May 192010
 

By Mic Anderson

Here it is — reading you can’t put down! Okay, insurance may not be that exciting, but it can be somewhat mystifying. That mystery tends to make us want to put off dealing with it. I hope these insurance articles will demystify travel insurance for you. Remember, I am not an insurance agent in any shape or form, nor have I played one on TV.This is coming from my personal experience and my experience as an airline employee and travel agent, and should all be taken as suggestion only.

My first installment of this series covered travel insurance basics. Now, we will delve into what specifically is offered for Walt Disney World and Disneyland package by Walt Disney Travel Company.The Walt Disney Travel Company is who you are ultimately booking through if you call yourself, book online or book through an Earmarked Agency like The Magic for Less Travel.

Before making the decision to purchase travel insurance, you should first familiarize yourself with the cancellation policy for your booking. Despite the fact that Disneyland and Disney World are booked by Walt Disney Travel Company (WDTC), their policies are different.

    Disney World Cancellation and Change Policy for PACKAGES: Insurance and most air is non-refundable. The package portion (in this case "package" refers to your Disney World Resort accommodations, park tickets, and dining plan) of your reservation has no penalty to cancel over 45 days prior to your arrival. From day 44 until six days prior to your arrival, the fee is $100; from day 5 up until check-in, the penalty is $200. There is a charge of $50 to change your reservation under 45 days prior to arrival. No refunds will be given to no-shows. No refunds will be made for unused or partially used admission tickets options or features including meals. Guest will not be eligible for refunds due to early departures.

    Disney World Cancellation and Change Policy for room-only reservations: Cancellation must be received by Disney at least six days, although we recommend seven, prior to check-in to receive a refund of your deposit. Please note insurance is NOT available through WDTC on room-only reservations.

    Disneyland Cancellation and Change Policy for PACKAGES: Once deposit has been paid, a fee is assessed each time a change is made or a reservation is cancelled. The change/cancellation fees are per reservation and are as follows:

    Days prior to arrival

    Change fee

    Cancellation fee

    31 Days of More

    $0

    $100

    30 Days or Less

    $50

    $200

    If you have insurance, these fees won’t apply. Insurance is not refundable after paid. Most airline tickets are non-refundable.

    Disneyland Cancellation and Change Policy for room-only reservations: Reservation must be canceled at least three full days (72 hours) before the trip or the deposit is forfeited. Please Note insurance is NOT available through WDTC on room-only reservations.

So, with the policies in mind, we need to explore when to get the insurance.

With Disney World Packages, my rule of thumb is to not add it on until one of the two following things happen:

  1. You book your airfare (which 99% of the time is non refundable). Whether your airfare is booked as part of your Disney package or not, the airfare is covered by travel insurance through WDTC. (Cool benefit, huh?)
  2. Shortly before final payment date if air in not an option being used (i.e. you are driving).

The insurance costs $66.95 per adult (children under 18 are covered free). So, when would it pay for you to use the cancellation piece of it? From 44 to six days, you will only be assessed a $100 fee if you had to cancel, however from 6 days – check-in, you will be assessed a $200 fee if you have to cancel. Insurance cost is right in between those two, assuming there are two adults traveling, so keep that all in mind when considering your circumstances. Of course, cancellation is not the only reason to purchase insurance as we discussed in installment one.

How about with Disneyland packages?

  1. Again when airfare is involved, consider it! Your airfare does not have to be booked through Disney to qualify for cancellation reimbursement.
  2. Disneyland’s cancellation policy’s are more strict than Disney World’s policy as they go into affect immediately, so I think in more cases, it would pay to consider the insurance on the Disneyland packages. Cost is $59.95 per adult and again children under 18 are then covered free.

Some of the things I really like about the policies offered through WDTC are:

  • Your airfare is covered whether you buy the airfare as part of the Disney package or on your own.
  • When you purchase the policy for the adults in the party, children are covered free
  • 24-hour assistance is available, so if something comes up at night, you don’t have to wait for an office to open in order to get help.
  • Employee termination or layoff through no fault of your own after the effective date of coverage if you are an active employee with same employer for at least 1 year is a covered.
  • Called into active military duty, having military leave revoked, or being reassigned within 10 days of departure date is another covered reason
  • Hurricane or inclement weather causing complete cessation of travel services at the point of departure and/or destination is covered.

Please pay attention to the pre-existing conditions clause and if you have ANY questions about your specific situation, call the 800 number.

For a look at a the specific policies offered visit or call:
Walt Disney World http://adisneyworld.disney.go.com/media/wdw/media/reservations/insurancecertificate.pdf
800-826-3899

Disneyland

Insure America 888-637-1738

As always, choosing to purchase insurance is a personal choice. But by weighing the risk of losing money against the cost of the premiums, it will help you decide if insurance is right for you. It’s best to explore your options ahead of time, rather than find out that you could have purchased travel insurance and didn’t. And of course, consult the policy or ask questions of the insurance carrier in order to understand what is covered and what is not.

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