Should I get Travel Insurance?

By Cacinda Maloney

I posted this on PointsandTravel’s Facebook Page the other day:

Should I get Travel Insurance?


And I received these comments:

Should I get Travel Insurance?

Which got me to thinking. I really should write an article about travel insurance and why it is important to have it. Many people ask themselves before a big trip:

Should I get Travel Insurance?

And I can tell you, the answer is: Unequivocally yet!

Myrna, who commented above, is right. She is the owner of a wine tour company  called Roux Wine Trips that takes people to Europe on wine/champagne tours. I met her on one of my many travels while sipping champagne in France.

She says that “so many of her clients take the risk of traveling without insurance and several this year have had to pay for it.”.

And honestly, I could not agree more with her, as I have grown older, I see the importance of having travel insurance. Most importantly for me is the medical evacuation insurance. Just because I have grown older, does not mean that it is not important for the younger ones, it just means I have grown smarter!

Should I get Travel Insurance?

Emergency Evacuation Coverage

If something happens to me in a foreign country, I do not want to be stuck there and would like to be evacuated out as soon as possible. This one is simple to me: without coverage, medical costs around $30,000-$75,000, depending on who you quote. Having evacuation coverage as part of my travel insurance package is the best part of my coverage.

Take for instance, fellow travel writer Patti Morrow of Luggage and Lipstick. Now, although she had medical insurance, she did not have medical evacuation that was immediate. She subsequently spent weeks in a hospital room in South Africa when the vehicle she was riding in was slammed into by another vehicle. Here are her words “making the two hour drive to the Aquila Safari, we were involved in a horrendous accident. Our car was struck by another vehicle on the passenger side where I was seated. They had to use the Jaws of Life and pneumatic cutting equipment to extract me; my injuries were substantial – even life threatening.”

Should I get Travel Insurance?

Allett - KeepSafe RFID Passport Sleeve

Allett – KeepSafe RFID Passport Sleeve

The reason I even know about this, was she was able to make a post on Facebook trying to get help with getting out of there once she was stabilized. The hospital had no internet and her brother was left dealing with the intermittent internet, long distance phone calls and paperwork of trying to get her out of there with Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical Insurance. I asked Xcom Global to help this injured travel writer by sending her a mifi for usage while there.  They obliged.

Here is another quote from her story, “Steve has been working with the US Embassy in Cape Town, Africa Assist, contacting my Senators and Congressman for assistance, chasing down doctors and medical records.  He’s been coordinating the efforts of Aimee, Jaime, and other family back in the US who are working through the absurd, inefficient, and frustrating Blue Cross bureaucracy as well as my sister Aimee’s efforts to align orthopedic and thoracic specialists and physical therapists in RI for the many months of rehab when we return.  He’s making sure all financial responsibilities and logistical concerns – both here and back home – are being addressed.”

You can see it can be quite difficult and frustrating dealing with medical insurance companies (the bolding is mine). I have dealt with them for years as a licensed physician and I can tell you, the red tape is horrendous.

Should I get Travel Insurance?

Another story among travel writer/bloggers, is the story of Dave Bouskill of The Planet D. I had just been with the Planet D in Sri Lanka only days before this happened. They were in the jungles of the Amazon when Dave slipped and landed on his back. He ended up fracturing his back. I won’t go into the details of their harrowing experiences, as you can read it on The Planet D. But obviously, they have a story to tell you why you need travel insurance.

“We’ve got a story to tell you exactly why we needed travel medical insurance after a fluke accident in the Amazon.” – Debra Corbell (Dave’s significant other)

There are many stories among the travel writers and bloggers out there that have needed travel insurance:

Ok, I could go on and on, but why should I need to?

In case you get sick or injured like Howard or Drew, why leave these things up to chance? Many US health insurance plans won’t cover your medical costs abroad, (and in my experience as a licensed physician here in the USA, even here at home). Many times you will be required to pay medical costs up front in foreign countries.

  • Having travel insurance can make travel less stressful by working with the hospital you are taken to when you are injured. And by reimbursing you for your medical bills abroad when they occur. Just ask Patti Morrow how helpful this would have been for her and her brother dealing with the situation she was in.
  • Travel insurance can also be great when dealing with lost passports, and lost or damaged luggage.

Please consider getting travel insurance. When things go wrong when traveling, it is good to know that you have travel insurance. I have Allianz Global Assistance. They have offices in 34 countries and are always available 24 hours a day, holidays and weekends. Regardless of which insurance company you chose, just get travel insurance with medical evacuation for your next trip.

Disclosure: I have partnered with Allianz Global Assistance. However, all of these stories are real and I am so glad that I have medical evacuation coverage with them. Here is a microsite they use to get you more info.




One Comment

  1. Daniel Durazo October 20, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Hi Cacinda,

    Great post, thanks for sharing.

    To add to your list of travel writers who have been saved by travel insurance, check out this video from our friend Brian Major.

    Thanks again!


    Daniel Durazo
    Allianz Global Assistance

Comments are closed.