While I am not the type to worry about things in life, I also like to be prepared just in case. Travel insurance for medical, assets, rental cars, and trip cancelations or delays is very cheap in regards to the protection it gives. I have taken a look at these 4 categories to see if I need to acquire or adjust my coverage.
Emergency Medical – With the wide range of countries that we are going to be visiting and Summer’s current health issues this category was a high priority for us. Routine medical is not covered by my health plan at work while traveling outside of the United States, but emergency medical is. I have to pay for the bill and file a claim for reimbursement. My work also pays for the first 90 days of coverage for a service called Assist America. This service provides medical evacuations, language assistance, access to 1st world English speaking medical doctors for consults, and more. I can extend this with their expat coverage for a year of travel for an additional $80 per person or $120 for a family. AAA has a travel insurance partnership with Allianz. Their TripAssist Family Care with Trip+ coverage has a limit of $50k for emergency medical/dental and $1 million for medical transport or evacuation. There are many other coverages that this policy has, some of which are only valid if you purchase the policy within 14 days of your first payment on the trip. If you do not care about the other coverages and are only looking for the medical coverage then the policy is $49 per person with a total of $98 for the two of us. I decided not to get the expat coverage through Assist America and to go with the Allianz plan instead. It is a bit cheaper and covers the actual emergency medical expenses, not just the evacuation/transportation costs. I also do not have as much of a need for the medical consults as our current doctor has agreed to do remote consultations with us while we are traveling.
Asset Loss – This was another big one for me. Since our plan is to stay in airbnb rooms we will not have access to safes or safety deposit boxes at hotels. We will be traveling with a fair amount of expensive technology in order to work remotely. The last thing we need is for someone to break into our room while we are out and steal all of our tech sticking us with a hefty bill. After looking there are no Apple stores in any of the countries that we will be visiting. That means we would have to have new gear shipped in and risk it being stolen in transit. Just losing the tech would be bad enough to recover from without having to pay for it out of pocket. After consulting our State Farm agent we found that our renters policy that we have for our storage unit will cover these losses. I already have a rider that coves up to $10k for computers and up to the limit of our policy for the other misc things we will have with us on our travels. It will cover us even while traveling internationally. Our deductible was $1,000 but I was able to reduce this to $500 for an additional $9 a year premium. Guess I should have asked about the cost difference when we purchased the policy a year ago.
Rental Car – While we do not plan on renting any cars while we are gone, I wanted to make sure we were covered just in case. I needed to make sure I did not need to take the coverage from the rental company if we did get a rental. I know some credit cards provide coverage if you rent the car with their card, but I was not sure if this coverage was valid outside of the United Sates. After looking into it a bit, sure enough, our Barclay Card does have rental car coverage as long as the rental is for 31 days or less if outside the United Sates or 15 days or less inside.
Trip Cancelation/Delay – This is not much of concern for me as we are not booking out the entire trip in advance. We are only booking things out a week or two in advance. This means that if we have to cut our trip short we will not be out much money. I did check into coverage with our credit card though just to be in the know. Our Barclay Card also has us covered for this again as long as we use this card to pay for any airfare, busses, taxis, etc… It gives us $100 per day up to 3 days for baggage delay, $1,500 for trip cancelation/interruption, and $250k of accidental death or dismemberment.