Most people spend a significant amount of time planning their dream vacations without even thinking about travel insurance.
When visiting a foreign destination, there is, unfortunately, a genuine possibility of falling ill, suffering from an accident, or running into unforeseen delays.
Travel agencies such as Orbitz offer customers the option of purchasing coverage when checking out to cover the above problems.
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Why Use Orbitz Over Another Company?
Launched in 2001, Orbitz is an online travel agency and provider of trip insurance based in Chicago, Illinois.
The site allows customers to browse through the different available travel insurance coverage policies and other non-insurance services.
In November 2010, Orbitz launched its mobile application, which also lets customers search and book flights, hotels, and rental cars from the convenience of a portable device.
Orbitz trip insurance offers versatile plan options and upgrades for travelers of all ages, including trip cancellations for any reason as well as missing or delayed baggage reimbursement, and medical coverage.
Orbitz Travel Insurance policies are underwritten by the National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh. Despite receiving negative reviews, the provider and its underwriter have earned good ratings from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and the Better Business Bureau.
This travel insurance review will summarize the provider’s insurance coverage plans, customer service, and reputation based on customer reviews.
|Coverage Options||Costs||Customer Reviews & Reputation||Customer Service Benefits||Financial Strength|
|Orbitz plans can include flight cancellation, preauthorizes hospitals worldwide, and concierge services.||Orbitz plans are based on the total cost of the booked trip.||Orbitz has an A+ rating by the BBB.||Travelers have access to 24/7 telephone support.||Policies are underwritten by the National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh.|
|Travelers are advised to purchased additional trip insurance coverage through Travel Guard.||Orbitz's vacation waiver is a less expensive option, which covers flight cancellations and changes.||Overall, Orbitz received more negative reviews on BBB's site.||Support is also available through the Orbitz mobile application.||The underwriter has an A2 rating by Moody’s and an A from A.M. Best.|
Orbitz Travel Insurance Coverage & Plans
Orbitz offers Flight Cancellation Protection for domestic flights within the United States (excluding flights to Hawaii and Alaska).
Total Trip Protection coverage is only available for residents residing in the United States and District of Columbia, and it is offered to customers during checkout to protect their purchase. The fees for Orbitz’ Package Protection Plan and Flight Cancellation Plan depend on the total cost of the trip or airline ticket cost.
Travelers can also purchase a Vacation Waiver which allows them to change or cancel their trip once for any reason.
Orbitz Travel Insurance has several limitations and exclusions which may nullify claims. As a result, customers are advised to upgrade by purchasing optional coverage managed by Travel Guard and Aon Affinity Travel Practice for added peace of mind when traveling.
- Flight Cancellation/Interruption
- Processing of cancellations or changes on a traveler’s behalf with travel providers including airline, rental car company, and hotel bookings
- Cancellations for Any Reason
- Vacation Waiver which can be used once for any reason
- Loss, theft, or damage to baggage, travel documents or other possessions subject to limitations or exclusions
- 24/7 Emergency assistance
- Emergency medical expenses
Flight Cancellation Plan
Only domestic flights within the continental United States are covered under the Orbitz Flight Cancellation Plan. Under this plan, Orbitz refunds your flight in the form of travel credits with that particular airline. The credits can then be used to purchase a new flight with the same airline.
Orbitz refunds an amount equal to the change or cancellation fee charged by the airline at the time of redemption. The traveler is then charged the full price of the new flight, less the amount of the travel credits available. Travelers should be aware that the cost of the new flight may be more than the canceled flight, and they will be expected to pay the difference.
This plan can be purchased at checkout up to 24 hours after booking a flight. In some cases, if a flight is canceled within 24 hours, no penalty fees apply.
Package Protection Plan
Orbitz offers customers a Package Protection plan which can be purchased online up to 24 hours after booking a flight. Travelers are reimbursed up to the total trip costs due to cancellations for specific reasons as per the schedule of benefits. Trip interruptions, trip delays, and medical expenses are covered post-departure. Reimbursements are subject to exclusions and limitations. Orbitz also offers a Bedside Companion Benefit if a traveling companion is hospitalized ($100 per day).
Package Protection travel insurance can be canceled before the start of the trip up to 15 days after making a booking.
Orbitz offers a Vacation Waiver which can be used once for each travel product listed and confirmed in the same itinerary. This waiver only covers change and cancellation fees and does not cover non-changeable flights.
Customers can change or cancel their package reservations before the scheduled start times. The Vacation Waiver covers all travelers listed and confirmed on the itinerary, and it can only be purchased during the booking process.
|Known Covered Excuses||Flight Cancellation||Package Protection|
|Tour Operator Cancellation|
|Injury/Illness/Death of Traveler||Yes||Yes|
|Injury/Illness/Death of Non-Traveling Family Member||Yes||Yes|
|Injury/Illness/Death of Business Partner||Yes||Yes|
|Injury/Illness/Death of Host|
|Injury/Illness/Death of Host’s Family or Friends|
|Natural Disaster at Destination||Yes||Yes|
|Tour Operator/Airline/Cruise Line Ceases Operation||Yes||Yes|
|Terrorism/Evacuation at Destination||Yes||Yes|
|Home or Business Damaged||Yes||Yes|
|Jury Duty/Court Appearance||Yes||Yes|
|Victim of Crime Prior to Trip|
|Car Accident Prior to Trip||Yes||Yes|
|Theft of Passport Prior to Trip|
|CFAR Coverage (Cancel for any reason)||Yes||Yes|
|Coverage||Flight Cancellation||Package Protection|
|Trip Cancellation||Up to 100 percent of trip cost (max of $100,000)||Up to 100 percent of trip cost (max of $100,000)|
|Cancel for Any Reason||Up to 100 percent of the trip cost (max of $100,000)|
|Trip Interruption||Up to 100 percent of the trip cost (max of $100,000)|
|Interrupt for Any Reason||Up to 100 percent of the trip cost (max of $100,000)|
|Accident and Sickness Medical Expenses||Max of $5,000|
|Emergency Evacuation, Medically Necessary Repatriation, and Repatriation of Remains||Max of $15,000|
|Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)||100 percent|
|Air Flight Only AD&D (optional)||100 percent|
|Baggage and Personal Effects||$1000|
|Change Fee Coverage|
|Travel Delay||$100 per day (max of $500)|
|Reimbursement of Miles or Rewards Points|
|Rental Car Damage (optional)|
Orbitz Travel Insurance Costs
Typically, coverage for a trip that costs $5,000 ranges between $200 and $450 as travel insurance usually comes in at 4 to 8 percent of total expenses. Orbitz travel insurance may be less due to its low dollar limits and large amount of exclusions, but the final cost will depend on a number of different factors.
Most insurance providers consider the age of travelers, number of travelers, length of trip, pre-existing conditions, and type of coverage before calculating the coverage cost. Travelers over the age of 65 usually pay more, and some include minors at no extra charge.
Orbitz Travel insurance is offered during the booking process on the company’s mobile app or website. Orbitz doesn’t have an annual coverage plan, and single-trip coverage may only be purchased for the duration of travel. Coverage ends when the insured either arrives at the return destination, or seven days after the scheduled completion of the trip.
Customers have a 15-day trial period during which they may choose to cancel and receive a refund of the full premium.
Orbitz Travel Insurance Customer Reviews & Reputation
Negative customer reviews can cause significant damage to the reputation of any business. Orbitz has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since April 2001 and has an A+ rating despite several negative reviews. However, this rating is typical for many travel insurance providers.
Many of the criticisms of the company are related to customers not understanding policy limits, the claims process, or cancellation procedures. According to the BBB, Orbitz closed over 800 customer complaints in three years, 150 or more in the past twelve months. It bears mentioning that though this number is inordinately high for a travel insurance company, Orbitz is primarily a travel booking site.
If optional coverage is purchased from Travel Guard and Aon Affinity Travel Practice on the Orbitz website, customers should follow the claim filing process listed by either of these trip insurance providers. Consumers are advised to read reviews for Travel Guard and Aon Affinity Travel Practice before purchasing coverage from either of these trip insurance providers.
Potential Orbitz travel insurance customers should take the time to read the fine print on the policies, making sure they understand the terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions of coverage. This helps prevent misunderstandings later. Travelers should also read and understand the limitations and exclusions for the Orbitz Flight Cancelation Plan, Orbitz Package Protection, and the optional Vacation Waiver.
Orbitz Travel Insurance’s parent company, Orbitz, has a rating of just 0.9/10 on Trustpilot with one star. Reviewers mainly criticize the company’s booking process, but many also complain about not receiving a refund on nonrefundable tickets, which is to be expected. The ability to obtain reimbursement when changing or canceling a flight is one of the many reasons travelers should look into purchasing travel insurance.
Orbitz Travel Insurance Customer Assistance Services
Orbitz Travel Insurance provides 24/7 worldwide emergency assistance through Travel Guard and the company’s mobile application. The Package Protection Plan includes coverage for emergency medical expenses and travel accidents, which are subject to limitations and exclusions. Orbitz customers are encouraged to sign up for the free Orbitz instant rewards program and earn Orbucks.
One Orbuck is equivalent to one U.S. dollar, and they can be used for flights or hotel accommodations. Customers can download and use the free Orbitz mobile application for convenient non-insurance services such as hotel discounts, price comparisons, and secure bookings.
Orbitz strives to protect all customer data while giving purchasers an option to save their payment information for future bookings. All purchases are verified with a three or four-digit identification number for reference. Orbitz lets customers log into their Orbitz account by conveniently signing in with their Facebook username and password, but customers signing up for an account is not necessary to be able to book a trip.
Orbitz Financial Stability
The success of an insurance company is often determined by its financial strength, which indicates the ability of the company to honor customer claims. Several rating agencies provide free access to an insurer’s credit scores.
Moody’s Investor Services has been nationally recognized as a statistical rating institution by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Moody’s ratings of financial institutions help consumers determine the likelihood that their carrier can meet its claim payout obligations.
Orbitz Travel Insurance Plans are underwritten by the National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh. This underwriter has received a high-quality rating of A2 from Moody’s, which forecasts its ability to repay short-term debt. This rating affirms that the underwriter is a low credit risk and can honor its financial obligations to its customers.
A.M. Best also provides Financial Strength Ratings, and Orbitz has an A rating from A.M. Best, which should give policyholders peace of mind regarding any future valid claims.
Orbitz Phone Number & Contact Information
- Homepage URL: www.orbitz.com
- Provider Phone: (844) 803-5578
- Headquarters Address: 500 West Madison, Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Year Founded: June 2001