Tauck Guest Protection Plan/travel insurance

Just an FYI to those who buy this plan who are coming in several days before or staying after the tour. There is a window for your coverage. My dates of the tour are Sept. 12-Sept 25 and this is what is shown on the insurance coverage.

I called them (Berkely Care is the underwriter, not Tauck) to see about coverage for the additional days I will be in Italy and found out my flights to and from Italy from the West Coast of the US, as well as my flight from Venice to Naples on the day the tour starts, is not covered because I fell outside the 14 day window of the tour dates for Part A (air flight, trip interruption, trip delay). Found it hard to believe they wouldn't cover me for the flight on the day the tour started, but it was verified. That means not only is the cost of my ticket not covered in the event of an emergency cancellation, but neither is my baggage covered on the flights (oh my, memories of my daughter in Italy for 5 days without her luggage!!). Also, there is a 4 day window for all other coverage (medical, baggage, travel accident). These window periods are "sliding" (meaning how you divide the days before and after the trip makes no difference just as long as you don't exceed the total number of days of the window).

So for my peace of mind, I bought an additional policy to cover the total time I'm in Italy just to make sure I have medical protection and baggage coverage in Italy while outside the window. I'm only posting this to let others know of this restriction in case they extend their vacation beyond the Tauck tour dates.

Comments

  • Thank you for the info. Next trip I go on will look into other coverage. I had no idea I was not covered on my extended days.
  • Crackers54 - I wasn't sure how many travelers actually go more than 4 days outside of their tour dates, and probably even less go 14 days beyond their tour dates for flights, but I know some must, such as yourself. Glad I called and found out.
  • Petals wrote:
    Just an FYI to those who buy this plan who are coming in several days before or staying after the tour. There is a window for your coverage. My dates of the tour are Sept. 12-Sept 25 and this is what is shown on the insurance coverage.

    I called them (Berkely Care is the underwriter, not Tauck) to see about coverage for the additional days I will be in Italy and found out my flights to and from Italy from the West Coast of the US, as well as my flight from Venice to Naples on the day the tour starts, is not covered because I fell outside the 14 day window of the tour dates for Part A (air flight, trip interruption, trip delay). Found it hard to believe they wouldn't cover me for the flight on the day the tour started, but it was verified. That means not only is the cost of my ticket not covered in the event of an emergency cancellation, but neither is my baggage covered on the flights (oh my, memories of my daughter in Italy for 5 days without her luggage!!). Also, there is a 4 day window for all other coverage (medical, baggage, travel accident). These window periods are "sliding" (meaning how you divide the days before and after the trip makes no difference just as long as you don't exceed the total number of days of the window).

    So for my peace of mind, I bought an additional policy to cover the total time I'm in Italy just to make sure I have medical protection and baggage coverage in Italy while outside the window. I'm only posting this to let others know of this restriction in case they extend their vacation beyond the Tauck tour dates.

    Hi Petals,

    I am not sure I am reading your letter correctly, or I think you might have gotten some misinformation concerning your travel insurance purchased through Tauck.

    We have gone on several Tauck trips always with their insurance. I believe that our insurance covered us from the time we left home until we returned home. All of our trips had either pre-excursions or post-excursions and definitely exceeded 14 days.

    Some years ago we had to cancel a trip due to a medical situation which occurred 3 weeks prior to our planned trip which included flights we had secured on our own and a few extra days booked through Tauck, but extending beyond the scheduled Tauck trip. Not only did we receive full reimbursement from the insurance, we also received full reimbursement for the airline imposed fee we incurred for reinstating our frequent flier mileage due to our cancelled flight.

    As is the case with many agents in the travel sector, sometimes you get different answers from different people. I would try again and hope for the best. Sherry
  • Thanks for the response, Sherry. I did speak to them on 3 separate occasions, 3 different people. Although I did get a different answer on how the 14 days is counted (I was trying to argue the point that if my flight was within the 14 days before, or even after, why wouldn't it be covered - or at least my flight on the day the tour started), the person did check with someone else and came back with the same answer I had gotten earlier. Plus he understood where I was coming from and agreed with me, it still didn't change the fact that I was not covered on any of my flights. Knowing how insurance companies work, the Cust. Svc. Rep would have had to check with the underwriter before getting back to me. Let's hope and pray I don't need to file a claim as there will be an issue with the overlap of coverage on part of the trip.
  • Could be they are using different insurance or the rules changed. I went just last year as solo traveler and I don't remember paying over 2000 more that a double, but that is what it is now. Still can't believe there is that big of a difference in the price.
  • I am feeling most alarmed if what you are saying is true, our past trip we left on the 14th, arrived on the 16th, two days before tour started on 18th, that's 14 days right there. Our next trip we already booked, 2 extra nights at the beginning and 1 extra at end. As it takes two days to get to some locations on the other side of the world, that's iffy too. I think Tauck needs to address this issue for clarification and although we should be reading the fine print, I assume they would tell us when we book that we are not covered. I just think this cannot be right or we pay an additional premium to cover it
  • I think it is about time for Tim Tauck to step up and address this issue!

    I personally otherwise insured my plane tickets to S Africa since I did not make those through Tauck. I will be there one day prior to trip with an uninsured "prayer" all goes well.
  • I'm sorry if my post created confusion/misunderstanding. I guess we all have different definitions for the word "several" when it comes to "several days before or after the tour". British, you should be fine if you come in a day or two before and stay a day or two after the tour. The window period is defined as before and after the trip; in other words outside of the actual tour dates. It's my understanding it does not include the tour dates when they are talking about the window period.

    For a better understanding on the 14 day window, it means a total of 14 days pre and/or post tour. In my situation, my flight leaves on Sept 1 and returns on Oct 2. The tour dates are Sept 12-25. So I am traveling 11 days pre tour and 7 days post tour, for a total of 18 days outside of the tour dates. That exceeds the 14 day window and my flights and baggage on the 3 flights are not covered. As to the 4 day window on the other parts of the coverage, that 4 days also is pre tour and/or post tour (i.e. arriving 3 days before the tour and staying 1 day after the tour; arriving 2 days before and staying 2 days after, or any combination as long as it doesn't exceed the 4 days pre and/or post). Am I clear as mud?!

    My post was limited to the plane flights and possible loss of baggage during the flights because I thought my flights were covered when I purchased the policy, no matter when I left or returned from the tour. I was surprised to find out I wasn't covered when I called to ask another question. The insurance company did confirm other portions of Part A (trip interruption, partial room cancellation and trip delay) are covered. My post is mainly for travelers who will be staying "many"? days before and/or after a Tauck tour.

    Crackers54: Yes, I did say "ouch" when I saw the price of a single. Then I read somewhere in the booklet you get from Tauck that the hotels in Europe usually assign singles to smaller rooms. Double ouch! But I'm sure these hotels are all beautiful.
  • Having briefly read the policy last night, I noticed the 14 days that you did not mention in your original post. That is why I feel you are possibly incorrect in some of your info for people like me. I really think Tauck would have told me the insurance did not cover my entire trip when I booked it and offered me an extension of insurance policy and an extra premium. I have done that on other vacations.
  • Are you booking all of those hotel days pre and post with Tauck ? Or are they also being booked on your own ?
  • Good point, petals I assume they Re on your own. I know Jan has issues with Tauck if she wants to stay longer than 3 days before the start of a trip, maybe she knows.
  • I wish I could say you guys were right in that I misunderstood. Unfortunately I can’t. Called them again today. Love the “well yes and no” answers. All the people I have spoken with at Berkely are very nice. I did get a different answer on the coverage for the flight from Venice to Naples. She said what I did (purchasing the additional policy) was right for my situation.

    When all is said and done, I would not have changed my mind on purchasing the protection plan because the biggest cost for me on this vacation is the cost of the tour. IF anything should happen, I will just eat the cost of the lost airfare or if the airline loses my baggage (pretty sure the airline covers some costs for lost baggage).

    By the way, I did not book my flights through Tauck because their quote was higher and I’m travelling with someone else who is not doing the tour. I did not book my other hotels through Tauck because I wanted to stay at specific hotels. I don’t think of Tauck as a generic travel agency, but I guess I could have called and found out. Would it have made a difference? Don't know. Probably one of those "yes and no" answers too.

  • Petals, I think all your difficulties stem from not booking your hotels and flights with Tauck, also, why did you not call Tauck instead of the insurance company? I think because as far as Tauck and your insurance company is concerned, your particular contract with both of them begins on the day of the tour. My contract begins when I took the flight and hotels they booked for me, can you see the difference? I do hope all goes well and you can put tis behind you, best wishes Brit
  • edited August 2014
    I see your point, British, about having Tauck do everything pre and post tour. Curious and wondering what if, I called Tauck to find out so I know for future trips. Turns out they couldn't have done everything for me. This is what she told me:

    Yes they can make roundtrip flights to Venice “as long as it was available with their contract air” (ins. cost being covered if I needed to cancel the trip). No, they couldn’t book my boyfriend’s flights since he isn’t going on tour. If I changed my mind about the flights they made for me (ie not being able to get him on the same flights/sitting together; wanted to fly different airline; found less expensive tickets), I can cancel my flights with them and we make them on our own just as long as I do it before the Tauck payment is due. (Clarifies the more than 14 days pre/post tour rule – when someone else besides Tauck makes the air flight reservation.)

    No, they could not make my hotel reservations, 18 additional days, because “we can do 2 pre-night and 2 post-night reservations related to the tour”.

    As for insurance questions, the Tauck rep said that I should talk with the insurance company on coverage specifics, because “insurance rules can be confusing”. I chuckled at this because my career was spent in the insurance industry (different line) and one thing I learned, it’s go to the source that makes the decisions on coverage/policy interpretation. Hence my call to Berkley and not Tauck.

    Being the great company Tauck is, whatever type of problem a traveler has, I have no doubt they would try their best to fix it.

    Getting excited to see Italy and I plan to have a wonderful time! Thanks for all your thoughts and feedback, British. Sounds like you have been on many Tauck tours; I’m jealous .
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