Costco Travel Insurance Reviews: What You Need to Know Before You Book

Costco Travel Insurance Reviews
Costco Travel Insurance Reviews | photo courtesy | Facebook

 

If you’re a Costco Travel  Insurance member preparing for a trip, you may be contemplating the purchase of travel insurance through Costco.

Offered by AIG Travel Guard, Costco Travel Insurance raises queries about its merits, pros, and cons compared to other travel insurance choices.

In this article, I’ll address these inquiries and draw on personal experiences and research.

What is Costco Travel Insurance?

The Costco Travel Insurance plan offers protection for people who arrange trips through Costco Travel.

It covers medical expenses, canceled or interrupted trips, lost or delayed luggage, emergency evacuation, and more that may happen while traveling.

Notably, it provides an exemption for pre-existing medical conditions diagnosed within the previous year.

The insurance applies to trips up to 150 days long, with protection lasting up to 365 days maximum.

Coverage limits vary depending on a traveler’s age and gender, ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 for things like medical costs and canceled or interrupted bookings.

The policy does not cover pre-existing conditions identified more than 12 months ago.

It also lacks optional add-ons available through other insurers, such as canceling for any reason, needing to cancel for work reasons, or participating in adventure sports.

In general, Costco Travel Insurance offers good basic coverage for Costco customers, with the key exception of longstanding pre-existing medical issues.

Pros and Cons of Costco Travel Insurance

Like any travel insurance plan, Costco Travel Insurance has advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Pros:

  • Strong partner: AIG Travel Guard has served travelers since 1919 and paid over $1 billion in claims, making it a reputable choice.
  • Good medical evacuation: Coverage of up to $100,000 per person helps with emergencies abroad.
  • Pre-existing waiver: Conditions not diagnosed in the past 12 months before the trip are waived.
  • Reasonable pricing: Daily rates of $9 per person for trips up to 150 days compare well to competitors.

Cons:

  • Limited options: Only one plan is offered without room for customization or add-ons.
  • Lower medical limits: The maximum of $50,000 per person annually is less than some competitors.
  • No cancellation for any reason: You lose your premium, but not money, for unforeseen cancellation reasons.
  • Poor work cancellation: only being laid off within 60 days is covered, not other job changes.
  • Long look back: Conditions diagnosed within the past 12 months are considered pre-existing.

Overall, while Costco Travel Insurance provides basic coverage affordably, limitations exist around flexibility, benefits, and pre-existing conditions compared to some other insurers.

How does Costco travel insurance work?

To acquire Costco Travel Insurance directly from AIG Travel Guard or via their website, follow these steps:

  1. Contact AIG Customer Service at 1-800-227-4825 or visit their website and click on “Get Quote.”.
  2. Input personal details, including name, date of birth, gender, address, phone number, email address, and credit card information.
  3. Choose the destination country and city from AIG’s provided list.
  4. Specify your departure and return dates using AIG’s calendar.
  5. Indicate the number of travelers in your group, including their ages.
  6. Review the quote summary and proceed to “Buy Now” if you agree with the terms and conditions.
  7. Confirm your payment method and finalize your purchase.

Following the completion of your purchase, you will promptly receive an email confirmation containing your policy certificate number (PCN).

What Does Costco Travel Insurance Cover?

Costco Travel Insurance provides coverage for various situations for travelers who make their trip arrangements through Costco Travel.

  1. Trip Cancellation: If you need to cancel your trip before it commences due to covered reasons like the death or serious illness of a family member, job loss, or a natural disaster, you’ll receive reimbursement for prepaid and non-refundable trip costs up to the maximum benefit amount.
  2. Trip Interruption: If your trip is interrupted after it has begun due to covered reasons such as the death or serious illness of a family member, job loss, or a natural disaster, you’ll be reimbursed for unused and non-refundable trip costs, along with additional transportation expenses to return home or rejoin your trip, up to the maximum benefit amount.
  3. Medical Expenses: In the event of incurring medical expenses due to a covered illness or injury while traveling, you’ll be reimbursed for reasonable and customary charges up to the maximum benefit amount.
  4. Emergency Medical Evacuation: If you require evacuation to the nearest suitable medical facility or your home country due to a covered illness or injury while traveling, the insurance covers transportation costs and related expenses up to the maximum benefit amount.
  5. Baggage Loss or Delay: If your baggage is lost, stolen, damaged, or delayed during your travels, you’ll be reimbursed for repairing or replacing your baggage and personal effects up to the maximum benefit amount. Additionally, you’ll receive a daily allowance for purchasing essential items if your baggage is delayed for more than 12 hours.

Comparison of Costco Travel Insurance Plans

Costco Travel Insurance provides a single plan with varying coverage limits based on the age and gender of the traveler.

The table below illustrates the coverage limits for different age groups and genders:

Benefit Male 18-34 Female 18-34 Male 35-49 Female 35-49 Male 50-64 Female 50-64 Male 65+ Female 65+
Trip Cancellation $50,000 $50,000 $100,000 $100,000 $250,000 $250,000 $500,000 $500,000
Trip Interruption $50,000 $50,000 $100,000 $100,000 $250,000 $250,000 $500,000 $500,000
Medical Expenses $50,000 $50,000 $100,000 $100,000 $250,000 $250,000 $500,000 $500,000
Emergency Medical Evacuation $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000
Baggage Loss or Delay $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000

 

The table highlights that coverage limits generally increase with the age of the traveler, excluding the Emergency Medical Evacuation Benefit, which remains consistent across all age groups and genders.

This implies that older travelers receive greater protection for trip costs and medical expenses, albeit at a higher premium cost.

READ ALSO:

How Much Does Costco Travel Insurance Cost?

The cost of Costco Travel Insurance depends on the age and gender of the traveler, the length of the trip, and the destination country.

Below is a simplified table outlining the key details for Costco Travel Insurance:

Factor Details
Cost Determinants Age, Gender, Trip Length, Destination Country
Premium Calculation $9 per person per day for trips up to 150 days
Example Calculation 35-year-old male, 10-day trip to France = $90
Payment Timing Premium paid at the time of booking through Costco Travel
Refund Policy Non-refundable unless the trip is canceled within 10 days of booking or the traveler is ineligible for the plan

What does Costco Travel Insurance not cover?

Costco Travel Insurance excludes coverage for the following:

  1. Pre-existing medical conditions not diagnosed within the last 12 months before the trip starts.
  2. Optional benefits are available in AIG Travel Guard’s retail plans, including CFAR, CFWR, or adventure sports coverage.
  3. Travel arrangements are not booked through Costco Travel.
  4. Acts of war, terrorism, civil unrest, or nuclear radiation.
  5. Illegal or fraudulent acts by the traveler or anyone acting on their behalf.
  6. Self-inflicted injuries, suicide, or attempted suicide by the traveler or anyone acting on their behalf.
  7. Participation in professional or amateur sports, competitions, or events.
  8. Pregnancy, childbirth, or related complications.
  9. Mental or nervous disorders, alcohol or drug abuse, or addiction.
  10. Dental or vision care, except as a result of a covered accident.
  11. Cosmetic or elective surgery or treatment.
  12. Expenses covered by another insurance policy, program, or benefit.

Is Costco Travel Insurance Good for Travelers?

The insurance  proves to be a suitable choice for travelers seeking a straightforward and budget-friendly insurance plan that covers fundamental benefits like:

  1. trip cancellation
  2. interruption
  3. medical expenses
  4. emergency medical evacuation
  5. baggage loss or delay.

Additionally, it includes a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions if diagnosed within the last 12 months.

However, for travelers in search of more comprehensive and adaptable travel insurance with higher coverage limits, additional benefits, and customization options, Costco Travel Insurance may not be the ideal fit.

Notably, it lacks a “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) option, a popular feature for those who desire greater control over their travel plans.

Hence, it is advisable to compare Costco Travel Insurance with other available plans in the market before making a decision, ensuring alignment with individual needs, budget considerations, and preferences.

https://youtu.be/s819_PZ5JPA?si=I2wdkpDVd40BDx_7

Conclusion

Travel insurance, provided by AIG Travel Guard, encompasses coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and emergency evacuation for individuals booking their trips through Costco Travel.

Additionally, it provides a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions diagnosed within the last 12 months.

While Costco Travel Insurance is a suitable choice for those seeking a basic and economical travel insurance plan with essential coverage, it may not be the ideal option for those desiring more extensive and adaptable plans.

Travelers looking for higher coverage limits, additional benefits, and customization options may find other insurance plans better suited to their needs.

Before purchasing Costco Travel Insurance, it is advisable to compare it with alternative travel insurance plans available in the market.

This ensures that you select the plan that aligns most effectively with your specific requirements, budget, and preferences.