Don't be under the false assumption that the cost of your hunt is covered. It is not! The travel insurance websites have a declaration page that spells out exactly what is covered. Read the fine print!
Travel insurance works. Just saved us $10,000. Was supposed to leave 3/21 for Israel for 2 weeks. My wife hurt her hip and doctor said she shouldn’t travel and walk on it and to schedule appt with specialist. Just got the claim approved for the full amount. Now Israel closed its borders anyways but didnt matter as we were covered with no red tape.
SteveB - It does work when the doctor issues a do not travel order. Travel insurance would not have worked if your trip was canceled due to the pandemic. The takeaway here is read the declarations page and then make an informed decision instead of throwing money at insurance and then being disappointed when a claim is rejected.
I’ve been on many hunts out of state and country. I’ve never bought it and never needed it. Have looked at it few years back, and didn’t like the “exceptions.”
Maybe the question should be - how many have ever successfully filed a claim on travel insurance? I'm 0 for 1.
Chief419, agree. But you never buy insurance planning to use it. It’s there in case you need to. At our ages (mid-60s) we never take a trip without insurance. It’s cheap and there if you need it. You could get sick/injured, or a close loved one could (which qualifies) . It’s just like car insurance....you don’t buy it planning to use it.
I usually buy it for big trips.
I have only filed a claim once. I was coming back from a trip and ATC was shut down in the whole Washington DC area, for several hours. All flights stopped. Of course my flight was cancelled. I was stuck in the airport over night. They rebooked me for the next day, I had to Uber to another airport the next morning to catch the flight there. I filed a claim and turned in my food receipts, uber receipts, anything I bought to get me through the night. It wasn't tons of money, but they did reimburse me for it all.
They would have reimbursed me for a hotel room as well, but I couldn't get one because they were all full.
My New Zealand trip in May went bust because of this. Luckily Qantas is reimbursing most of the ticket costs. All the hotels were canceled at no cost. My only issue is I bought the hunt at a GSCO auction. The outfitter says they will try to work it all out next year, but no guarantees. It may have to be 2022. They are booked solid for 2021. Its an unfortunate situation.
All that being said, my primary reason for buying insurance for trips is for the medical coverage/evacuation.
Best I can figure, I've been on 66 Guided/Semi Guided Big Game hunts abroad. I've never bought Travel Insurance and I work in the insurance industry. For the first time in those 66 hunts, I MAY have had a claim this spring for a Brown Bear hunt in AK if something ends up happening whereby I can't/won't go. I looked it up yesterday and a "Cancel for any reason" policy on that hunt would've cost me $3725. If I end up not going and lose the cost of my hunt, I'm still WAY ahead of the game after 66 hunts. Risk what you can afford to lose, buy insurance for the rest. Hunting is "recreational" for me. If I can't afford to lose the cost of a hunt do to an unforeseen event, I probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place. Everyone's situation is different. For that guy going on a "once in a lifetime" hunt, he may want to consider it. But, know what you are buying and don't complain when your "event" isn't covered because of a policy exclusion. These travel polices aren't that complex. Read them, figure out what is covered, what is not and make an educated decision based on the premium and Risk vs. Reward. The policies I've read don't make sense for ME to purchase based on Risk vs. Reward. That doesn't necessarily mean YOU shouldn't buy one. DISCLAIMER: Opinions/situations will vary. :)
I'm with Kota man. I have always been able to work something out with an outfitter of the airlines that is better than the insurance.