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Luggage Transfer Correos

Do you think trip insurance is necessary?

2020 Camino Guides

erkovar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
Always! And check the details - travel insurance policies differ widely in what they cover. Whether you want flight cancellation coverage etc is up to you, but as a minimum you should have medical cover for accidents/injuries/unexpected illness including evacuation home if necessary. Not sure where you will be travelling from, but do shop around.
 

erkovar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
Absolutely! The costs of medical evacuation and aftercare can be huge. Skimping on insurance is, in my opinion, a false economy. Sorry if this isn’t the answer you wanted to hear...
thanks! No it is, many of my past camino walker friends said trip insurance is dumb as medical is "free" in Europe. I think they were misled
 

erkovar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
Always! And check the details - travel insurance policies differ widely in what they cover. Whether you want flight cancellation coverage etc is up to you, but as a minimum you should have medical cover for accidents/injuries/unexpected illness including evacuation home if necessary. Not sure where you will be travelling from, but do shop around.
thanks!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I choose not to have insurance for trip cancellation, lost luggage, etc. I can afford those losses (after all, I could afford the trip). That is not "essential" in my mind at all.

Fortunately I have excellent out of country medical coverage, which I consider essential for my peace of mind. If i didn't have it already, I would pay for it.
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
Absolutely! I am only 51, and was 47 on my first Camino. I'm perfectly healthy. But we had a medical catastrophe for an immediate family member at home the day before I reached Santiago. My trip insurance covered emergency rescheduling of my flight, and losses on other bookings I had made for Santiago and Lisbon.

And medical care in the E.U. is not free. Travellers will be billed. A colleague on fieldwork had a heart issue recently in the EU. She was billed, but her insurance covered the $3000 equivalent for ambulance, testing, hospitalization and treatment for 2 days.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Trip/travel insurance policies have the option to cover several different types of costs (listed in ascending order of impact).
1. Cost of delays/lost luggage (might be covered by European air carrier rules)
2. Cost of flight in event of cancellation or need to change schedule (for personal or family emergencies) (might be covered by refundable ticket or minimal change fees, varies with airline
3. Cost of medical treatment in country of travel (coverage varies with your existing medical insurance)
4. Cost of medical evacuation back home

The last one could run you $100,000. Remember, the biggest cause of tourist injuries is traffic accidents. Coverage for two weeks just for the evacuation can run $20-30. A fair trade, I'd say.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Yes. And for a trip like the Camino, with very little up front costs it can be pretty inexpensive. I use a comparison site, Insuremytrip.com to shop for and compare policies. Ideally, you would purchase insurance as soon a you buy your plane tickets. When doing so, many insurers will cover pre-existing conditions - both yours and close family members.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I don't know where @erkovar is from, but many Americans have medical coverage when traveling through their health insurance companies at home. So they don't think that they need travel insurance that will provide coverage for other things, like having to return home quickly because of death or illness in the family, or expenses that can be incurred if they get sick or injured that aren't covered by their health insurance.
 
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tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
My health insurance here in the states covers me when I am traveling outside the states, so I wouldn’t get trip insurance for that reason. If I were booking with a tour company and thought they might go belly up then I would get trip insurance. For a Camino, I wouldn’t bother with trip insurance. If something happens and I have to cancel, I can keep my air ticket as a credit on my account.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I've only paid between $51 and $78 for trip insurance for my 6+ week long Camino trips. I haven't had to use it, but I think that it's money well spent. If you have to change your ticket there will be fees involved to do so, and I'm pretty sure that they will exceed what I pay for insurance, which covers me if I need something like an air ambulance, which can be very expensive!
 

erkovar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
I don't know where @erkovar is from, but many Americans have medical coverage when traveling through their health insurance companies at home. So they don't think that they need travel insurance that will provide coverage for other things, like having to return home quickly because of death or illness in the family, or expenses that can be incurred if they get sick or injured that aren't covered by their health insurance.
Right, I get some coverage, obviously not trip / flight via my health insurance. So the additional expense covers it all. Thanks for the tip
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I think that this may be a cultural difference. Americans are used to having coverage through their primary health insurance, while people of many other nationalities are not, and cannot imagine traveling without it.
 
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erkovar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
Yes most likely. No offense is taken. And I lived in Europe w/ my ex husband and in UK we had to go to the ER and didn't pay a penny, so every country is difference.

I found it irritating that people come to the camino for very personal reasons. And I think it is very mindless to smirk comments esp. because of this being my first camino, I am obviously "getting my feet wet" in certain logistics, on top of going because of a divorce, husband left, can't find a full-time job and I am getting laid off work. The inter webs doesn't always bring the best out in people but important to think before one speaks/types/acts out.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Yes most likely. No offense is taken. And I lived in Europe w/ my ex husband and in UK we had to go to the ER and didn't pay a penny, so every country is difference.

I found it irritating that people come to the camino for very personal reasons. And I think it is very mindless to smirk comments esp. because of this being my first camino, I am obviously "getting my feet wet" in certain logistics, on top of going because of a divorce, husband left, can't find a full-time job and I am getting laid off work. The inter webs doesn't always bring the best out in people but important to think before one speaks/types/acts out.
Sometimes you have to sort of "get to know" some of the members here, and their style of posting. ;)
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I would always take out insurance, our health insurance doesn't cover for overseas, and twice we've faced the likelihood of having to change flights etc. If you read though posts you'll see how many people have to drastically change their plans for one reason or another.
Also if you total up the cost of your backpack and contents you'll likely be horrified at the cost. My pack alone was over $400.
I lost/had stolen a handbag once, and the the contents of that, and the bag were worth claiming.
We also had an incident with pack transfer, one day they didn't arrive, and it was because someone had reached into the van and ripped off the envelopes containing the money and the address.
That could easily have ended badly too.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Erkovar, firstly, welcome to the Camino, and this forum, and apologies if some responders have been a bit short with you. Sounds like you've been having a rough time!

I hope you enjoy the Camino but, yes, if you're not a EU national and in possession of a EHIC card, medical treatment in Spain is not free. And even the reciprocal agreements between EU countries only cover immediate treatment - not repatriation (a bit tricky with eg a broken leg) or anything else such as theft of possessions, missed flights, etc. One-trip insurance in the EU is very cheap, and a quick Google search on ComparetheMarket or any of the comparison sites will give you lots of choice. Don't leave home without it!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Yes most likely. No offense is taken. And I lived in Europe w/ my ex husband and in UK we had to go to the ER and didn't pay a penny, so every country is difference.

I found it irritating that people come to the camino for very personal reasons. And I think it is very mindless to smirk comments esp. because of this being my first camino, I am obviously "getting my feet wet" in certain logistics, on top of going because of a divorce, husband left, can't find a full-time job and I am getting laid off work. The inter webs doesn't always bring the best out in people but important to think before one speaks/types/acts out.
Hi Erkovar,
Am sorry to hear of your predicament but don't give up on us just yet!!

Sometimes it's a case of "Sod's law" .....if you have travel insurance ..you won't need it and if you don't have it, then you may very well need it!

From what I understand,, travel insurance and medical insurance in the USA are 2 different things...now that may be wrong about this
In the UK it all comes under the same umbrella.....injury, illness, loss of possessions.

Even for EU citizens who travel to other EU 27 countries, medical care is not always free....we will need to pay the same as local people from that country.......and then, often, just basic care is free.

The problem comes however if repatriation is required.e.g. Breaking a limb...in this case, if one needed to return home then multiple air tickets would need to be purchased.....as in the case of breaking a leg.

Then there's the cost of hotel bills to be considered ....which your medical insurance would cover.

And someone from the USA needing care would definitely be billed

We are Irish/ UK citizens and have always taken travel insurance when travelling in Europe...so far we've never had to use it but at least it gives us peace of mind......just in case.
Best wishes
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
@Glenshiro and @Annette london are right, in term of immediate medical treatment whether you pay or not depends on whether you are an EU citizen or not. My guess based on your time of posting is that you're somewhere in the Americas? in which case unfortunately this isn't you.

I generally don't like taking out insurance (except when legally mandated), these companies don't get rich by taking in less than they pay out after all, but in the case of holidays I like to be covered, it just helps me to relax and enjoy it not worrying about what ifs.

Again, don't know where you are and how things work there but it's also possible that you already have travel insurance. For instance I'm covered through my bank account.

Buen Camino and hope you never the insurance if you get it,

Rob.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
My travel insurance paid for our flights and reserved hotels (first/last night) when we couldn't walk at Easter because I had a stroke the morning before we were supposed to fly out - so now we still have that money.
 

ddraver

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Newbie (Nov, 18)
I drive people from airports to ski resports and this occasionally comes up. What I usually remind them is that it's not the hospital bill that's expensive it's getting you to the hospital that's expensive!

I tend to not bother with cancellation or insurance for my stuff as none of my stuff is worth it. Obviously we re only talking about an easyjet flight in my case though...

(having said that I'd totally forgotten to sort anything out for my trip...so thanks for the reminder)
 
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Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
my two centavos I am not European but I think medical insurance for Europe is available to Europeans without cost for each individual visit. I don’t think is is free. Just like any other place they pay for it thru taxes and other ways dictated but their country’s rules. Even if you don’t have a pre existing illness I recommend that you obtain the insurance.
You are correct that anything can happen at any time therefore its is prudent to protect yourself from any cost you may incur.

I can tell you that while visiting Sweden a few years ago I was taken to the emergency room and spent a night in the hospital. I was unconscious and was never asked for my insurance even when I was discharged. Some time after I got home I received a $10,000 hospital bill. Thank goodness I had medical travel insurance. They paid the entire bill. It’s worth every penny and I will never travel overseas without it.

I think we owe it to ourselves to pay our share and not expect it will be arbitrarily covered, unfortunately nothing is ever truly free we end up paying for it one way or another. There is a popular saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. I recommend the travel medical insurance especially for the camino. Hope you never need it but it’s good to have.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago. 2020 May or end of September.
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks ![/QUOTE
I go along with the YES!
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
Never travel without it. I take out multi trip insurance every year and that covers me for holidays and camino. Always check that insurance covers hiking, altitude although nothing on the camino is higher than my insurance maximum. Also check maximum length of a single trip. Many only cover 30 days with extra premium for 60. In my case, I need to check age as 65 and over has restricted trip length on some policies. Basically, read the small print then read it again
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
I use the free cover that comes with my Visa platinum card, as long as I use the card for booking the flight. It seems to cover the main issues.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
My health insurance here in the states covers me when I am traveling outside the states, so I wouldn’t get trip insurance for that reason. If I were booking with a tour company and thought they might go belly up then I would get trip insurance. For a Camino, I wouldn’t bother with trip insurance. If something happens and I have to cancel, I can keep my air ticket as a credit on my account.
My health insurance from the US will cover overseas medical but they will reimburse me. There is no direct pay. So you will also likely need to be ready to pay out of pocket.
 

Traa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I want to walk Camino in Sept/Oct 2017
If you had any empathy on the reasoning of this post it is because pilgrims I know advised me NOT to get trip insurance, which is why I asked to see what other think as to me it is common sense to obtain this. I asked for advice not for smart a$$ comments from entitled, self-righteous "Im better than you" pilgrims who's ego is stuck in Uranus.
Well said!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Travel Insurance often seems like an additional cost that can be avoided.
Probably the younger a person is, the less likely they think they will need it. Maybe that is where your good meaning friends were coming from @erkovar .

We carry all kinds of insurance through our lives, and will often spend a lot on it. But going without it can be a risk.

On all my Caminos' I've needed to access medical care of one sort or another. As they were fairly minor costs I didn't bother claiming on insurance. But accidents do happen, illness can occur, and I always take the view that I'll have insurance to cover those BIG things that might happen. Changes to flights, hospital bills, evacuation etc. It's really a question of peace of mind.

As others have mentioned above, there are many places to source insurance from. Travel agents, credit cards and so on. So it's worth checking all these to see what they cover and how much they cost. We are lucky in that our business travel insurance also covers us on holidays, and it provides really good cover, that I've had to use a couple of times.

I guess with all types of insurance it's a very personal thing. You have to weigh up if can afford to not have it...........
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I have edited and deleted a number of posts on this thread. Please think before you press the "send" button. I appeal especially to those replying to the posts of new members.

We really value the contributions of the "old" hands, but some of us do get grumpy, especially when answering a question that we have seen many times before, or when the answer seems obvious. If people knew the answer, they would not ask! So please, remember what you were like when you were "young" in the ways of the camino, and be tolerant.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Always insure risks that you cannot afford.
Being over 65, I am not Medicare covered overseas. On my 2017 failed CP, my return trip was covered after I injured both Achilles (cobblestones!!!) An acquaintance of mine needed his full $50,000 evacuation when he had a heart attack on a cruise ship. For we Americans, foreign costs are relatively cheap, but not free. Insure for sure.
 

LeeNLR

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camenio not in Sept 2016
Absolutely! The costs of medical evacuation and aftercare can be huge. Skimping on insurance is, in my opinion, a false economy. Sorry if this isn’t the answer you wanted to hear...
Yes absolutely it cost $100 euro to visit a doctor when l lost a toenail and I had to pay cash first at the bank get a receipt and take it to the doctor before they would see me. Hate to think what the cost would have been if the injury was worse.
 

tomishy

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2019
I am in the process of buying travel ins but as soon as i said we were walking the camino they wanted to know altitudes as they dont cover over 3000mtrs.. I have looked and I dont think we come near to that - would I be right? thankyou :)
 

Rinspin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
English June 21 2017
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
For sure! My husband got an infection last year and ended up in hospital in Santiago. Thank goodness, it would have cost us over $500. The cost of the insurance was $80!
 

Mugatu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
I would look into what travel insurance would cover. This past trip Norwegian Airlines was delayed for 2.5 hours which caused me to miss my connecting flight from Paris to Bayonne and consequently losing my prepaid lodgings in SJPP. I am still in limbo with my claim with Norwegian Airlines.
 

PeteF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 15 2018
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !

My blisters got infected. Couple trips to the doctor and my trip insurance has paid for its self. A lady fell and broke her wrist yesterday. Another guy died and his body needs to be shipped home. You decide
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
Never travel without it. I take out multi trip insurance every year and that covers me for holidays and camino. Always check that insurance covers hiking, altitude although nothing on the camino is higher than my insurance maximum. Also check maximum length of a single trip. Many only cover 30 days with extra premium for 60. In my case, I need to check age as 65 and over has restricted trip length on some policies. Basically, read the small print then read it again

Very important advice here. Check the number of days you are covered for in one trip. Usually 30. This is a condition of most "annual" travel insurance policies.
 

Owen Duguay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Le Puy to SJPP to Santiago de Compostelle to Finisterre. Environ 1700 km.
I didn't want to take a chance so I used this forum to get a name . I phoned and bought insurance for 159 $. I didn't get sick and no emergencies happened so I never used my insurance coverage. But I had peace of mind. Bye for now.
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
This really an individual decision and in part, it depends on your current health. I get travel insurance for any out of the country travels. I particularly focus on medical benefits including evacuation coverage in the case of a serious injury. Also keep in mind, depending on the country you live in, credit cards, such as in the USA, generally offer trip insurance but the coverage may not go deep enough for what you're needs are. Still, it warrants looking into it. Save travels
 

Beeman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
I got travel insurance for my Camino last year. I am 73 and it had a death benefit,and everything else. I am from the states,and if something serious happened to me,how would my wife handle or afford to get me home. The insurance was more for her than me. Insurance often is for the benefit of those we leave behind,which can have several meanings. And to the lady suffering many life challenges,and going on your first camino,and seem to be suffering some abuse on a site where none should be,BUEN CAMINO, and my good wishes go with you!
 

Jermann75

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
World Nomads is the best travel insurance we've used. I was just hospitalized in Leon for a kidney stone. There was an estimate that it was going to cost 10,000 euros for a lithotripsy. In the end I didn't need it so it cost 'only' 3600 CAD in the end. Wouldn't leave home without it. You NEVER know what is going to happen and the camino is no small walk.
 

Travelite

Member
Camino(s) past & future
First camino beginning September 2018
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
Definitely! I fell just before I reached that gate thingie as you exit the forest to enter Reconsevalles - just before the river. I had to go Pamplona hospital for x-rays and treatment, which did not come cheap. So, I can only say thank heaven for travel insurance.
 

Anna Cameron

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
If you fall ill on the Camino, as I did 3 weeks ago in Carrion de los Condès, and have to seek medical help as I finally did in Lèon, you will pay, and it's not cheap (because it was excellent medical help). I paid €180 for the consultation, Xrays and blood work, all required, because I was so ill. Then there the prescriptions and medications. I will be reimbursed by my travel insurance company when I get back to Australia. Imagine if it HAD been pneumonia or worse! Yes, you need to buy travel insurance, no question!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
and it's not cheap (because it was excellent medical help). I paid €180 for the consultation, Xrays and blood work, all required, because I was so ill.
That actually sounds really cheap compared to prices in the US!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Yes most likely. No offense is taken. And I lived in Europe w/ my ex husband and in UK we had to go to the ER and didn't pay a penny, so every country is difference.

I found it irritating that people come to the camino for very personal reasons. And I think it is very mindless to smirk comments esp. because of this being my first camino, I am obviously "getting my feet wet" in certain logistics, on top of going because of a divorce, husband left, can't find a full-time job and I am getting laid off work. The inter webs doesn't always bring the best out in people but important to think before one speaks/types/acts out.
Hola @erkovar. I fully understand your comments. We "experienced" pilgrims often make silly assumptions (myself included here). The break-up of any marriage can be traumatic and whilst walking the camino (any of them) will not solve all your problems it will give you the time to think things through.
As for your initial post query - from what I have read (on this forum and elsewhere) the Spanish health & medical system does not always offer "free" medical treatment to all other EU citizens. I think it depends upon how the "home country" treats Spaniards. If you are still domiciled in the UK then maybe just a good general purpose "medical / travel" insurance will suffice. For me - being considerably older & travelling from afar I always take out full comprehensive cover. Our Govt has an unspoken rule "if you cannot afford the travel insurance you cannot afford to travel". Go and enjoy the Porto Camino; Buen Camino!!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Slightly off topic, but I have a question for those who have had medical care in Spain, but were not asked to pay at the time.
While I was in Santiago I went to the hospital - sort of an urgent care center to have my leg looked at. They took my address, a copy of my insurance card, etc., but did not take any payment at the time. I understand that they would mail me a bill. It's been a couple of months now, and I haven't received anything yet. How long does it usually take?
 

Nanc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
coverage overseas does seem to vary with country of origin, and esp in the states, with which health insurance is your primary. Some provide similar coverage overseas, some do not
As others have said, Medicare wont help over seas

catastrophic events do occur like appendectomies, heart attacks sepsis, broken bones.
I can't find them right now, but i do believe that someone has posted in the past about their little known insurance company not being accepted at a medical facility and them having to pay out of pocket and getting reimbursed upon return

If you want coverage for before you leave in case life tornadoes happen (like a death in the immediate family a broken bone or surgery that stops you leaving- unfortunately a change in work situation is usually not covered ) then you will need a rider as most policies begin on the day you leave.

If you can financially and logistically deal with whatever life throws at you when in a foreign country and have guardian angels and optimism, paying for that security may not be what you want to do.

also please remember that trip insurance purchased either at the time of purchasing your tickets, or sometimes within the first few days after, is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than trying to go back 2 weeks later and get it
 

Dave C.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2016)
SJ to Santo Domingo (2017)
Santo Domingo to Fromista (2018)
SJPdP to Burgos (2019)
Slightly off topic, but I have a question for those who have had medical care in Spain, but were not asked to pay at the time.
While I was in Santiago I went to the hospital - sort of an urgent care center to have my leg looked at. They took my address, a copy of my insurance card, etc., but did not take any payment at the time. I understand that they would mail me a bill. It's been a couple of months now, and I haven't received anything yet. How long does it usually take?
I tried to pay for treatment in Estella a couple of years ago. They would not take a payment also. The bill eventually showed up. I think it took a couple of months.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
Fortunately, I have German ins. so when I fell and broke my wrist 11 days ago, the ambulance ride from St. Nikolas to Palencia was covered as well as the xrays, setting the bone and the cast. If I didn't have this kind of health ins. I would certainly make sure to purchase a policy for the Camino.
 

Anna Cameron

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
That actually sounds really cheap compared to prices in the US!
....and THAT is why, although I am a US citizen, I choose not to live in the USA! But as for the original question, I don't think any of my relatives in Texas would be happy to pay out well over $250 for a doctor's consultation, tests and medications, and not be reimbursed.
 

Antomuchacho

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning on startting first time at e d of april start of may
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
if youre a non eu citizen its worth it! An australian woman i know from last camino fell and hurt her neck and it cost quite a small fortune after 2 days treatment and assesment
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
Caution to those thinking their US medical insurance plans will cover everything on the camino. Make the call to your carrier. Some state 'emergencies' are covered and there are lots of definitions involved with that. I know of a woman who had to seek medical attention for an infected toenail and blisters at a Spanish Hospital and her insurance, after months of arguing, did not reimburse her because they did not consider her care an 'emergency' ( true, not life threatening ) . Another pilgrim from the US went to a 'clinic' as opposed to a full on hospital ER and was denied reimbursement.
Bottom line: all insurances are very different, you need to pay close attention to the wording on policies and look for clarification before assuming you do not need travel medical insurance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Slightly off topic, but I have a question for those who have had medical care in Spain, but were not asked to pay at the time.
While I was in Santiago I went to the hospital - sort of an urgent care center to have my leg looked at. They took my address, a copy of my insurance card, etc., but did not take any payment at the time. I understand that they would mail me a bill. It's been a couple of months now, and I haven't received anything yet. How long does it usually take?
Peg needed care in two clinics in Castile and Leon in the first half of June 2015. We got a bill for one. I have a record of me requesting on the first of October that they combine the statements so it looks like they took 3 months to bill us.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Slightly off topic, but I have a question for those who have had medical care in Spain, but were not asked to pay at the time.
While I was in Santiago I went to the hospital - sort of an urgent care center to have my leg looked at. They took my address, a copy of my insurance card, etc., but did not take any payment at the time. I understand that they would mail me a bill. It's been a couple of months now, and I haven't received anything yet. How long does it usually take?
So I received my bill today via email. I was actually surprised at how much it was, seeing as how it was just a simple exam, and I was only given 2 acetaminophen. But that's beside the point. It looks like they want a bank transfer. Does anyone know if that is the only payment that they will take? It sure would be easier to pay with my credit card!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
At least some minimal medical insurance, even if that's "only" in the form of the most basic international travelling cover from your social security, is a MUST.

Also, if you are bringing medication with you, carrying a photocopy of your prescription can sometimes help avoid complications if you accidentally or randomly get involved in a police check-up.
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
I know anything can happen at anytime or any place, but accidents / injuries occur. Do you think medical / flight trip insurance is necessary? Thanks !
I cannot stress enough how important it is to take out insurance be it for medical or travel - only when yo find yourself in the situation of needing backup will you realise how comforting it is to know your back is covered. I don't think age has anything to do with this and I know it adds a tad more to your budget but it is worth it.
Buen camino and travel well and safely
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
It looks like they want a bank transfer. Does anyone know if that is the only payment that they will take? It sure would be easier to pay with my credit card!
Peg's bill three years ago from SACYL, Castile and Leon's health service, wanted cash, check, or bank transfer. Bank of America wanted $40 for themselves for either check or transfer (I think EU banks do free transfers.) Transfers can be done via Western Union also for about the same amount of money but for $10 online if you set up an account. Another problem though is American banking laws want the name of the person receiving the funds. My attempts at getting a name was fruitless. I ended up sending money to someone in the EU who then paid the bill on our behalf. The health service does not want the banks to take a cut from a credit card payment.

Now you know why I keep saying that the bills should be paid at the clinic.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
So I received my bill today via email. I was actually surprised at how much it was, seeing as how it was just a simple exam, and I was only given 2 acetaminophen. But that's beside the point. It looks like they want a bank transfer. Does anyone know if that is the only payment that they will take? It sure would be easier to pay with my credit card!
I responded to the email that I received that contained my bill to ask if there was another way to pay besides bank transfer, and they said that I can also send a registered check, which hopefully is less expensive than a wire transfer.
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Reading this thread (and many others), it would be most helpful to know the nationality of the person writing. After all, the country of origin dictates the usefulness of the advice. I seem to remember this information used to be given beneath the avatar photo. Why the change?
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
In my honest opinion it's not important where the patiënt is from , or you pay the bill direct or later. (by the insurance ) It's one way or the other.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
many of my past camino walker friends said trip insurance is dumb as medical is "free" in Europe
Unless your past camino walker friends are EU citizens and have an EHIC card, medical treatment is not 'free'. Anyone without an EHIC - that includes EU citizens who haven't for some reason remembered to get one - has to pay at some point. And it's not just the medical treatment that will cost if something happens. My husband had an accident on the Camino in Sept 2017, with broken and fractured bones, and our insurance paid or refunded expenses for me to travel to Spain to help care for him, for my accommodation and some food while I was there, for both of us to travel back home and for a private ambulance to take us to our front door - not cheap! All we paid was the excess.

When I was younger I didn't always bother with insurance because the stuff I had when travelling wasn't very expensive, but there are so many other costs if something should happen. We have since increased our insurance cover for peace of mind. Oh and my husband has just recovered from the last surgery to fix the damage from 2017. Worth considering that though something happens on a trip it can have long term consequences too.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Country per-se is not important; but it may determine what insurance coverage is already in place. For me as USA over 65, I am not covered internationally by Medicare. But some Medicare Advantage policies (not mine) will cover by reimbursement.
Anyone who is not covered to the level they need/desire, needs to get insurance..............full stop!
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Reading this thread (and many others), it would be most helpful to know the nationality of the person writing. After all, the country of origin dictates the usefulness of the advice. I seem to remember this information used to be given beneath the avatar photo. Why the change?

por qué? Travel Insurance and its value to the individual has no dependence on where they are from. The need and the likelihood of benefit is entirely dependent on occurrence and location. An EHIC holder will receive medical treatment in Spain without charge unless they present with a pre-existing condition that could have been treated in their country of origin. Their corpus or their mortal remains will not be repatriated at the cost of the Spanish health services. Non EHIC holders will have to pay for medical treatment at the time of receipt or later. Their corpus or their mortal remains will be repatriated at the cost of their travel insurers or their estate.

The OP's question was so vague that the only realistic response for members was "Yes".

As to your other point Margaret, what is displayed under the Avatar is entirely dependent on what the Member enters there and on their profile pages. Most posters these days won't even grant us the benefits of gender & continent let alone country of origin. And hey, advice should always be universal and non-gender-specific ;)
 

freeflyer123

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
Yes, yes, and yes - insurance is vital. Although we've always had it, mainly for cover should either of us have an accident, we've never claimed - except for once when our luggage was pilfered from a locked car while in Calais - the back window was smashed. But one of our friends ended up in a coma after crashing with her bike (she fell asleep while on a night ride(!)). She was in a French hospital for five months before they moved her back to the UK to recover. During those five months, her husband was put up in a nearby hotel to be by her bedside much of the time. None of this would have been possible if they had not had insurance. Of course, they had a modicum of "free" cover but none of that would have been any good in this situation, as her husband would have been sent home or forced to pay his own way for five long months in a foreign country.

Our son and his family were holidaying when the volcano in Iceland went off in 2010 and planes were grounded. They were forced to stay another week (which they were happy to do of course). They were not left out of pocket because their insurance covered the cost of the extended stay and rescheduled flights back home.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
The OP hasn't been back to the forum since October 2018. Presumably they either took the forums collective advice or didn't. We can never know.
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2009, 2013);
? (2020)
por qué? Travel Insurance and its value to the individual has no dependence on where they are from...;)
Actually, I believe it does have significant dependence. If I had need to return "home" should a close family member become ill, trip interruption insurance would have far greater value if that home were in North America or Oz, for example, when compared to someone traveling "home" to say the UK.
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Exactly!
Actually, I believe it does have significant dependence. If I had need to return "home" should a close family member become ill, trip interruption insurance would have far greater value if that home were in North America or Oz, for example, when compared to someone traveling "home" to say the UK.
Exactly! I met a woman from Holland when we were both resting and “injured” at a cafe in Ponferrada. She had tendinitis; I had a torn meniscus. Her insurance (which was her regular year-round health insurance in Holland and covered the entire EU for holidays) was about to pay for her to be driven by taxi to Vigo to fly home. My travel insurance from Oz would not pay anything towards curtailment of my trip because the doctor didn’t actually state that it was necessary.
 

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