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DC Trip: Travel Insurance?

May 30th, 2013 at 09:33 am

I'm getting ready to complete the registration for the Washington DC trip. I think I'll be making a one time payment, but still not sure. What is tripping me up is the Full Refund Program Fee.

The FRP fee is $139 for this trip which will cost us $1299 for the four day three night experience. Thus the fee would increase our total outlay to $1438, or an increase of nearly 11%.

The FRP fee 'protects your payments and provides a full refund minus the FRP fee, if you, the Program Leader, school, or school administration need to cancel at any time prior to departure for any reason.' The fee does not cover an Act of God, war, terrorism, civil unrest, or bankruptcy, insolvency or cessation of business by the travel company.

According to my daughter who heard the presentation from the group leader, most parents do not choose this option of insurance. I probably will not pay the fee, since we can withstand the risk that we could lose our money, if something were to prevent her from going. It won't break us financially in other words. My husband's first instinct was to sign up.

What would you do? Can you think of any good reasons to pay the extra fee?

9 Responses to “DC Trip: Travel Insurance?”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    hmm. I never know what to do about that either. Does your daughter get ill a lot? Suffer from any chronic conditions? That would lean me toward yes. But otherwise, probably not.

  2. jewels3 Says:

    I probably would pay the fee. I'd rather be out $139 than $1299. All that needs to happen is for your daughter to come down with the flu and not be able to go. Even if you can afford to lose $1299, it doesn't make sense to me to take that risk.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    She gets colds with some frequency, but nothing chronic other than allergies. I could get her a flu shot next season to avoid the odds of the flu.

    We tend to stay away from non catastrophic insurance, such as warranties on electronics or furniture, knowing the odds are low and we could cover the costs to replace.

  4. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    We did not pay the fee. Ask the school admin what the record of past years are with respect to trip cancel/problems.

  5. snafu Says:

    Like you, I rarely buy that type of insurance. Our DKs woud probably insist on going no matter what! I'd ask the school co ordinator about past experience, what percentage of kids have bailed and would have benefitted from that coverage. Q 2. What percentage of parents have opted for insurance.

    Dumb question but what are your options if the travel agency shuts down? How far in advance does the school pay the agency? Have you checked BBB for their record? I see lots of stories about agency or airline cessation leaving travellers stranded.

  6. baselle Says:

    I'd buy it only if there is a veru strong possibility of using trip cancellation - like if your boss couldn't/wouldn't give you time off; you have an elderly relative and you have to rush home. The fact that you are traveling in the US, they aren't going to cover acts of terrorism, g*d, their bankruptcy, etc...means that its $139 placebo. Plus the fact that its a payment minus a fee, and the fee could be pretty steep which could mean that you get next to nothing.

    I bought trip insurance when I went to Vietnam (didn't know if my boss would let me go and new diseases Smile), but didn't when I went to Argentina.

  7. creditcardfree Says:

    I did email the program director today, he said only 10% of parents generally pay the fee. This is 20 parents out of 200. He sent his own two daughters and did NOT pay the fee. He also said they have never canceled the trip. However, they did delay it once in 2001, from spring to fall. I think the odds of the school cancelling are nearly zero. At this point, I feel that the fee is not necessary for our situation.

  8. Kristina Says:

    Are you paying for the trip with a credit card? Credit cards often have trip insurance for MUCH less. I insured my international trip to Vancouver last summer for less than $20. provided much needed peace of mind when a difficult boss threatened every other day to cancel the trip (even though she couldn't!)

    And what happens if you have to cancel due to illness of your child and she can't attend?

  9. creditcardfree Says:

    I likely will pay with a credit card, but not sure that paying a travel agency a flat fee qualifies for trip insurance. I will look into it. I checked on credit card that I was thinking of applying for but it only offered it for an airline cancellation.

    If my child can't attend, I would lose the full payment of $1250, unless I pay the $139 fee.

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