ASK LUCKY (and each other)


Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.

Anyone can post a question, but you'll get the most benefit from registering to join our forum. You'll be able to see when your question is answered, and like comments from other users.

This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so feel free to jump in and share tips!

Thanks for reading!

Best,
Ben

Recommendations on travel insurance

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Steve from LA, Sep 15, 2020 at 10:36 AM.

  1. Steve from LA

    Steve from LA Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    21
    I am thinking of taking a trip in April with my lady friend to Europe. For obvious reasons, business class tickets from the West Coast seem particularly inexpensive at the moment. I know tickets at this point are rather speculative, but I may be willing to risk it given the price. I would like to hedge my bet a little bit and purchase some travel insurance. I am looking for insurance that will cover the cost of the tickets if the COVID-19 epidemic is still in play, if the airline goes bankrupt and in general if for any other reason we just can't go or don't think it wise to go in April. Any suggestions on an insurance company or particular policy?
     
    #1
  2. mike1977

    mike1977 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    7
    Following this thread.
     
    #2
  3. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

    Messages:
    6,369
    Likes Received:
    1,932
    Very few insurers are offering policies that cover COVID-19 related cancelations -- it's considered a "known risk" of purchasing travel at this point. The exception of course is if you or an immediate family member get Covid or are otherwise sick and have medical documentation, then the usual coverage would apply.

    If the airline itself becomes insolvent, that's often not covered either, but you can check terms, or sometimes purchase an additional rider. It used to come standard (Chase, Citi, and Amex all covered it if you used their cards), but the havoc of the wave of LCC bankruptcies killed that.

    No one covers you if you just don't want to go, or don't think it's wise to go. Award tickets or paying a bit more for refundable tickets are the best option here. Seven Corners (https://www.sevencorners.com/#start/usinternational) is the only insurer I know of that is willing to offer an extra COVID rider.
     
    #3
    rickyw likes this.
  4. Steve from LA

    Steve from LA Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    21

    Thanks Tiffany,

    A lot of these insurance companies, including Seven Corners, appear to offer a "cancel for any reason" option. Is it not really what the name suggests? If it weren't, it would not surprise me as we are dealing with insurance companies.....
     
    #4
  5. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

    Messages:
    6,369
    Likes Received:
    1,932
    Ish. The "cancel for any reason" things are an upgrade, and come with lots of fine print.

    For example, you have to insure 100% of your pre-paid trip costs (not the cancelation costs) with that company, including any supplemental things you book along the way. So if you book a food tour that's not refundable, you often have to add a rider to your policy covering that within a certain time window.

    Despite requiring you to insure 100% of your pre-paid costs, there is no guarantee that the insurance company will refund you 100% of your costs for an "any reason" cancelation. Generally I've seen it be around 75%, but it could be anywhere from 50% to (theoretically, but I've never seen it) 100%.

    When you add all that up, it just generally doesn't make as much sense as it feels like it should. "Self-insuring" by purchasing a refundable ticket (or at least one that is changeable with a penalty) is almost always the more economical option.

    This is especially true during the time of COVID, where many airlines have super generous policies. I just looked at tickets from Seattle to London next April, for example, and business class tickets are between $2k and $3500 depending on which carrier you choose. The two cheapest options are Aeromexico ($2k) and British Airways ($2800), and both those carriers allow you to change the date of your flight at no extra cost for tickets purchased now, through travel into late 2021 (or as far as the schedule goes). Virgin Atlantic will let you rebook until September of 2022 if you buy now.

    So I guess I just don't see the benefit of involving a third-party, and paying them extra, when it doesn't really gain you anything.
     
    #5
  6. Steve from LA

    Steve from LA Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    21

    Thanks Tiffany.

    I see your point. The Aeromexico fares are looking particularly attractive right now. I was eyeing up Condor, who doesn't seem to be offering nearly as flexible terms at the moment. They offer a flexible ticket for a few hundred buck more as an option for their business tickets. Unfortunately, you can't purchase that option going through the chase portal with points. I may just have to pony up some cash for a flexible ticket. Even then I am not sure if the risk is worth the reward (i.e. the Alaska miles you get from flying Condor business). They squeaked by bankruptcy once, not sure they will be so lucky a second time.
     
    #6