Vacations To Go is a travel agency that offers thousands of cruises. They also have tour divisions called Africa Safari, Resort Vacations To Go, River Cruise, and Tour Vacations To Go. They all however fall under the umbrella of Vacations To Go, a division of Vacation Publications, Inc.
Strong Insurance Partner
Adequate Emergency Evacuation
Low Medical Insurance Coverage
Only One Insurance Option
No Protection For Medical Cancellation Or Medical Treatment Unless It’s A New Illness Or Injury
Vacations To Go Travel Insurance Plan
Vacations To Go has its own flavor of travel insurance, which is called the “Go Plan,” instead of selling the cruise line’s insurance. For example, if you book a Holland America cruise with Vacations To Go, they only offer you their agency’s travel insurance.
However, you are not allowed buy a Holland America Line’s travel protection plan.
Vacations To Go offers only one travel insurance plan, so you can take-it or leave-it. We suggest you leave it!
This is why you should leave it?
The program Vacation To Go suffers from a conspicuous weakness which is easily ignored. It has the most restrictive and anti-consumer interpretation of a travel insurance policy we’ve ever seen.
Surprisingly, any protection for pre-existing medical conditions is absent in vacations To Go. We don’t only mean offering a Waiver for Pre-existing Medical Conditions is not enough.
We mean that Vacations To Go travel insurance does not cover cancellation, interruption, medical treatment or medical evacuation for any medical condition you’ve ever had previously in your life. The policy only covers a new condition “that first manifests itself during the trip.”
That’s shameful, not to mention downright dangerous to their customers and seniors in particular.
When trekking beyond the US border, AARDY recommends a minimum of $100,000 Medical Insurance, $250,000 Medical Evacuation and a Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver whenever possible.
Regrettably, Vacations To Go trip insurance limits other important benefits as well. Vacations To Go travel insurance covers only $50,000 Medical Insurance, which is half our minimum suggestion.
That amount is too low for a brief hospital stay if you have an accident or need surgery. Medical Insurance of $100,000 is a more appropriate amount for an emergency.
Vacations To Go provides a Medical Evacuation benefit of $250,000. We are happy to see this, as it meets our minimum recommendation.
How to Buy Vacations To Go Travel Insurance
You cannot buy travel insurance through Vacations To Go’s website. In fact, you cannot even book a vacation on their website.
Alternatively, Vacations To Go conducts business onlythrough travel agents over the phone, the same way they did in 1984 when they opened. The insurer will give you a quote for travel insurance with the plan for a flight.
Regardless of how much pressure the sales rep gives you, you’re never required to buy travel insurance through a travel agent or cruise line when booking the trip.
Travel agencies earn commissions selling travel insurance, but they are not experts like insurance agents.
Why Do I Need Travel Insurance?
No one likes to discuss what can go wrong when planning a holiday.
Life has unexpected events like flight delays, lost baggage, or sudden illness or injury of a family member. Travel insurance protects you from these unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.
When you shop for travel insurance plans, look for policies with strong:
Some policies also include special benefits you can get when you purchase the policy shortly after your Initial Trip Payment:
Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver
Cancel For Work Reason
Cancel For Any Reason
Cost of Vacations To Go Travel Insurance
Here is the quote from Vacations To Go:
Vacations To Go charges $756 for travel insurance on this trip. Price-wise, it’s not bad. However, the coverage you receive for your money isn’t up to par.
We also received a quote at AARDY Travel Insurance Marketplace.
The least expensive travel insurance policy that has at least $100,000 Medical Insurance, $250,000 Medical Evacuation and a Waiver of Pre-existing Medical Conditions is iTravelInsured Travel SE for $717.
We also wanted a quote for the least expensive policy with Cancel For Any Reason coverage. iTravelInsured Travel LX costs $1,015.
All travel insurance policies cover unexpected Cancellation and Interruption.
Each policy lists circumstances permitted for cancellation. The more reasons a policy has, the better it is. Basic policies include just a half dozen Cancellation reasons. Comprehensive policies include 20-30 reasons.
If you fall and injure yourself prior to travel and the doctor says you cannot travel, trip cancellation provides a full refund of the prepaid, non-refundable trip costs.
The other side of the coin is Trip Interruption. Interruption reimburses you if you must cut your trip short because of your own illness or injury, or a family emergency back home.
Suppose your mother becomes ill and is fighting for her life in a hospital back home. Naturally, you want to be with her as soon as possible. So, you Interrupt your vacation to return home early.
Trip Interruption reimburses up to 150% of your unused trip costs plus the added expense to travel home for a covered reason. The Interruption reasons are like Cancellations but happen during your trip.
Common reasons to Cancel or Interrupt your trip:
An illness or injury of yourself or traveling companion
Weather causes the airline to cancel your flight
Natural disaster at the destination
Death of a non-traveling family member
Vacations To Go may avoid paying benefits for Cancellation or Interruption due to medical conditions. The policy states, “The Sickness or Injury must first commence while your coverage is in effect under the Policy.”
This restriction applies to not only the traveler but also the non-traveling family members. If your aunt is 91, beat cancer 30 years ago, but dies from a recurrence, Vacations To Go would not pay a Cancellation or Interruption benefit. To us, this situation is nothing short of horrifying.
Even if you’re healthy as a horse before you travel, that does not guarantee you won’t have an unexpected illness or injury on your trip.
Because of the high cost of medical treatment, we recommend at least $100,000 Medical Insurance per person for anyone taking a trip outside the US.
Travel Medical Insurance covers small things like ear infections and the flu, as well as big things like surgery, MRIs and cardiac procedures. For example, if you fell and broke a hip disembarking the cruise ship in Bora Bora, the policy pays for x-rays, casting and a two-day hospital stay.
Vacations To Go only provides Medical Insurance of $50,000 per person. For a serious emergency, that’s not enough protection. In contrast, iTravelInsured Travel SE includes $150,000 Medical Insurance per person, and Travel LX offers $500,000 per person.
Primary vs. Secondary Medical Insurance
In the Vacations To Go policy, it repeatedly harps on the fact they intend to collect payment from your private insurance carrier for anything they can. Vacations To Go intends for this policy to be secondary and in excess of your own health insurance.
While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the policy repeats it far more often and emphatically than most other insurers.
Worth noting, the iTravelInsured Travel SE and Travel LX programs are both Primary Medical Insurance policies. That means they pay for your medical treatment overseas, and don’t care what your private health insurance covers.
Not all policies on AARDY are Primary Medical Insurance, but there are a few.
Vacation To Go travel insurance has a reasonably price with low medical insurance and offers no optional coverages. But even if it had a higher medical benefit, the policy pays you nothing if you cancel your trip due to any health condition you’ve ever had previously. That’s not acceptable.