What are the reasons to buy travel protection? We use Allianz Insurance a lot so we trust what they have to say. Here’s what Kimberly Seay, Allianz director of assistance lists as her top reasons. She’s the one that answers the phone when something goes wrong – so she knows!
1. Healthcare – travel protection task 1
Getting the care you need at the right facility. This is probably the most important reason. We just got our vaccines for our trip to Vietnam (typhoid, Hep A, Hep B, Tetanus booster). The physician (her specialty was foreign travel and infectious disease) told us that as much as 25% of the drugs administered in Southeast Asia, at locally reputable hospitals are counterfeit. Make sure you get to the right facility with the right medications with the right doctors. Most US insurance, including Medicare won’t cover customer while overseas.
If you get injured during your trip and need medical assistance, you need to get to the right place, even if condition warrants an upgraded seat, nurse escort or an air ambulance. Typical costs for an air ambulance from (these exclude the actual medical bills):
- Caribbean: $15 – 25,000
- South America: $40,000 to $75,000
- Europe: $65,000 to $90,000
- Australia: $165,000 to $225,000
3. Lost passport – travel protection on all fronts
Allianz will help you get in contact with the proper channels to get a replacement. You don’t want to be out of the country without a passport!
4. Prescription lost
Allianz will help you find a provider that will assist with replacement.
5. Lost, damaged or delayed luggage
Allianz will work with the airline to help locate. There’s nothing more frustrating than this while on vacation. I recall a time when several of my clients were traveling through Heathrow and the entire airport was shutdown for several days. One of my clients didn’t get their luggage back for a year though most got their luggage in a few days. But Allianz does this for a living and can take so much burden off constant phone calls, waiting and bad information. Plu you can be reimbursed for replacement of essential items.
6. Bedside visit
Here’s one that you might not think about. If you are injured and alone (seven days), Allianz will pay for a loved one to come to you.
7. Return of dependents
If you are injured and have underage children with you, Allian will bring them home.
8. Peace of mind
Finally there’s the old peace of mind statement – classic insurance company stuff. But it’s true! Knowing that a company with global resources is available 24/7 to assist, anywhere, anytime.
9. A lot can happen before you travel – travel protection is important
I added this one since it wasn’t on Seay’s list. But losing $5000, $10,000 or $20,000 is tough for most of us. That’s what you’ll be facing if you have to cancel the trip within 3 months (longer with some suppliers) of the departure date. Here’s some of the reasons our clients have called us to cancel:
- My wife just found out she has cancer
- My father is very ill and I don’t want to leave him now
- I just fell and broke both my ankles
- My 5 year old is sick and I can’t leave her
- My husband has to attend an important meeting for his company and he’s required to work
Think this can’t or won’t happen to you? I book hundreds of trips a year and I can tell you these things all happen. more than you’d think.
The closer – why buy travel insurance?
I’m a travel agent, so I know how much insurance costs, I see how many people use it and I know the support that Allianz provides. We ALWAYS buy travel insurance (usually Allianz Journey plan). Always. For us, it’s relatively cheap and protects us against the worst. I feel strongly enough about it that I require written statement from clients that choose not to purchase insurance.
It’s always a personal choice of course. And it can be complicated – with existing conditions, travel from several vendors in one trip, some insurance provided by credit cards or normal health insurance. But that’s why I’m here – to clarify and give you all the facts. Most of my clients have insurance questions and I’m more than willing to discuss the ins and outs with you.