AIG Travel Guard Travel Insurance Benefits: Trip Saver, Trip Exchange and Trip Inconvenience – Review
AIG Travel Guard policies have several unique benefits: Trip Saver, Trip Exchange, and Trip Inconvenience. You will find these benefits only in the AIG Travel Guard Preferred and AIG Travel Guard Deluxe plans.
Sometimes the weather gets in the way of our travel plans. Occasionally, it makes sense to leave for your trip before bad weather arrives, or begin the trip from a different destination (such as an airport not affected by severe weather).
Trip Saver benefit helps you “save” your trip from Interruption or Delay by reimbursing you if you must begin the trip sooner than your scheduled departure date.
Example: If a snowstorm is coming and your airline canceled your flight up to 3 days in advance, you may have the option to travel a few days prior to departure to avoid possible cancellation of your entire trip. Think of a blizzard or hurricane bearing down on a location and you are able to depart early.
If inclement weather causes the common carrier to either change your departure date to an earlier date or change your departure location, Trip Saver prevents you from having to cancel your entire trip.
Benefits will be paid for:
- Reasonable additional expenses, up to your original scheduled departure date, and
- Additional transportation expenses incurred for travel to your destination or to a place where you can continue your trip.
Reasonable additional expenses are expenses which are necessarily incurred as for:
- Essential telephone calls
- Local transportation (taxi fares, mass transit, rental vehicle, etc.)
- Parking costs
- Internet usage fees
What is a common carrier?
Common Carrier means an air, land, or sea conveyance operated under a license for the transportation of passengers for hire. In other words, cruise line, airline, train, bus, ferry and the like.
Trip Saver – Real Example
A client planned a mid-December Caribbean cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale. They bought airfare months earlier to depart for Florida the day before the cruise.
A week before the cruise, the weather forecast for 2-3 days prior to departure showed snow and ice coming for their area. Since the client lived in North Carolina, snow and ice was something that normally shut down air travel.
The client was concerned they would miss the cruise because one of two things would happen:
- They would board their plane connecting through Charlotte and end up stuck in Charlotte overnight or longer, or
- They would not even leave for Charlotte and end up stuck at home for at least 2 days due to weather.
Either way, the client was sure they’d end up missing the departure of the cruise.
Watching the weather closely, the client called the airline to find out the flight status. The airline said they issued a winter weather travel advisory for that airport and changed the flight to depart 2 days earlier.
The client spent an extra night in Florida with an additional lodging cost. They also had additional meals for which they had not planned.
With Travel Guard Trip Saver, the travel insurance policy reimbursed the client up to the maximum amount stated in the policy for:
- Additional night of lodging
- Additional meals for an extra day
- Extra day for rental car
The policy also began trip coverage like Interruption, Baggage and Medical Insurance earlier than stated on the policy.
Without Trip Saver
The client would pay all out of pocket costs while in Florida for an extra day: lodging, rental car, and food.
In addition, the client would not have Baggage, Medical Insurance or Medical Evacuation protection since they started their trip a few days earlier.
Trip Exchange is a useful benefit that works in parallel with Trip Cancellation.
If you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason, you can instead use Trip Exchange and transfer the trip to another date or location with the same travel supplier.
These are a few of the most common covered cancellation reasons:
- Sickness or injury of a traveler
- Grave illness or death of a family member
- Inclement weather causing cancellation or delay of the trip
- Natural disaster makes the destination inaccessible or uninhabitable
- Destination under hurricane warning
- Inclement weather ceases common carrier transportation
- Traveler called to military service or leave is rescinded
- Traveler involuntarily terminated or laid off
- Traveler required to work during the trip
- Terrorism in a city on the itinerary
There are many more reasons, so check the policy certificate for more details.
Example: A hurricane recently hit the destination to which you’re traveling. You can transfer your trip to another destination/region away from where you originally going and be reimbursed up to the coverage limits for the change.
The AIG Travel Guard Deluxe and Travel Guard Preferred include Trip Exchange benefit.
Trip Exchange reimburses up to 50% of the trip cost (maximum of $75,000) for the following:
- If you cancel the trip due to a reason covered under Trip Cancellation; and
- You choose to transfer your reservation from the canceled trip to a future trip with the same travel supplier; and
- Your future trip costs more than the canceled trip
The policy reimburses you for:
- The difference in cost between your original reservation and your new reservation
- Change fees paid to transfer your reservation
- Cancellation penalties for reservations that can’t be transferred
- The cost paid for your AIG Travel Guard Deluxe policy
It is important to note that Trip Cancellation and Trip Exchange benefits cannot be combined.
Trip Exchange – Real Example
A family of 8 from Chicago planned a 5-night vacation to warm Disney World in Orlando followed by a 4-night Disney cruise during the chilly month of January.
Three days before departure, two kids come down with the flu and the family must cancel the trip. Although this is a covered cancellation because the pediatrician told them not to travel, the kids are devastated. They had been looking forward to this trip for a year.
Instead of canceling and getting a full refund, the family used the Trip Exchange benefit to rebook the trip to a later date in March. Because cruises cost more in March than in January, the additional expense charges the family nearly $1,000 more.
Disney easily rebooked the family for new park passes and cruise tickets, but the airfare was non-refundable and non-transferable.
Trip Exchange reimbursed the family for the additional $1,327 to change their Disney vacation. It also covered the cancellation penalty for the airfare and Trip Cancellation for the air portion provided them with money to buy new airfare. Finally, it refunded the family for the cost of the original travel insurance plan.
Without Trip Exchange
If the family had not used Trip Exchange, they would have been reimbursed for all of their non-refundable, prepaid travel arrangements, like Disney parks, the Disney cruise, and the airfare.
The family was eager to take the trip, so it would have been more of a hassle and disappointment to cancel the entire trip than to rebook it using Trip Exchange.
If they rebooked the trip themselves for March, they would have paid the additional $1,327 out of pocket instead.
If you experience a travel inconvenience, the policy reimburses you for one occurrence of each unforeseen event.
The maximum limit payable between all events will not exceed the Inconvenience Benefit limit shown ($250 for each event, up to a maximum of 3 events or $750 per person per trip).
The Company will pay a benefit to the Insured for the amount shown in the Schedule or Declarations Page if, while on a Trip, any of the following Unforeseen events occur:
The arrival of the Insured’s airline flight at the Destination or Return Destination is delayed by 12 or more hours by the Common Carrier, based on the arrival time at the ticketed arrival airport. In the event of a dispute regarding the length of the delay, information from the U.S. Department of Transportation or other similar governmental sources will be considered the final authority.
The complete cancellation of a Common Carrier flight on which the Insured had a confirmed ticket.
The Insured’s Common Carrier flight is delayed on the runway for 2 or more consecutive hours. In the event of a dispute regarding the length of the delay, information from the U.S. Department of Transportation or other similar governmental sources will be considered the final authority.
The Insured’s cruise does not stop at a scheduled port of call due to Inclement Weather, a Terrorist Incident, a medical incident involving another passenger on the ship, or a Natural Disaster.
River Cruise Diversion
The Insured’s river cruise is unable to sail due to insufficient or excess water levels, and the Travel Supplier provides only land-based alternative accommodations.
AIG Travel Guard Deluxe includes all of the benefits of Preferred and:
The ski resort, golf course or amusement park at the Insured’s Destination closes all or part of its facilities due to lack of snow, Inclement Weather or Strike causing cessation of services during operating hours
the Insured’s arrival at the Return Destination is delayed by 2 or more days due to a Common Carrier delay. Documentation that the Insured is scheduled to work, such as a written statement from the employer, will be required. In the situation of self-employment, proof of self-employment and a notarized statement confirming that the Insured is unable to travel due to his or her job obligations will be required.
The Insured’s Common Carrier flight arrives at a different airport than the originally ticketed Destination.
Rental Vehicle Breakdown
The Insured’s rental vehicle breaks down, causing the Insured to arrive at least 24 hours late at the Destination or Return Destination.
The Insured is treated by a Physician for a Sickness or Injury during the Trip, and is required to stay on bed rest or is quarantined to their room for at least 48 hours.
The Insured is required to stay at a different hotel than the one originally booked due to an insect or rodent infestation.
The hotel the Insured is booked to stay in is undergoing construction or renovation, which prevents the Insured from accessing the pool, fitness room, water park, or restaurants which the Insured would otherwise have access to.
The Insured’s Baggage is delayed for 24 hours en route to the Destination or Return Destination.
The Insured’s Common Carrier transportation is delayed from reaching the Destination or Return Destination for 12 or more hours.
Rental Home Lockout
If the key(s) to the Insured’s hotel or vacation rental property are lost, stolen or damaged, preventing access to the property for 3 or more hours.
Credit/Debit Card Cancelled
The Insured’s credit or debit card is canceled while on the Trip for reasons outside the Insured’s control.
Trip Inconvenience – Real Example
A family of 4 from Georgia went to the Atlanta airport to fly to Miami to embark on a cruise. Excited, they boarded their aircraft and waited in line to take off for a short flight to Florida.
After 30 minutes, the pilot told the passengers there would be a delay. After an hour, the family still sat on the runway. They waited 2.5 hours to fly to Miami. The flight only took 2 hours. After a 3 hour wait, they finally departed and landed in Miami. Fortunately, the family’s cruise did not leave until the next day.
Exhausted, they checked into their hotel only to find it was under construction. After hours of travel misery, the kids were excited about playing in the pool and the adults were looking forward to the hot tub. Unfortunately, all of those amenities were closed.
When they checked out the next morning, the front desk told them their credit card was canceled and asked for another payment method. While one client paid the bill, the other client called the credit card company. The bank told them that an airport kiosk they used stole their card number and was making fraudulent purchases.
At last, the family arrived at the cruise ship. Happily, the children and parents headed straight for the pool. The next day, the ship was scheduled to dock at a private island in the Bahamas, but sadly, the winds were too high and made it too dangerous to dock. Instead, the ship spent the day at sea. They had looked forward to going to the beach.
After 5 pleasant days on the cruise ship, the captain informed the passengers they would have to stay out to sea for an extra 3 days because a hurricane was about to bear down on Miami. Although they were pleased to enjoy 3 extra days aboard the ship for free, the parents were unhappy about missing workdays unexpectedly.
With the Trip Inconvenience benefit, this family could claim $250 for each of the events: Runway Delay, Hotel Construction, Credit/Debit Card Cancelled, Cruise Diversion, Missed Work.
However, the policy only pays for a maximum of 3 of these occurrences, for a total of $750 per person.
Without Trip Inconvenience
Without the Trip Inconvenience benefit, the family would not have been financially compensated for any of these situations.
The runway delay is not covered under the Trip Delay benefit because the delay was less than 5 hours.
Hotel construction, cruise diversion, canceled credit card and missed work are not covered by any other benefits in the policy.
General Travel Insurance Recommendations
We always suggest travelers carefully consider if trip insurance is right for their trip.
The Waiver to cover Pre-existing Medical Conditions is only available during a short period of time after you place the first payment or deposit for your trip. It makes sense to get the policy as soon as possible after paying the deposit.
Keep in mind, most but not all travel insurance policies offer a Waiver.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Waiver
As a rule, travel insurance plans do not cover Pre-existing Medical Conditions.
However, many plans offer a Waiver that allows them to cover Pre-existing Medical Conditions. To qualify for the waiver, the insured must:
- Be fit to travel on the day of policy purchase, and
- Buy the policy within 14-21 days of making the Initial Trip Deposit or Payment (number of days depends on the policy)
Some policies also require that you insure 100% of all trip costs subject to a cancellation fee or penalty.
Does Travel Insurance Cost Less if I Buy Directly from AIG?
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AardvarkCompare is a travel insurance marketplace, which means that we compare your travel insurance needs through multiple insurers. We are very selective about the plans we offer on our site.
So, you’ll always find the lowest possible price and value right here at AardvarkCompare.
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