When I sell a trip to a client out of the United States, I like to offer them Travel Protection Insurance to protect their travel investment. However, selling the insurance can become very complicated for me, the seller and the client, the purchaser.
If a client wants to protect just the $$$ value of their trip, most any vendor’s policy is adequate. The sell is quick and the coverage for the unexpected cancellation of the trip due to weather condition or sickness of the traveler, is covered.
If the client wants to have medical coverage out of the US, then the policy they purchase takes careful thinking. Again, let’s fine tune the answer. Vendor’s policies have medical coverage within their basic coverage but reinbursement for expenses is secondary. If a medical claim is filed, the client must first file the claim with their primary medical provider. Once the primary medical provider processes the claim, then the remainder will be accepted by the travel vendor’s insurance provider.
Most people will say, “So What?” The answer is “failure”. I’ve had too many cases of people’s medical reimburstment falling thru the cracks and no $$$$ reimbursement is ever received. Can you visualize Medicare accepting medical paperwork from the islands?
If medical coverage for the unexpected is of concern, then take a look at Travel Guard. Travel Guard is one company that does provide Primary medical coverage up to $25,000 if the policy is purchased within 14 days of the initial deposit of the trip and if additional components are also updated within 14 days of purchased. The policy to be purchased must be “Gold Coverage”. Yes, my dear friends, the price is based on age which means the people who really need the coverage have an expensive policy to purchased. Which is better….$25,000 in credit card bills or an upfront payment of more than $99 for the best medical coverage when out of the country. Alpha Voyages is proud to sell Travel Guard.
Here are a few bad memories:
1. One client had a heart attach in St Lucia. He had to pay out of pocket almost $10,000 because the medical paperwork from St Lucia did not satisfy his primary insurance provider. The claim was never closed because his primary provider kept sending forms saying, “insufficient information”.
2. Another client had a stomach disorder that required IV fluids. The bill was over $500.00. The incident happened summer of 2012. The claim has not been finalized.
3. Another client had Travel Guard as the insurance provider but did not purchase the Gold Policy. Several reasons but one was price and the other was deposit had already been made. Therefore, the gold could not be purchased. This client ended up 9 days in intensive care in the islands. His claim must clear his primary provider before submission to Travel Guard.
4. Another story was not my client but a very sad story indeed. I was sitting at Beaches Ocho Rios in Jamaica and a young man was also sitted there. He was very quiet and I was very friendly. He told me his tale. On the 2nd day of arrival, his wife had left the gym and slipped on a water spot busting open her knee. He took her to the local hospital for emerency relief. However, she needed surgery. He had not purchased any travel insurance. He did not have the funds to fly her back to Miami in a medical transport. He had been tending to her for 6 days waiting for their vacation to end. He had no idea how the airline was going to allow her on the plane because she could not bend her knee. The story only got worst….
So, the moral to my tale…plan your dream vacation and then breathe and plan your travel insurance. Happy Travels….. “MJ”
MJ is the owner of Alpha Voyages Travel Agency, Winchester, Virginia.