Travel Insurance (Pre-Travel Waivers)

By WillTravel,

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One reason I'm really reluctant to try Priceline for flights is the nonrefundable, non-changeable aspect. I know from experience that a work or family crisis or illness can interfere with whatever dates I choose, especially if they are far in the future. However, I was wondering about booking a Priceline flight and purchasing a pre-travel 3rd-party waiver. Has anyone done that? Could it possibly work?

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I am not sure what you mean by a 'pre-travel 3rd party waiver,' but I believe a good-quality trip cancellation insurance will cover most non-refundable non-cancellable and non-transferable items. I don't think it matters whether it is purchased through Priceline or a travel agent.

I have a credit card which provides comprehensive travel insurance benefits and the trip cancellation coverage has no exclusions that I can see that would relate to Priceline or Hotwire purchases. I do pay an annual fee for the additional insurance coverage.

However, if you have to purchase trip cancellation insurance for each trip you take, I think it could become quite costly and may not be worth it. AAA or AARP memberships might make it more affordable.

Is this what you are asking? It would be interesting to know if anyone has any experience with this type of insurance claim....

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Scorp, what I had in mind by a pre-travel waiver is something like I paid for with my Alaska Airlines holiday package to Disneyland. For $31 per person, I could cancel the trip at any time (up to two hours prior to departure) for any reason, and it would only cost me $100 per person (I think these are the figures).

Obviously being able to cancel for any reason at all is the best type of insurance to have. However, I'd also consider insurance that would just cover the possibility of cancellation due to illnesses (me or family).

Scorp, what type of credit card do you have? Do you have to pay an annual fee? It might be worth it for trip insurance.

I'd also like to hear if anyone has used their trip cancellation insurance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I talked to a travel agent today and he recommended TravelGuard's travel insurance. From what I understand, they do have what amounts to trip cancellation insurance. So booking a charter flight doesn't have to be a huge risk. From what he told me, the trip cancellation insurance would cover Priceline also (air or hotel), but I'd want to verify that extensively first.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry, WillTravel, we were out of town quite a bit and I missed this question. I use a Canadian card (and I think you are Canadian, also?) from Bank of Montreal, called Mosaik. It used to be the BMO Platinum MasterCard, now it is a collection of services that you can put together to suit your needs. The annual fee is based on the number and type of services. For example, you can select an AirMiles option, as well as Travel Medical coverage and Travel Insurance options. I think my annual fee is quite high, though. Some people might find it more economical to simply purchase travel insurance through the Automobile Association, if they are members.

I know that the CIBC Aerogold Visa has options to purchase travel insurance, but I am not familiar with the amounts they charge. You also accumulate Aeroplan miles on this card that can be redeemed for Air Canada or other Star Alliance airline flights.

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Scorp, thanks for replying.

I purchased a Manulife travel insurance policy -- about $110 Canadian -- for my upcoming trip to Europe. My son and I each had to buy our own policies. It allows us to cancel the trip for health reasons, and a few other reasons (I remember that being put in quarantine was one of them). It also provides emergency health coverage and trip interruption insurance. I also have health coverage through work, but our insurance agent said most employee policies are not that comprehensive for travel.

I found it seemed to take forever to accumulate any air miles, but maybe I'll start doing that again. Right now all I get air miles from is Safeway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone have any experience using Priceline's travel insurance? I've added it a couple of times but I wonder how strict they are when it comes time to use it (i.e. If you have the flu but are not hospitalized will they accept that as cancellation due to illness?)

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