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Travel Insurance?

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by MichaelJA, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. MichaelJA

    MichaelJA New Member

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    Hello,
    I'm wondering if I should purchase travel insurance? I have health insurance in the US but they said I need to pay for any services and will get reimbursed with receipts. But I don't know what other risks to insure against? Theft?
    Thank you!
     
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  2. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Michael

    Whether to take out travel insurance is a Good Question and, personally, I think it comes down to circumstances and choice.

    For instance, IF you have spent a lot of money on your flights and then (God Forbid) have a close family bereavement – If this happened and you wanted / needed to cancel your tip then travel insurance should come to the rescue.

    Other times it should help is if you had a mishap / accident / delay on the way to the airport and missed your flight, lost baggage / theft, lost / stolen passport or other important documentation + Scores of other lesser things.

    I am from the UK and my own insurance covers a combination of travel and health, although most health needs are still covered through the EEC reciprocal agreements, extras like repatriation are covered by the insurance.

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  3. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Michael - Insurance is just what it is, insurance just in case there was a situation where you might need it. Here’s a website that you might find helpful for looking at prices and coverage:

    Travelinsurance.com

    In addition to such situations as trip cancellation or interruption, I primarily carry travel insurance for the medical evacuation concern. If something serious were to happen where I had to be medically evacuated from another country, that cost could run into the thousands.

    My wife and I are just back from Spain. Travel insurance for the two of us ran around a bit over $100. If you’re traveling alone, the cost will be even less. For peace of mind, when traveling internationally, I always purchase travel insurance. If something were to happen that my US health insurance policy didn’t cover, including a pretty large out-of-network medical deductible, I’ve got the extra protection. Buen Camino!
     
  4. Dennis White

    Dennis White Member

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    If using credit card to book the majors, flights & accomm. etc most have free comprehensive travel insurance with a minimum $500 aud outlay on the trip and automatically applies without extra forms etc. Worth checking out!
     
  5. Devereaux Young

    Devereaux Young Member

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    Dennis is correct on trip insurance with credit card bookings. HOWEVER, check on the medical coverage for your card. Some include trip cancellation, etc, but NOT medical.
    Also, age makes a difference...i.e. the older you are, the more likely you'll need medical insurance. It's a cheap purchase, as Wily says. Nice to have if you need it...its insurance, after all. Do get medical evacuation insurance one way or the other.
     
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  6. davebugg

    davebugg DustOff: "When I Have Your Wounded"

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    For those pilgrims with Medicare Supplemental coverage, check to see what foreign travel and medical evacuation coverage may be included. For example, my Supplemental plan provides for any medical coverage outside of the US, as well as medical evacuation coverage as is needed for continued treatment. It also provides for the costs of a family member to travel to my location when hospitalized.

    The important stipulation to this kind of coverage is that when an illness or injury has occurred, a toll free emergency number must be called and they will then advise and arrange for immediate treatment, including any transport to the nearest appropriate medical facility.

    If time is of the essence because of a desperate emergency involving the potential loss of life or limb, then calling the insurance hotline may be done after reaching initial emergency care. However, the call must be made prior to any formal hospital admission.
     
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  7. Jack Spratt

    Jack Spratt New Member

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    Walked CF Sept/Oct 2017 - prevailing wisdom at home (Australia) was that "if you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel".

    Rationale behind this is that medical treatment and/or medi-evacuation (should one's problems be at the very serious end of the spectrum, could run into many tens of thousands of dollars, and for a comparatively small outlay, such contingencies can be covered.

    My insurance covered a range of events - cancellation of trip for medical or other defined reasons, theft of money or property, medical treatment, and medi-evacuation. While the outlays on fares and/or accommodation to get me to and from Spain were significant, their loss (should something happen) was bearable. But the costs associated with a major illness/health problem (such as a heart attack or broken limb) would be much more difficult to bear.

    Hence the decision to get travel insurance was asy - don't leave home without it...

    BTW, my insurer provide a phone number for any assistance require. In another trip, my daughter suffered a bad bout of gastro in Thailand, and the advice we received from this number, purportedly from a trained nurse, was invaluable - that insurance was worth every cent it cost.
     
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  8. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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  9. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Wily......even though I threw caution to the wind when it came to reserving albergue's, I made sure that I was covered with travel insurance while away. It is pretty inexpensive and gives you peace of mind. Didn't need it fortunately, but I will get it again when I travel. Thanks for sharing that article!
     
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  10. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    There seem to be more than one type of "insurance", there is:

    1. Travel
    2. Injury
    3. Sickness
    4. Other?

    Each has it's own use and some are included in other insurance you may already have. Check your current insurance for coverage on travel, etc.
     
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  11. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Hindsfeet - I, too, carry travel insurance when heading out of the country. As you mentioned, it is relatively inexpensive. And like Unklehammy points out, there are in the policies I’ve had, a number of categories covered. The problem may be the “fine print” regarding exclusions to the coverage one “believes” they have. A friend of mine is heading to Albania in a few weeks. Her dilema is that she has a very sick family member. Because it’s a pre-existing condition, her concern is that an emergency trip home might not be covered due to the fact that she was aware of the sister’s condition before traveling. So, does one invest in travel insurance for a situation that might not even be covered? Although I think it would be best to speak with the company before purchase of the policy, that still might not avoid a claim problem. Hopefully, like us, she won’t have to use her insurance policy. For my peace of mind, particularly as it pertains to medical emergencies and evacuations, it’s worth having. But, do call you own insurance carrier before traveling. I found that mine covered almost everything in the “health” category that the additional travel insurance offered. Buen Camino.
     
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  12. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Wily, I agree.....you have to do a bit of research beforehand. It is that extremely 'FINE PRINT' that got me in trouble a few times in another area. I hope that it works out ok for your friend, and that she doesn't encounter a problem.
     
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  13. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Hindsy - I know I’ve mentioned this website before, but I’ve found it most helpful in comparing the policies of different companies.

    https://www.travelinsurance.com/

    In addition to the policy cost and coverage, one can also read numerous customer reviews for the different companies. Although no two of us will experience the same circumstances, reading the experiences about claims may be telling as to whether or not one company might be preferable over another. If you have any questions, call them to ask before purchasing the insurance.

    Keep in mind, too, that the price of the policy changes. For the lowest price, one should buy coverage at the time they make their first payment toward a trip which is generally when the airfare is bought. Buen Camino peregrina!
     
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  14. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Yes, I took your advice and looked at that website first. I ended up getting coverage from Allianz Global Travel. Thanks Wily...good advice, great logic.
     
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  15. BenL

    BenL The Burghers of Calais

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    @Wily & others experienced in this matter. Let me tap into your collective travel insurance insights/counsel for a multi-leg travel. From what I have read, the biggest risk really is medical emergencies as the potential exposure can be multiples of one's travel budget.

    1. In the insurance quotes, when the web site asks for travel costs, is this generally only flight costs, or does one include other non-refundable costs?
    2. What am I missing if I am willing to risk being under-insured vis a vis my flight and other non-refundable costs, so that my insurance premium is more affordable? E.g. wife and I will be taking an organized tour prior to Camino, and former non-refundable costs is almost $5K. Trying to insure that plus my travels for Camino and post-Camino is pushing my insurance premiums to $500+. Net, I am willing to eat part of the flight costs if I have to cancel my trip when I under-insure (p/s. We have never cancel any trip so far in our life when we had already booked our flight tickets).

    Q2 is really the important question.

    Thanks.
     
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  16. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Ben - Let me see if I can add some perspective to your questions.

    1. I believe that in calculating the trip cost, it refers to the non-refundable amount that one pays. For those of us traveling to walk a Camino, that’s most likely the airfare. Because other costs may be refundsble upon cancellation, I doubt that there is any need to worry about them because you won’t experience a loss.

    2. Because the non-refundable portion of your travel is almost $5K, the insurance premium is going to be significantly higher than what I have paid to cover only my Camino travels specifically airfare. The other issue is length of time that you’re asking for insurance. It sounds like you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time so insurance would be more expensive. So, I don’t think you’re missing anything.

    My suggestion is that after reviewing the different companies, call them to get their evaluation of your insurance needs. On the website I use, there appear to be any number of excellent companies. However it happened, I used Allianz just like Hindsfeet. Since I didn’t have a claim, I can’t speak to their service other than what I know from reading customer reviews.

    Regarding medical coverage, call your personal carrier. I found that I was already covered for medical emergencies and services including medical evacuation by my company. Regardless of the company, one will still have to pay out of pocket for medical services and apply for reimbursement once back at home. You’ll also see with a number of companies that there are different levels of insurance one can purchase from basic to their Cadillac plan. I found that the a mid-range plan seemed to be more than enough coverage as I already had health coverage should I need it. But, for peace of mind and around $100, I’m glad I carried the extra insurance (more for travel plan changes out of my control hoping they’d be covered).

    So, I’d suggest you research a number of companies and then make some phone calls. With around $5K invested in this trip, it seems that you do want some protection for your investment. Buen Camino!
     
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  17. BenL

    BenL The Burghers of Calais

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    Wily, thanks - your response confirmed the insurance scope and trade-offs in my head. Net, I am not overly concerned with the non-refundable $5K tour package nor the flight costs. So, I will approach this as an under-insured trip, focusing on the medical insurance. :)
     
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  18. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Probably the most likely area of problems will involve not making connected flights when the slack times are too short. Being late on a plane can mess up reservations on the ground.

    I prefer to allow some slack on arrival after a long flight to "acclimate" for the time shift or to do some sight seeing. That way I can start in a stress free manner.
     
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  19. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Aside from travel insurance which can cover a great number of circumstances depending on the policy, know your airlines policy on trip cancellations. Flying from the States, one has a number of options regarding their choice of airlines. Not all airlines have as flexible refund policy as others.

    Due to the health condition of a family member, I had to cancel several domestic and international flights this fall. I had two positive, but different, experiences with the airlines I had chosen to use. With a doctor’s letter indicating flying wasn’t possible for me since I was the caregiver, one airline gave me a full refund, processed promptly back onto my credit card, of my ticket and that of my traveling companion. The other airline gave me full credit for my ticket with no change fee. The only stipulation was that it had to be used within a year of my original purchase date.

    As unexpected medical conditions can arise for any of us, knowing the ticket refund process of an airline may ease some of the stress involved with having to cancel a trip for those reasons. Buen Camino!
     
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