Monday, August 24, 2009

Travel Guard - Real Life Experience

Trying to decide if purchasing Travel Guard Trip Insurance is a good idea or not? A client brought us the following letter today:

Dear World Travel Center Client:
Are you getting ready to book a cruise or the trip of a lifetime? Last year, we were in your shoes too. Twice in two years we were fortunate to book & take two cruises - one to the Bahamas and then our dream cruise to Alaska, both booked through World Travel Center.

As you get ready to book, and start paying on your trip, can you say you're prepared to pay any up front charges that might be incurred if you or a family member in your party takes sick? If the answer is YES, then stop reading. If the answer is NO, or maybe, then read my story.

In May 2009, we were sailing the quiet waters of the Inside Passage on the second night of our cruise aboard the Star Princess cruise ship. We had two cabins, my husband & son in an inside cabin while my daughter & I were in the balcony cabin across the hall. Around 2:00 am, my phone rang & it was my husband telling me he was in the ship's medical center & had been there for over an hour. He was having chest pains! I immediately got dress, moved my daughter over to the inside cabin with our son & went to check on him. The doctor & nurse said all of his heart readings were fine, but he was in significant pain. They thought he might have an ulcer or some other undiagnosed condition. They would have to disembark us at our first port-of-call in Ketchikan & take him to the hospital. I had to break this terrible news to our children & pack up the cabins. We were terrified!

At the hospital, my husband was feeling much better. The doctor there ran a couple more tests & diagnosed him with a Gastro Esophageal Reflux attack. His esophagus had been in spasms, probably due to the change in eating habits, sleep & so on. We loaded up on Maalox & he was instructed to double up his prescription GERD medication & we returned to the ship to finish an incredible trip.

In the end, I had to pay off the ship of their just over $2,000.00 bill from the medical center & the Ketchikan hospital billed our major medical insurance company. We paid nearly $3,5000.00 out-of-pocket for this "minor" medical emergency. What if he had needed surgery? What if we had needed to fly home from Ketchikan after completely cancelling our trip? Travel Guard would have paid for all of this. They also paid for the 1/2 day motel bill & trip interruption in Ketchikan.

The bottom line, as you book your trip, think about that couple of hundred dollars you are being asked to pay for travel insurance. Ask yourself if you could afford buying plane tickets to get home, several days motel bills & medical bills raked up in a foreign hospital that your major medical doesn't cover. This is just our story. Think about it.