The following information comprises expansion and correction of the article 'Travel insurance trend: dumping the over-age-75 traveler?' (April 2000, page 68)

By Wayne Wirtanen
This item appears on page 82 of the July 2000 issue.

Stand-alone emergency medical evacuation service 

Worldwide Assistance provides emergency medical evacuation service, but it must be purchased through Travel Assistance International (phone 800/821-2828 or 317/818-2099).

This coverage has no upper age limit, and there is no upper dollar limit on the amount of the evacuation/repatriation benefit.

For individuals, this coverage costs $26 for one to eight days, $31 for nine to 15 days and $36 for 16 to 27 days. Individual coverage for one year costs $91 or, for a family, $191. (All these costs include a “membership fee” of $3.)

To subscribe to this service, you must allow time to receive an application and submit it by mail or fax.

Preexisting-condition waiver on travel insurance packages

When travel insurance companies began to waive the preexisting-condition clause, one had to purchase the coverage within 48 hours of the first trip deposit to get the waiver. This has gradually increased in the industry to a 14-day waiver-availability period.

For example, if you had placed a deposit on Feb. 1 for a trip later in the spring, you would have had to purchase the travel insurance by Feb. 15 to get the preexisting-condition clause waived.

CSA Travel Protection has expanded this waiver-available window to 90 days prior to departure, up until the scheduled final payment date! (This costs $25 extra if you are 70 years old and the trip costs $2,000.) Call them at 800/348-9505 for details.

CSA Travel Protection’s travel insurance packages have an age-related cost schedule, with four cost categories (under age 55 to age 81 plus).

CSA offers an unlimited emergency medical evacuation and transportation benefit.

CSA’s coverages for trip cancellation/interruption

CSA pays “certain nonrefundable expenses” for trip cancellation or interruption in case of “adverse weather or natural disasters resulting in the complete cessation of travel services.”

They also pay in case of “labor disputes resulting in the complete cessation of travel services.”

I’ve received letters from ITN readers who had travel insurance policies from other companies that did not pay for losses due to the American Airlines pilots’ “work stoppage” (not a “strike”) a couple of years ago, and they also did not pay for losses due to the closing of airports in Indonesia in 1997 due to forest fire smoke conditions.

Representatives of CSA (without disclosing privacy details) assured me that CSA paid for cancellation/interruption losses due to these twosomewhat unusual occurrences.

Happy trails.