I need to know which Trip Cancellation plans will allow me to cancel if I cannot travel due to a last-minute positive COVID test.

There are no Trip Cancellation plans that will cover you if you have to cancel your trip at the last-minute due to a positive COVID test.

If you got the Coronavirus and saw your doctor in person before you left on your trip and he or she told you that you were too sick to travel, you would be covered for a Trip Cancellation the same as any other illness or injury.

The only plan you can get that will cover you if you have to cancel your trip for a not-covered reason like a positive Covid test result is one with the Cancel For Any Reason coverage.

However, one drawback to the Cancel For Any Reason coverage is that you have to cancel your trip not less than three calendar days before you leave on your trip. Due to this three day rule, a last-minute positive Covid test result is not covered with the Cancel For Any Reason.

I hope this makes sense.

And, if you have any questions about travel insurance, call us Toll-Free at 1-888-407-3854 or email Steve (me), The Travel Insurance Guru, here or using steve [at] tripinsurancestore dot com.

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Why are Travel Insurance Claims Taking So Long to Process?

This is a typical phone call or email I have been getting for the last three months:

It’s now been 7 (or 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) weeks since I submitted my claim for my trip. I understand they are busy, but this seems like they found an excuse to put my claim at the bottom of their pile. Is there anything you can do to get that moving? I’m happy to provide documents but I think they should tell me why they need it. I also think they should be able to tell me everything they think is missing all at once. Nothing about this process is giving me confidence that any company will respond well should problems arise on either of the other vacations I have insured with any company. Also, when I call them, I leave my number for a callback, but no one ever calls me back.

I am very thankful that the vast majority of people who call or email us are kind and very pleasant to work with. And, I completely understand their frustrations. We make it a point to tell our customers that a claim will take at least three months, so you should plan on it taking four months.

While I cannot know what is the exact reason that claims are taking so long to process, I do know that all the Travel Insurance companies’ Claim Departments are overwhelmed with the volume of claims that started coming in the beginning of February.

Unlike other widespread events like hurricanes or bad winter storms, the volume of new claims has not dropped off after the initial event. In a normal event, the majority of claims come in over a two – four week period.

What’s different about this Coronavirus mess is that the claims are being spread out over many months. Plus, in normal times, if an insurance company needed documentation from a travel supplier or a doctor’s office, there was a very short turnaround time. Now, it’s longer, partly due to people working remotely or companies being understaffed due to layoffs.

Another problem is that the travel suppliers are taking months to funish cancellation invoices and other documents so the traveler has to wait before they have all their paperwork to submit with their claim.

Last week, one company told me they have over 9,000 unread emails in their Customer Service email queue. And, because they have a hiring freeze, they don’t expect the backlog to clear up any time soon. I asked that they stop over-promising faster turnarounds because they are under-performing and needlessly getting people angry.

Finally!! I got paid after waiting three months. Steve, thank you again for your help with this claim. Lisa M., Austin, TX

We are continuing to help our customers with their claims. I have very worked hard to have a good relationship with each of our companies. There are many reasons for this, but I think the main reason is that we have never lied, mis-represented the truth nor have ever tried to deceive our companies in any way. When we made a mistake, we always own up to it. We record our phone calls so we can send the call to our companies to document our mistakes.

I hope this makes sense.

And, if you have any questions about travel insurance, call us Toll-Free at 1-888-407-3854 or email Steve (me), The Travel Insurance Guru, here or using steve [at] tripinsurancestore dot com.

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I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

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CardRates.com Interviews Steve Dasseos

by admin on June 20, 2020

In a Nutshell: TripInsuranceStore.com was one of the first one-stop-shop internet sites for travel insurance. Today, the website and its founder, Steve Dasseos, helps countless travelers protect their financial investments when booking a trip for business or pleasure. During a global pandemic, those insurance plans become more important – and sometimes harder to understand.

By Adam West, Managing Editor for CardRates.com, on June 15, 2020

Most people don’t plan a big vacation in the days leading up to their departure. In fact, many people start booking and paying for a trip as much as a year in advance. As we’ve all learned recently, a lot can happen in a few days — let alone a year.

Trip insurance is typically written for people who get sick or injured before their trip or have to cancel for other various reasons. But a global pandemic – who’d expect that?

Millions of people around the world have had their travel plans thwarted since travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders were put into place due to Covid-19. Some travelers managed to get refunds or new departure dates. But others haven’t been so lucky.

Steve Dasseos, the founder of TripInsuranceStore.com, has helped countless travelers protect their financial and health interests when it comes time to book a trip. But travel hasn’t always been his passion. In fact, Dasseos spent 15 years as a financial planner before pivoting to a different industry.

“As my clients were nearing retirement, they started to travel” he said. “Most asked me about travel insurance, which I had never heard of at the time. After researching the topic, I found that the few travel insurance websites that existed weren’t very detail-oriented. In my opinion, most of them are still like that.”

Dasseos took it upon himself to build a repository of travel insurance knowledge with comprehensive search functionality that finds the best travel insurance plans available for any traveler.

Dasseos said he wants someone to visit his website at any time of day or night and quickly find the same insurance options that he’d find when searching for them. The cost of those plans will depend on the coverage needed, among other factors.

“You should expect to pay between 8% and 13% of your prepaid trip cost if you’re getting a trip cancellation plan,” Dasseos said. “The total cost will depend on your age and the state that you live in.”

But will those plans cover the traveler in the unforeseen circumstance of a global pandemic?

“About half of the plans on the market currently exclude coverage related to anything with this virus,” Dasseos said.

That’s because most travel insurance plans cover circumstances that people experience regularly, such as illness. But plans weren’t written to cover a global pandemic and mandatory stay-at-home orders.

“You have to have a valid reason for canceling your trip under any plan,” Dasseos said. “Fear, worry, or concern isn’t considered a valid reason. Most governmental actions aren’t covered either. So if the government says that TSA is going to take 10 minutes to screen each person at the airport and flights get backed up for days, you aren’t covered.”

Most Plans Aren’t Written to Cover a Global Health Crisis

Many of the generic plans sold through travel providers or touring websites have no language in place for global health scares. They’re traditionally cookie-cutter plans that cover the basics. That’s why it’s important to research a travel insurance plan through an expert, such as Dasseos, who has no ties to the travel company and has the traveler’s best interests in mind.

“A lot of travel insurance websites sell policies that seem easy, but make it very difficult to make a claim should you need it,” he said. “In more than 20 years, I’ve never had an honest claim turned down.”

In the world of travel insurance, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan. Travelers can literally choose from hundreds of options that vary based on their needs and other factors.

The most common is trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. These plans can cover paid expenses if someone cancels a trip for a valid reason. Interruption insurance helps cover expenses should something prematurely end a trip.

Dasseos noted that most people think they can only make a claim for trip interruption if they experience a traumatic injury that requires emergency medical services, but that isn’t true.

“The medical treatment doesn’t have to be anything that’s life-threatening,” he said. “It can be anything that causes a normal person to go to the doctor — anything from a twisted ankle or something very serious.”

Travelers can purchase these plans together or separately. Dasseos said that trip interruption plans often cost less if purchased alone because they don’t include trip cancellation, which typically triggers more claims.

Plans that cover pre-existing conditions are also available. These plans become valuable if you or a loved one has a medical condition that has required treatment within the last 60 to 180 days.

“Say your Grandmother has congestive heart failure and isn’t in good health,” Dasseos said. “You’re worried, though, that something could happen when it comes time to take your cruise. You can purchase a policy that protects you, should something happen to her and you can’t go because you want to stay with her.”

Separate or combined plans can also cover flight insurance, rental car insurance, luggage insurance, and more. With so many options available, it makes sense to consult with an expert when purchasing a plan to protect large financial interests during a trip.

“Don’t assume that all companies will work the same,” Dasseos said. “There are hundreds of companies out there with hundreds of plans. We only offer a handful of them. We simply don’t trust some companies. Others have great plans, but terrible customer service.”

But what if someone doesn’t purchase a travel insurance plan — or a plan turns out to be a bad one?

Credit Card Policies May Provide Backup Coverage

Travelers do their research, pick the perfect place to stay, and map out their itinerary minute by minute. But what happens when a global pandemic prohibits travel and keeps them at home?

Some accommodation providers aren’t giving refunds to travelers who aren’t taking their pre-paid trips due to Covid-19. Others are only offering to reschedule trips, but many people are still generally wary of traveling and just want a refund.

Dasseos said that, even if someone has no travel insurance — or they’re under-insured — they may still have options to receive a refund.

Many credit card companies provide basic travel insurance benefits if the customer pays for their trip using the card and may provide refunds when a trip becomes impossible to take.

“This isn’t guaranteed,” Dasseos said. “I’ve seen some people successfully challenge the charge and others who aren’t successful. The higher-end cards tend to offer more comprehensive benefits than the basic cards. It’s sometimes governed by the state the person lives in or the terms and conditions of the card they use.”

If a traveler decides to reschedule a trip that was booked with insurance, Dasseos said that nearly all travel insurance plans will carry over to the new date. It’s important, though, to inform the insurance provider of the change or the plan may forfeit its coverage.

Travelers Shouldn’t Assume a Policy Fully Covers Them

Most of us learned from an early age that we shouldn’t sign anything without reading it first. That also goes for trip insurance plans. While one may think that all plans cover the same things, Dasseos said most people don’t realize how different travel insurance plans are, despite similar verbiage.

“You might have five travel insurance providers that use the same wording in their contracts, but all five might define the words differently,” he said. “One company might provide 23 different reasons why you could cancel your trip, and another company might have nine. People think that companies all cover the same things. Never assume with a contract.”

Dasseos said he’s seen just about every monkey wrench an insurance provider can throw at a traveler. His business has learned from those experiences to help new customers avoid repeating the same mistakes.

“Even though we sell travel insurance, we aren’t in the business of selling,” he said. “We’re more about educating. I don’t want to sell anything to someone if they don’t need it. I can’t ethically feel right if I sell something to someone that doesn’t meet their needs.”

That dedication to the customer keeps previous clients coming back to purchase insurance plans for their upcoming trips. And word of mouth — as well as an easy-to-use website — keeps new travelers coming to the site.

And as the Covid-19 global pandemic continues, the need for good insurance plans only grows. That also means that travel providers will continue to alter the wording in their plan’s contracts.

“It’s always important to get to know the terms and conditions of any travel document you sign,” Dasseos said. “A lot of people become surprised and say “I didn’t know the touring company, airline, or travel provider could do that,’ but they signed it anyway — which means they can do it.”

I am very thankful to CardRates.com for interviewing me.

If you have any questions about travel insurance, call us Toll-Free at 1-888-407-3854 or email Steve (me), The Travel Insurance Guru, here or using steve [at] tripinsurancestore dot com.

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I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

Now, a word from our sponsor: TripInsuranceStore.com (Travel Forums' Most Recommended Travel Insurance Website)

PS - If you liked what you read, please Subscribe to my Blog.

I am doing a month long Question and Answer about Trip Insurance on CruiseCritic.com for the month of June 2020. Come and check it out here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/2484-qa-cruise-insurance-w-steve-dasseos-of-the-tripinsurancestorecom-june-2020/

The forum is open for any member, so if you have any questions you think would be helpful to others, please ask them.

If you cruise, or even if you are potentially interested in cruising in the future, I suggest you become a member of CruiseCritic.com if you are not already. It’s free to join and you can read, learn and lurk if participating in social forums is not your passion.

There are many good reasons to be a part of CruiseCritic.com. The three benefits I regularly hear about are:

  • The Roll Calls. CC Help Jenn said this: “Roll Calls are discussions where you can “meet up and chat with” other Cruise Critic members on the same cruise on-line before you sail! Your Roll Call topic is the place where members can get to know one another before they sail, and exchange tips and information about their particular line, ship, Ports of Call, shore excursions/tours, transportation, etc.” Learn more about Roll Calls here.
  • Finding out about excursions from other travelers. Even if you never write a post, you will get valuable information about your cruise’s itinerary on its Roll Call.
  • Meeting fellow cruisers. I have lots of customers who’ve met friends on CruiseCritic that they now often travel with. In particular, a couple who lives in Maryland met another couple on a Roll Call who happen to live within a mile of them. They got to know each other on the cruise and have become very good friends.

In case anyone is wondering, I do not receive any financial benefit from CruiseCritic nor do I give CruiseCritic any financial benefit. I enjoy helping people understand how travel insurance works.

If you have any questions about travel insurance, call us Toll-Free at 1-888-407-3854 or email Steve (me), The Travel Insurance Guru, here or using steve [at] tripinsurancestore dot com.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

Now, a word from our sponsor: TripInsuranceStore.com (Travel Forums' Most Recommended Travel Insurance Website)

PS - If you liked what you read, please Subscribe to my Blog.

Does travel insurance cover the cost of a cruise line or a travel supplier going out of business?

If you were to ask this simple and straightforward question to nearly anyone who sells trip cancellation travel insurance, whether online or through a travel agency, you will get a definite “Yes” answer. You also might get an explanation of how long the policy has to be in force (typically 14 days after purchase).

Technically, this is the right answer, but you didn’t ask the right question, so this is the wrong answer for your situation.

How do I know you’ll likely get the wrong answer? Because I get the wrong answer myself on many seemingly simple questions. For 20 years I’ve called my competitors, emailed them and used their online chats as a secret shopper. I often get vague answers that tell me nothing no matter how simple and direct I am.

Back to Supplier Financial Default: You thought you were asking “Does travel insurance cover the cost of a cruise line or a travel supplier’s going out of business that I booked directly and not through a travel agent?“.

A normal person wouldn’t think to include the phrase “that I booked directly and not through a travel agent”. Unless you have read your policy or TripInsuranceStore.com’s FAQs, you wouldn’t realize using a travel agent is relevant for this coverage.

Here’s the right answer to your question:

Q. “Does travel insurance cover the cost of a cruise line or a travel supplier’s going out of business that I booked directly and not through a travel agent?”

A. No. You are not covered for Supplier Financial Default if you booked directly with the Travel Supplier.

Most people don’t know or understand that the Financial Default coverage is for the 3rd party. If you book a cruise directly with the cruise line, you are not covered for Supplier Financial Default because there is no intermediary to be the 2nd party. If you booked with a travel agent who, in turn, made your cruise’s travel arrangements, the travel agent is the 2nd party and the cruise line is the 3rd party.

In other words, Supplier Financial Default does not cover where you arrange / book your travel. For example, if you use a travel agency and it goes out of business. Ideally, the travel agency uses an escrow account to store its clients’ funds while the money’s in their possession. You are not covered for Financial Default for money the travel agency hadn’t paid to the travel suppliers.

Q. What is Supplier Financial Default?

A. A common definition of “Supplier Financial Default” is a complete suspension of operations due to financial circumstances whether or not a bankruptcy petition is filed. In other words, just the act of filing for bankruptcy or becoming bankrupt doesn’t necessarily qualify as a valid Financial Default claim. The 3rd Party (not who you booked directly with) travel supplier has to completely cease operations.

I hope this makes sense.

And, if you have any questions about travel insurance, call us Toll-Free at 1-888-407-3854 or email Steve (me), The Travel Insurance Guru, here or using steve [at] tripinsurancestore dot com.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

Now, a word from our sponsor: TripInsuranceStore.com (Travel Forums' Most Recommended Travel Insurance Website)

PS - If you liked what you read, please Subscribe to my Blog.

Find Cures With Your Computer

April 2, 2020

Subscribe How to Use Your Computer for Good You can get involved with legitimate research projects that use your computer’s spare and unused computing power to solve complex computations that are used to find cures for diseases. I have done this for over 12 years. This blog post is about Protein Folding projects. The wording […]

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Overlooked Travel Insurance Exclusions

March 30, 2020

Subscribe Why don’t you come right out and say that your Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance plans do not cover pandemics? TripInsuranceStore.com claims be the most informative Travel Insurance website, so why don’t you address this? What are you hiding? They vented their anger at me. The pièce de résistance is the popular website they bought […]

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Do You Have an Upcoming Trip?

March 19, 2020

Subscribe Like TripInsuranceStore.com has always been, I (Steve) am being direct about your choices. This could change in the future if the companies themselves make changes to their procedures. If you cancel your trip for a not-Covered Reason, you will still have a payable claim if your travel insurance includes the Cancel For Any Reason […]

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What You Should Do If You Have a Trip Booked Now

March 11, 2020

Subscribe If you have not yet read these three pages, I suggest you do so because they contain important information that could save you from making a costly mistake: Travel Insurance and the Coronavirus Don’t Cancel for Your Own Medical Reasons If You’re Not Ill or Injured The Coronavirus is disrupting travel partly due to […]

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Don’t Cancel for Your Own Medical Reasons If You’re Not Ill or Injured

March 6, 2020

Subscribe Just so no one misunderstands what I write about the Coronavirus, I need to say this upfront: The Coronavirus threat is real. Unfortunately, thanks to the fear and the lack of accurate information, lots of travelers are contemplating cancelling upcoming trips that they have insured. Check out my regularly updated page about Travel Insurance […]

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