Why TFE Insists On Travel Insurance
Should I purchase travel insurance?
That is a question most people ask themselves when booking travel packages. Typical things we hear from people contemplating the need for insurance:
- Is travel insurance really worth it
- What does it even do for me
- I could spend that money on a nice dinner wherever I’m traveling instead
- I’m already paying a lot of money for this trip and don’t want to spend more
- The added expense isn’t justified
Aside from those questions, many make assumptions that are incorrect, such as:
- My homeowner’s insurance will cover me
- My medical insurance will cover me
- If something happens I can go the local U.S. Embassy and they will take care of everything
Fact is you can’t afford not to purchase travel insurance for each traveler in your family when spending hundreds to thousands of dollars. Frankly, you can’t afford to go without travel insurance whenever you are traveling out of the country, period.
Here are 10 reasons why Total Futbol Experience insists you purchase travel insurance
(Note: TFE doesn’t provide travel insurance, work with any travel insurers, or receive remuneration of any kind from travel insurance companies)
- It is relatively inexpensive. Travel policies can be easily purchased online for less than one hundred dollars up to several hundred dollars per traveler, depending on the provider and what’s included in coverage. For an overseas trip costing several thousand dollars or more, that is an expense that is more than justified.
Example of pricing – we just priced a policy in Aug 2021 for $3,330 trip to Netherlands in July 2022. A policy from a large insurer providing major benefit coverage (trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical evacuation, emergency medical, baggage loss, etc.) costs just $133.
- Covid remains an issue and it pays to protect your travel plans against anything Covid-related that may be going on when you book, or anytime thereafter, right up until the time you travel, during your trip, and up until the time you return home. When purchasing, be careful to ensure the plan you select provides Covid-related coverage.
- Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) travel insurance is a must in today’s day and age when purchasing any type of travel package. There’s no way to know what might happen in life, so it’s best to have coverage that protects your investment (trip cost), along with the medical, baggage loss, flight cancellations, trip interruption and other things normally covered by travel insurance.
CFAR is usually an inexpensive additional premium protection that can be add to a travel insurance policy. But you have to be careful when purchasing your travel policy that CFAR is offered with the policy you select. And you must be careful to purchase CFAR when buying the travel policy, as you won’t be able to add the coverage after the initial travel insurance purchase. Also, it’s very important to know you must purchase the travel policy with CFAR coverage right away when purchasing your trip (when you make an initial trip payment). Almost all carriers require that you purchase your travel insurance with CFAR coverage within one to no more than 21 days or the CFAR coverage may be deemed ineligible for reimbursement upon cancellation, no matter the reason.
To demonstrate the fact that CFAR is affordable, we just priced a policy in Aug 2021 for a trip to Netherlands in July 2022. A policy from a large insurer providing major benefit coverage (trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical evacuation, emergency medical, baggage loss, etc.) cost just $133. Adding CFAR for that policy is an additional $66 for coverage that provides reimbursement of up to 75% of the Trip Cost when you cancel for any reason up to 48 hours prior to departure.
- Because medical emergencies can and do happen when people are traveling. That can be while sightseeing, getting out of bed, or during a match or training session. Allianz reports that they receive more than 4,000 calls each year from their customers who are experiencing a medical crisis during their trip. The most common emergencies they see are the following:
- Fractures from falls, often to the hip, ankle, tibia, and fibula
- Cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes
- Trauma, often from car accidents and scooter/moped crashes
- Pulmonary/respiratory problems
Not surprisingly, when you elect to forego travel insurance, if these or any other minor or major injury or medical emergency occurs, you are on your own. With travel insurance, most insurers have a 24-hour assistance line you contact if something happens.
- Medical expenses overseas (routine or emergency) are costly and generally not covered by your domestic health insurance. Most hospitals will require a credit card and expect payment up front before you receive care. Bottom line, if you’re not prepared to pay all your medical bills out of pocket, you need travel insurance.
Be sure to review the medical benefits available with the plan you purchase to determine what they will do in the event of an incident or emergency.
- Guaranteeing payment to doctors and hospitals so you can be treated as quickly as possible
- They continue to monitor treatment while you are still on your trip
- In addition to getting you the treatment necessary, they provide guidance and reassurance, and, if necessary, determine how to safely transport you home
- It goes without saying that it can get really expensive if you or a loved one/traveling companion (for whatever reason) has to be medically evacuated when overseas – especially when that involves ambulances and/or helicopters.
Without travel insurance, you may have to pay an enormous sum. According to Allianz, these are estimates for emergency medical evacuation in some popular destinations (they represent just the cost of transporting you to the hospital – not treating you):
- Mexico: $15,000-$20,000
- South America: $100,000
- Germany, France or other developed European nations: $50,000-$100,000
- Russia: $90,000-$150,000 (weather conditions can dramatically increase costs)
- Asia, Australia, and the Middle East: $220,000
Travel insurance with emergency medical transportation benefits can pay for you to be transported to the nearest appropriate facility if a covered illness or injury occurs during your trip. Especially if/when the local medical facilities are unable to provide appropriate treatment. The medical transportation benefits are one of the most compelling reason why travel insurance is worth the cost.
- Because you can’t risk losing money on an emergency trip cancellation. A travel insurance plan with trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs when you must cancel for a covered reason. These covered reasons vary according to the plan you buy, but generally include things like:
- The insured traveler, traveling companion or a family member suffers a serious covered illness or injury
- The insured traveler, traveling companion or a family member dies
- Your airline, cruise line or other carrier ceases services for at least 24 consecutive hours due to a strike, natural disaster, bad weather or FAA-mandated shutdown
- Your destination is rendered uninhabitable because of a natural disaster, fire, flood, burglary or vandalism
If you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason, trip insurance can save your vacation investment — but if you don’t have insurance, you could lose it all.
If you’re wondering, “Should I buy trip cancellation insurance?” the answer is always yes.
- Delayed and cancelled flights are a reality that all of us must deal with at some time or another. According to airline industry statistics, only about 80 percent of domestic flights arrived on time in 2017. Nearly 162,000 flights were delayed, and around 15,000 flights were cancelled.
Travel insurance with trip delay benefits can reimburse you for reasonable expenses — up to the limit specified in the policy — for meals, accommodation and transportation expenses incurred because of a covered travel delay of six or more consecutive hours. It can also reimburse the unused part of your prepaid, nonrefundable expenses — like the tour you missed because you didn’t get to your destination on time.
- When it comes to purchasing a trip, the tour operators, cruise lines, airlines, travel agents, etc. that you work with to make the trip happen all have cancellation policies that limit the amount of refund or reimbursement you’ll receive if you cancel your trip, or even if the trip is cancelled for reasons beyond your control. CFAR insurance protects your trip investment.
- Peace of mind is priceless – certainly worth the cost of an inexpensive travel insurance policy for you and each of your travelers. The point of a tour or trip is to enjoy yourself and create lifetime memories as worry-free as possible. Travel insurance can ease your anxiety because you know you have protection in case of most of the common travel mishaps.
There is a lot to learn when contemplating the purchase of travel insurance. Here are a couple of good articles to start with:
Here a couple travel Insurance review sites worth visiting for policies and pricing:
TFE Policy on Refunds
We work hard to create the best trip and experience possible at an affordable price. We know that international travel – especially soccer tours involving larger groups – are not cheap. Creating life-altering experiences that shape the lives of our young athletes is a huge investment for any family. At TFE, we’ve been there as parents and coaches, and don’t want to see you lose money on your investment.
Unlike travel agents, we are tour operators and organize trips for large groups – generally 20 or more guests, up to much larger groups. We typically work with a large assortment of vendors when putting each trip or tour together for our groups, ranging from airlines and bus companies to hotel operators, museums, attraction providers, venue operators, restaurants, and much more.
When it comes to working with groups, most vendors require full payment or deposits well in advance of the actual trip and have strict cancellation policies and procedures. Our experience is that refunds, especially on international trips and when working with small companies in foreign locales, are often minimal, if at all.
Because of this, our policy for a trip cancellation by a customer is no refund. Why? First, we know we are unlikely to recover a refund from our vendors in the case of a customer cancellation. Second, as tour operators making arrangements with a large assortment of vendors, we have to guarantee the number of attendees so the various vendors will feel safe making the arrangement or reservation. A large group cancelling could hurt a business, so they require attendance guarantees from our end. A cancellation can jeopardize both the reservation and the amount we previously paid in. This is why CFAR (cancel for any reason is so important!)
In the case of a cancellation of the trip due to things such as travel restrictions (Covid restrictions in 2020 and 2021 are examples), a natural disaster, etc., where the trip must be cancelled, TFE will refund the participant up to the full amount paid at the time the trip was cancelled, even if for some reason the customer’s travel insurance provider denies their claim, and regardless of what we are, or are not, able to recover from vendors.
Combined with the purchase of CFAR insurance, our policy ensures customers are able to protect their investment (trip cost “paid” to date) and have peace of mind in the event of the rare cancellation that is beyond their control.