May I Buy a New Flight if My Flight is Cancelled?

by Steve Dasseos on January 6, 2024

Hi Steve, Uncle Lenny takes off tomorrow and there are high winds expected. If they cancel his flight and can’t put him on a new flight for some reason is he able to buy a new flight even if it’s a higher cost? Will his travel insurance cover him if there’s only a flight available on a different airline? Hopefully, it won’t be an issue, but he wants to make sure. Thanks, Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth, There’s no need for him to buy a new flight. His airline ticket is a contract and the airline is required to get him to his destination even if there are delays. He’s obligated to take whatever substitute flight the airline offers him. This means he can’t refuse the substitute flight and expect his travel insurance to reimburse him for the extra cost for buying a new airline ticket.

Just to be clear, if you are on a trip and your flight is delayed, changed or cancelled, your airline is required to get you to your destination. Your travel insurance won’t reimburse you for the purchase of a new airline ticket if you refuse that flight. And, if you’re flying Standby you don’t have a confirmed reservation, but the airline will still try to help you. I only know one company that will insure your other travel arrangements if you are flying Standby.

Inclement weather is a common reason flights are delayed or cancelled. Nearly 10 years ago, my customer Jon from Massachusetts was facing a potential trip cancellation when his flight was cancelled. Here’s what Jon sent me on May 9, 2014 (it’s also here at https://tripinsurancestore.com/travel-insurance-claim-paid-jon-massachusetts/):

Hi Steve,

I wanted to follow up with you on your very helpful telephone calls as it relates to the claim that we ended up filing with Travel Insured. As you may recall, my family of nine (wife and 7 children) were supposed to go on a Sunday to Sunday Royal Caribbean cruise from February 16, 2014 to February 23, 2014 out of Galveston, Texas.

We had been planning to fly in Sunday morning on a non-stop flight from Boston but a snowstorm the Saturday night before caused our Sunday morning flight to be cancelled outright. The ship was to spend Monday and Tuesday at sea and arrive Wednesday in Jamaica and then Thursday in Grand Cayman. Because there had been a string of snowstorms in the Northeast, we weren’t able to get any flights on Monday to Jamaica and the only Tuesday flights had overnight stay-overs en-route making catching the ship on Wednesday risky. Candidly, I wasn’t so thrilled about staying in Jamaica with my wife and young children so I wasn’t that upset. Miraculously, we were able to patch together a set of three flights starting Monday morning at 6 am landing at 10:30 pm in Grand Cayman. We were also able to book a hotel in Grand Cayman for the three nights while we waited for the ship.

Thanks to all of the details about the fine print on your web site (and the advice you gave me on the phone the Friday before when the storm was coming in), Travel Insured paid ($16,300 check came today) for EVERYTHING (except a local cab we took to a restaurant and a few cash gratuities we didn’t have receipts for totaling about $100), including reimbursing us for 4 of the 7 lost days on the ship. What could have been a total disaster ended up becoming a very nice trip for my family (other than the crazy travel day getting there after the snowstorm).

I can’t thank you enough for the phenomenal information and advice on your web site and on the phone. Understanding the fine print in advance made all the difference in the world for our claim. We will be lifetime customers and we recommend you to everyone that we know!

Thanks again and best regards!

Jon L. and Family, Massachusetts
May 9, 2014


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You Need to See a Doctor if You Get Ill or Injured

by Steve Dasseos on November 3, 2023

You Need to See a Doctor if You Get Ill or Injured

First, all our plans cover Covid the same as any illness. And, if you get ill or injured, you need to see a doctor wherever you are in the world. This includes seeing a doctor while still at home before you cancel your trip.

If this sounds redundant, it is. But you’d be surprised by how many people don’t see a doctor. Or, they cancel or interrupt their trip before their doctor tells them they have to that.

Next, if you’ve ever called us for help with a potential or actual claim, you’ll recall that we asked you something like “Have you been to the doctor?” or “What did your doctor tell you to do?” or “Did your doctor tell you that you can’t travel?”.

Unfortunately, more than a few times a month, we talk to people who don’t seek medical advice before cancelling or interrupting their trips due to an illness or injury.

Here’s an email exchange I recently had with a customer on a trip in Australia.

Customer: I tested positive for Covid in Australia. I called my travel agent because there was an excursion today that I will have to cancel. What do I need to do on this end for insurance?

Steve: Make sure you go to a doctor for the diagnosis and then do what he/she tells you to do. A positive result from a home test kit isn’t sufficient proof.

Customer: Okay. I’m in Australia they said I can walk around as long as I have a mask on. But I have a fever and not feeling well. Do you suggest I go to see a doctor for that?

Steve: Yes, but if you can walk around as long as you have a mask on, why did you have to miss your excursion? And, who diagnosed you with Covid?

Customer: I couldn’t go on the excursion because I have a fever. If I felt okay I would go. I don’t know how to get a doctor in Australia. Do I have to see an actual doctor here?

Steve: Yes. If you see a doctor in Australia who confirms you have Covid or another illness that prevents you from doing your excursion, you need to save the documentation and file a claim if you had a financial loss from missing your excursion.

Customer: I had an evisit with a Kaiser doctor in California, but they wouldn’t see me. I had to get a referral to a respiratory specialist from my GP and then get an appointment. I didn’t have enough time. And, I tried an Urgent Care Clinic here, but they said Australia has run out of funding so only certain specialists see Covid patients. I guess I won’t be able to get reimbursed for the missed excursions. You might want to let any of your customers know about the need to see a doctor.

Steve: As a policyholder you have every right to file a claim. When you ask us if your claim will be covered, we tell you to the best of our knowledge. We cannot predetermine claims. However, the only way you can be sure if your claim will be paid or not is after you file your claim. The insurance company has the final say.

As for letting our customers know, I attached screenshots the places where I prominently display the information with text and links. Here they are:


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What Are the Right Travel Dates to Insure?

by Steve Dasseos on October 7, 2023

We are taking a European River cruise, but we are going 5 days early to Holland and adding on extra days in Budapest. Everywhere we look, it says to insure the length of the cruise, but we want to be sure we are also insured for the extra days in case something happens to one of us. Many people on our Facebook group said you could help us figure this out. Thanks, Diane

Hi Diane, Thanks for asking. This is a common question and for some reason, there’s a lot of confusion about travel dates.

The right travel dates are the dates you leave home and return home. When you’re arranging a trip way in advance, it’s likely you won’t know your travel dates until you get your airfare.

Even then, you may not know your exact travel dates until just before you leave because there are constant flight changes. For example, my wife and I are taking an Azamara repositioning cruise in November. Our flights with Delta have been changed 9 times so far.

In addition, you might decide to reschedule your cruise or even cancel it before your penalties start. If you do this, be sure to let us know. If don’t incur any penalties and are not filing a claim, you may change the dates on your policy to the new trip. Click here for more detailed information.

What you don’t want to do is add extra dates to the end of your trip in case you are delayed coming home. There are two reasons why not to do this:

  1. If you have a claim and your policy’s travel dates don’t match you itinerary, your claim will be delayed until the insurance company gets sufficient proof of your right travel dates.
  2. All of our plans have a little-known benefit called “Extension of Coverage”.

What is the Extension of Coverage?
All coverages will be extended if Your entire Trip is covered by this policy and Your return is delayed due to unavoidable circumstances beyond Your control.

This extension of coverage will end on the earlier of the date You reach Your originally scheduled Return Destination or X number of days after the originally Scheduled Return Date. Our policies extend either 7 or 10 days, depending on the policy, after the originally Scheduled Return Date. I’ve seen companies extend it longer in rare situations, too.


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An update on my being healed from Long Covid: I am still free of Long Covid and I explained how it happened it in detail here on April 12, 2023. Since then, dozens of people have contacted me telling me that they’ve been taking 5 – 20 grams of Glycine every day with positive results. I take it and also give 1 gram a day to my little dogs.

And, by the Grace of God, TripInsuranceStore.com has been busy. That’s why I haven’t written anything here since April 12, 2023.

Hi Steve, Thanks for sending me the quotes, but we only want to see Travel Insurance plans that have at least $500,000 Primary Medical. We know it’s very expensive to be hospitalized here in the USA, and are sure it’s even more expensive outside the USA. We’re on Medicare with plan G Medigap plans. Why do you only have one plan with $500,000 Primary Medical? Thanks, Peter and Lynn

Hi Peter and Lynn,

I only have one plan with $500,000 Primary Medical because you don’t need more medical. I often say, “If you have a medical claim outside the USA for more than $100,000, you don’t need to worry about doing the claim paperwork.” In my opinion, the high medical limits are a gimmick to induce someone to pay more for Travel Insurance coverage they will never need.

You’re right about medical care being expensive here in the USA. Howver, it’s the opposite outside the USA. The most expensive medical claim I have ever seen was $74,000. The guy had a heart attack in Singapore in 2015. Accounting for inflation, it’s a still lot less expensive to get ill or injured in other countries.

And, the most expensive medical transportation / evacuation I helped arrange was $127,000. It was on medical jet with a team of six doctors flying from Johannesburg, South Africa to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Using a medical jet for a long distance transport isn’t very common. The majority are done on commercial airlines with medical escorts. The $127,000 transport was paid by someone who didn’t have any travel insurance.

In fact, MedjetAssist states they “maintain a global network of authorized affiliates that provides access to medically equipped aircraft as well utilizing commercial airlines with medical escorts”.

As for the cost of medical care outside the USA, prior to the Covid pandemic, the fastest growing travel segment was Medical Tourism, aka Health Tourism. The CDC defines it as “Medical tourism is the term commonly used to describe international travel for the purpose of receiving medical care.” https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2024/health-care-abroad/medical-tourism

I recently had a customer who, as he was walking around Panama City, had a heart attack. He was in the hospital for 10 days until he was stable enough for a medical transport to a hospital close to his South Carolina home. In addition, his wife was provided a room and meals in the hospital. The final bill was just over $31,000 while the transport was about $40,000!

Since 2001, I’ve have hundreds of medical claims where the medical and transport costs were substatially less expensive than they would have cost in the USA.

In my own experience, I lived in Mexico and Guatemala from August 1985 to July 1986. I never even thought about getting travel medical coverage which was dumb because it would’ve been inexpensive for a 28 year old. In January 1986 I went to the dentist in Antigua, Guatemala for a lot of cavities and a much-needed cleaning. He profusely apologized to me because he had to charge me triple because he knew I could afford it as a US Citizen. The bill came to US $71.


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Steve’s Long Covid Breakthrough

by Steve Dasseos on April 12, 2023

Anyone that’s talked with me in the last 31 months probably heard (as I tend to overshare) about my Long Covid symptoms: Fatigue and brain fog that affected me until the middle of the day. I wrote about it here on Jan. 21, 2023. Not surprisingly, I lost business due to delays in my responses.

Most people extended me grace and kindness and thankfully kept doing business with us. Plus, Deanna, Kim and my programmer Amrit went out of their way to help me for free after I laid them off. TripInsuranceStore.com survived, I hired everyone back and we’re busier than ever.

Disclamer: I am not a doctor. I don’t have any medical training of any kind. Nor, do I have any other training in nutrition, diet, pharmaceuticals or any other related area. I even discount my doctors’ advice because I think I’m smarter than them.

I got the original Covid. My taste and smell came back after 19 months, but the fatigue and brain fog was slowly getting worse. I tried lots of ideas: foods, nutrients and vitamins. I thought if I got in better shape it would help, so I joined Crossfit four months ago even though I’ve never done weight training. I also looked online for anything diet-related to help benefit from Crossfit.

On February 6th I found “Glycine for Bodybuilding, Growth Hormone & Sleep” on PumpSomeIron.com. This article cites many scientific references including the NIH.

Here are the excerpts from Brian’s article that convinced me to try it out:

What is Glycine?

“Glycine is a conditionally essential amino acid – your body can normally cover some of its daily glycine needs, so long as you get enough protein from your diet. The body primarily synthesizes glycine from serine.

According to research, the body can synthesize about 3 grams of glycine per day, which isn’t enough to cover all metabolic costs (most notably, collagen synthesis). The same researchers estimate that the human body’s ability to make glycine from other amino acids falls short by about 10 grams for a 70-kilo (154-pound) person. Meaning, we would need to get these remaining 10-12 grams through diet and supplementation.

This is important to know and act upon because glycine is quite important for the body. Not only is the amino acid is rich in collagen (which makes up about a third of its amino acid profile), but it also plays a role in many other vital processes within the body.”

And

“The importance of good sleep is undeniable because every single system and process is influenced by it in one form or another.

More specifically, sleep impacts cognitive function (memory, ability to focus, thinking skills, etc.), overall motivation to do things, energy levels, well-being, athletic performance, immune system function, hormonal levels, ability to burn fat and build muscle, blood glucose, and much more.”

And

“I started taking 20 grams of glycine every night before bed. The results it had on my ability to fall asleep and my quality of sleep was immediate. I woke up feeling more refreshed and just better after the first night.

It never seemed to stop working I continued to use it and I continued to have great sleep.”

I had some Glycine, so I started taking 20 grams a day. I woke up on Feb 7th at 7:30 am. Carol immediately noticed how alert I was. She asked me what changed. I said I’d tell her soon if it was still working. It’s been working for over 9 weeks! The brain fog and fatigue never came back. I’m sleeping better, but am still working until 1:30 am sending emails, etc.

A few weeks later I found this: “Glycine can prevent and fight virus invasiveness by reinforcing the extracellular matrix“. And, I keeping finding out good things about Glycine.

Where can you find Glycine online? The best places I’ve found are BulkSupplements.com and Amazon.com. I don’t get financial benefit if you buy from these places.


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Travel Insurance Can be Bought After Final Payment

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How to Insure a Future Cruise or Travel Credit

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Why are Travel Insurance Claims Taking So Long to Process?

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Subscribe Why are Travel Insurance Claims Taking So Long to Process? Note: I originally wrote this on July 18, 2020. I updated it today with some more information. This is a typical phone call or email we have been getting for the last twenty nine (29) months: It’s now been 4 (or 5, 6, 7…) […]

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How Does Re-booking My Trip Affect My Initial Deposit Date?

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Does Cancel For Any Reason Cover Me if the Travel Supplier Cancels My Trip?

January 27, 2022

Subscribe My cruise line cancelled my cruise. The cruise was supposed to be leaving 11 days from today. I have a policy with the Cancel for Any Reason Benefit. If I file a claim using my Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, will I receive the 75% cash refund from the insurance company as long […]

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Are Quarantine Costs Covered if I Test Positive for Covid?

December 31, 2021

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

December 29, 2021

Subscribe I originally wrote this on March 6, 2020, but with the confusing guidance from the CDC in respect to the Omicron variant, I am updated this and am moving this post to the top of my archives. The Coronavirus threat is real. Unfortunately, thanks to fear, seemingly “political” science decisions and the lack of […]

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This Little-Known Benefit is Important

November 11, 2021

Subscribe The Extension of Coverage is an Important Benefit What is the Extension of Coverage? If you insured the entire length of your Trip with your Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance Policy and your return is delayed by specific unavoidable circumstances beyond your control, all coverages will be extended to the earlier of the date you […]

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