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COVID Medical Insurance while traveling in Spain

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
I am considering a walking Trip on the Camino toward the end of this year and I am wondering about medical travel insurance.

Now that the Covid 19 is a pre-existing condition or situation I am wondering if it is possible to protect myself with some insurance while away?

I fear that if I go and I become sick the medical fees could be expansive.

Of course I will wear a mask and follow all the rules require by the authority.

Any suggestions would be helpful.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am considering a walking Trip on the Camino toward the end of this year and I am wondering about medical travel insurance.

Now that the Covid 19 is a pre-existing condition or situation I am wondering if it is possible to protect myself with some insurance while away?

I fear that if I go and I become sick the medical fees could be expansive.

Of course I will wear a mask and follow all the rules require by the authority.

Any suggestions would be helpful.
You would need to contact medical travel insurance providers in your country and see what their policies are.
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
You would need to contact medical travel insurance providers in your country and see what their policies are.
Thank you for your suggestion. I just check and travel insurance is not for sale currently in Canada for the moment.

I will check again in August.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you for your suggestion. I just check and travel insurance is not for sale currently in Canada for the moment.

I will check again in August.
I have an annual global medical insurance policy with United Healthcare (in the US) and it will cover my medical expenses and a medical evacuation (and even more morbidly, a repatriation of my remains) if I should be so lucky to find myself in Spain this year and so unlucky as to get covid. A lot of the discussion on this forum has been about pandemic exceptions to travel insurance. But what my UHC customer service people tell me is that the pademic exclusion is about an exclusion from coverage for trip cancellation and NOT an exclusion for medical expenses if you happen to fall ill from covid while traveling. But @trecile’s advice is spot on, you should contact your own insurance company.
 

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
Slightly off topic, but I think still relevant. We have examples of countries suddenly imposing lockdowns and quarantine - as is currently the case in Beijing. It is very expensive to get stuck in some places and flights home can become expensive. Not many insurers will cover those costs because they are caused by a pandemic. Perhaps wise to have access to emergency funds.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Slightly off topic, but I think still relevant. We have examples of countries suddenly imposing lockdowns and quarantine - as is currently the case in Beijing. It is very expensive to get stuck in some places and flights home can become expensive. Not many insurers will cover those costs because they are caused by a pandemic. Perhaps wise to have access to emergency funds.
That was what I found when I called my insurance co, @Kanga. If you’re in the hospital with covid, the medical insurance policy will probably cover your medical expenses, but if you are healthy and just stuck with nowhere to go, the travel insurance policy is likely to exclude pandemics. I don’t ever buy insurance to cover the travel portion of the trip, because I have heard several anecdotes from people about nitpicking exclusions. Changing a plane reservation is usually a manageable expense, except in these crazy covid times perhaps, but I agree that people who plan to travel during this time should have reserves to get them through a lockdown, and then enough to buy what may be a very expensive one way ticket.

There are several students from Argentina who are currently stuck in my hometown. There are no flights going there, and they are out of money anyway, so it’s not clear what will happen to them. And to top it all off, their visas have expired!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I have an annual global medical insurance policy with United Healthcare (in the US) and it will cover my medical expenses and a medical evacuation (and even more morbidly, a repatriation of my remains) if I should be so lucky to find myself in Spain this year and so unlucky as to get covid. A lot of the discussion on this forum has been about pandemic exceptions to travel insurance. But what my UHC customer service people tell me is that the pademic exclusion is about an exclusion from coverage for trip cancellation and NOT an exclusion for medical expenses if you happen to fall ill from covid while traveling. But @trecile’s advice is spot on, you should contact your own insurance company.

Good clarification thanks!
 

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
There are several students from Argentina who are currently stuck in my hometown. There are no flights going there, and they are out of money anyway, so it’s not clear what will happen to them. And to top it all off, their visas have expired!

Yes, we have backpackers in Australia in a similar situation.
 

Sanman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Portuguese Camino (Cluny, Le Puys), Hadrian's Wall, West Highland Way
I am considering a walking Trip on the Camino toward the end of this year and I am wondering about medical travel insurance.

Now that the Covid 19 is a pre-existing condition or situation I am wondering if it is possible to protect myself with some insurance while away?

I fear that if I go and I become sick the medical fees could be expansive.

Of course I will wear a mask and follow all the rules require by the authority.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Hi Jean

I'm in Canada done a few Caminos and was planning Le Puys for April - May (now past)...I also winter in Florida. Currently we can't travel to Europe, nor can you buy insurance. Also what I have been told (i called several companies) is that when travel does become available it will not cover Covid (a pre-existing condition). That being said I'm sure the actuaries will figure out the risk reward and come up with something! Everyone will need insurance and it will need to be offered for people to get moving again...but for now it's wait and see
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Jean

I'm in Canada done a few Caminos and was planning Le Puys for April - May (now past)...I also winter in Florida. Currently we can't travel to Europe, nor can you buy insurance. Also what I have been told (i called several companies) is that when travel does become available it will not cover Covid (a pre-existing condition). That being said I'm sure the actuaries will figure out the risk reward and come up with something! Everyone will need insurance and it will need to be offered for people to get moving again...but for now it's wait and see
Are you sure that the insurance will not cover medical treatment for covid? I am assuming you are certain because of what you wrote, but the exclusion for pre-existing conditions usually refers to conditions that the traveler has (like heart failure or something), not conditions that are pre-existing in the places where you travel.

What I have found to be the case with regard to US companies is that the two I have called both said that your medical coverage will extend to covid (so if you are infected there and require hospitalization, the company will cover those expenses, and it will also cover a medical evacuation if you need it). But what cannot be insured against, as of now, is trip cancellation. So if you get to Spain or France and can’t leave the country because of a covid lock-down, you cannot get reimbursed for the cost of the flight you lost, the new flight you will have to book, or the costs you incur having to stay in Europe. That’s because the trip cancellation insurance has an exclusion for pandemics.

I’m not disputing what you say, but think it would be worth clarification, just because the term pre-existing condition doesn’t really fit here. And I also find it very hard to believe that there is ANY situation in which the US health care system might be superior to Canada’s. :D
 

Sanman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Portuguese Camino (Cluny, Le Puys), Hadrian's Wall, West Highland Way
Are you sure that the insurance will not cover medical treatment for covid? I am assuming you are certain because of what you wrote, but the exclusion for pre-existing conditions usually refers to conditions that the traveler has (like heart failure or something), not conditions that are pre-existing in the places where you travel.

What I have found to be the case with regard to US companies is that the two I have called both said that your medical coverage will extend to covid (so if you are infected there and require hospitalization, the company will cover those expenses, and it will also cover a medical evacuation if you need it). But what cannot be insured against, as of now, is trip cancellation. So if you get to Spain or France and can’t leave the country because of a covid lock-down, you cannot get reimbursed for the cost of the flight you lost, the new flight you will have to book, or the costs you incur having to stay in Europe. That’s because the trip cancellation insurance has an exclusion for pandemics.

I’m not disputing what you say, but think it would be worth clarification, just because the term pre-existing condition doesn’t really fit here. And I also find it very hard to believe that there is ANY situation in which the US health care system might be superior to Canada’s. :D

When Covid hit all major insurers in Canada (Manulife, Sunlife, RBC etc. etc.,) stopped covering Covid if people travelled. Pre-existing environmental conditions are whatever vernacular they use...they were not going to cover people travelling, knowing they could get infected and present them with a big claim.
I have called these companies - plus Snowbird Insurance whom i use for US travel and no Covid coverage - none.
Will it change?, don't know but i do know they will need a solution as countless Canadians like me go south and of course people want to start travelling again. So maybe the gov't will help, maybe the insurers will find a way...I'm waiting to see if i can go to Florida in Nov (the only thing holding me back is insurance 'cause if you get sick you could be bankrupt.)
If you discover anything different please post, but this is what i have found and i have been buying insurance for 30 yrs. I continually check in as well - but given the US border is closed and the European border for us it'sm currently ...but hopefully in a few months there will be clarity!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
they were not going to cover people travelling
Wouldn't that be based on travelling against the public health directives and warnings that are currently in place? Once those directives change, the insurance coverage will.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, I think @C clearly may be on to something. It seems that the government directives were the trigger for exclusion. My trusty research tool, google, brought me to this government website.

I am not a big fan of insurance companies, having lost several expensive battles about what turned out to be convoluted exclusions to coverage on our car and home policies in the US. So maybe I am jaded and being unfair. But for these companies to say they won’t cover you for covid because of pre-existing environmental conditions is like them telling you they won’t cover you for medical expenses for treatment for malaria if you go to parts of the world where malaria is prevalent. That’s of course why you want the insurance in the first place!

This one website seems to offer some hope to Canadians, but it may be only for those who found themselves stranded in the US after covid started. I have never heard of this company and cannot vouch for their reputation or honesty, though.

Good luck, @Sanman, keep us posted! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Sanman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Portuguese Camino (Cluny, Le Puys), Hadrian's Wall, West Highland Way
Yes, I think @C clearly may be on to something. It seems that the government directives were the trigger for exclusion. My trusty research tool, google, brought me to this government website.

I am not a big fan of insurance companies, having lost several expensive battles about what turned out to be convoluted exclusions to coverage on our car and home policies in the US. So maybe I am jaded and being unfair. But for these companies to say they won’t cover you for covid because of pre-existing environmental conditions is like them telling you they won’t cover you for medical expenses for treatment for malaria if you go to parts of the world where malaria is prevalent. That’s of course why you want the insurance in the first place!

This one website seems to offer some hope to Canadians, but it may be only for those who found themselves stranded in the US after covid started. I have never heard of this company and cannot vouch for their reputation or honesty, though.

Good luck, @Sanman, keep us posted! Buen camino, Laurie
Thx for your research.
The site is pretty clear though.."Travel insurance providers no longer cover travel booked on or after March 13, 2020, when the official global travel advisory came into effect. If you are already outside Canada, including the United States, you may have to remain there for some time".
In order to reboot the world's travel economies - airlines, hotels, restaurants, trains, tour companies etc etc there will need to be some form of travel insurance offered. Maybe it will cover Covid may not but you can bet the actuaries will do the math on the profit potential!
They may want to wait for the vaccine - which i don't think will work as things need to get moving and who knows if or when that will happen.
So my theory and that's all it is, is that to get things moving countries will get insurers to step up (maybe gov't backed) because as a minimum you need travel insurance and then i guess the question becomes will people (tourists, walkers, businesses) travel anywhere without the additional Covid coverage?...some will some won't.
Hence i believe there will need to be some form of gov't backed initiative otherwise only a fraction of the people that can travel, will, and again they need to get people out travelling and spending.
Now, back to my second favourite topic (after the Camino) identifying native trees!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
Are you sure that the insurance will not cover medical treatment for covid? I am assuming you are certain because of what you wrote, but the exclusion for pre-existing conditions usually refers to conditions that the traveler has (like heart failure or something), not conditions that are pre-existing in the places where you travel.

What I have found to be the case with regard to US companies is that the two I have called both said that your medical coverage will extend to covid (so if you are infected there and require hospitalization, the company will cover those expenses, and it will also cover a medical evacuation if you need it). But what cannot be insured against, as of now, is trip cancellation. So if you get to Spain or France and can’t leave the country because of a covid lock-down, you cannot get reimbursed for the cost of the flight you lost, the new flight you will have to book, or the costs you incur having to stay in Europe. That’s because the trip cancellation insurance has an exclusion for pandemics.

I’m not disputing what you say, but think it would be worth clarification, just because the term pre-existing condition doesn’t really fit here. And I also find it very hard to believe that there is ANY situation in which the US health care system might be superior to Canada’s. :D
The term my insurance is using is “known condition” for Covid-19 and as such ... does not cover it.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The term my insurance is using is “known condition” for Covid-19 and as such ... does not cover it.
It doesn't provide medical care if you contract Covid? Or the rest of the insurance - replacing flights, repatriation, etc. isn't covered?
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
When Covid hit all major insurers in Canada (Manulife, Sunlife, RBC etc. etc.,) stopped covering Covid if people travelled. Pre-existing environmental conditions are whatever vernacular they use...they were not going to cover people travelling, knowing they could get infected and present them with a big claim.
I have called these companies - plus Snowbird Insurance whom i use for US travel and no Covid coverage - none.
Will it change?, don't know but i do know they will need a solution as countless Canadians like me go south and of course people want to start travelling again. So maybe the gov't will help, maybe the insurers will find a way...I'm waiting to see if i can go to Florida in Nov (the only thing holding me back is insurance 'cause if you get sick you could be bankrupt.)
If you discover anything different please post, but this is what i have found and i have been buying insurance for 30 yrs. I continually check in as well - but given the US border is closed and the European border for us it'sm currently ...but hopefully in a few months there will be clarity!


Respectfully, I doubt that a government will in some way financially support or incentivize travel insurance for COVID outside their own borders? Sanman, I understand your desire... We all want to get back to traveling. But I think, realistically, there will unlikely be reasonable travel insurance covering covid, until there is an effective, safe vaccine or theraputics that minimize treatment and cost. Even if there is a breahthrough, it will take time for those interventions to filter down to us and insurance companies. In the meantime, why not explore places at home and be safe.
 
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Sanman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Portuguese Camino (Cluny, Le Puys), Hadrian's Wall, West Highland Way
You may be right, the initial thread was someone wondering if they could get travel insurance - I'm under no duress to travel anytime soon.
As to insurance ...I don't know...nobody knows. I was just offering a perspective. I do know the government has spent billions supporting individuals small and large businesses - rightly so. For people to travel they will need insurance (even without Covid coverage they will need basic travel insurance as if one gets laid up in a foreign hospital the bills could be staggering)...my speculation is insurance companies will do the math (actuarial tables based on infection rates, cost etc) and come up with a travel insurance fee...if people still don't travel the gov't may step in...but just a theory.
I have travelled the world extensively including my own country...I have no trouble waiting until the time is right to travel again...and i know a lot of places (including the Camino are relying on people to get back out there at some point. Besides my Camino company is holding all the money I paid for our trip as is the airline and hotels and trains...but i digress. We will travel there will be insurance just who knows when! Good Walking!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
You may be right, the initial thread was someone wondering if they could get travel insurance - I'm under no duress to travel anytime soon.
As to insurance ...I don't know...nobody knows. I was just offering a perspective. I do know the government has spent billions supporting individuals small and large businesses - rightly so. For people to travel they will need insurance (even without Covid coverage they will need basic travel insurance as if one gets laid up in a foreign hospital the bills could be staggering)...my speculation is insurance companies will do the math (actuarial tables based on infection rates, cost etc) and come up with a travel insurance fee...if people still don't travel the gov't may step in...but just a theory.
I have travelled the world extensively including my own country...I have no trouble waiting until the time is right to travel again...and i know a lot of places (including the Camino are relying on people to get back out there at some point. Besides my Camino company is holding all the money I paid for our trip as is the airline and hotels and trains...but i digress. We will travel there will be insurance just who knows when! Good Walking!

I came across this article on Insurance for COVID TRAVEL and thought it might be what you are looking for.... It appears the max. Insurance is $100,000.
 

NiniSum

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances (2012: Leon to SdC) C Finisterre (2012) C Frances (2015: SJPP to Leon) C Inglés (2019)
My understanding in Canada is that until the government's Global Travel Advisory is lifted, there will be no non-essential international travel, and insurance will not be available. Once the travel advisory is removed, then we may have a better idea of how the insurance industry will (or will not) cover Covid-related illnesses while travelling.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Are you sure that the insurance will not cover medical treatment for covid? I am assuming you are certain because of what you wrote, but the exclusion for pre-existing conditions usually refers to conditions that the traveler has (like heart failure or something), not conditions that are pre-existing in the places where you travel.

What I have found to be the case with regard to US companies is that the two I have called both said that your medical coverage will extend to covid (so if you are infected there and require hospitalization, the company will cover those expenses, and it will also cover a medical evacuation if you need it). But what cannot be insured against, as of now, is trip cancellation. So if you get to Spain or France and can’t leave the country because of a covid lock-down, you cannot get reimbursed for the cost of the flight you lost, the new flight you will have to book, or the costs you incur having to stay in Europe. That’s because the trip cancellation insurance has an exclusion for pandemics.

I’m not disputing what you say, but think it would be worth clarification, just because the term pre-existing condition doesn’t really fit here. And I also find it very hard to believe that there is ANY situation in which the US health care system might be superior to Canada’s. :D
This is confusing, for sure. Note that there is technically a difference between pre-existing condition and Force Majeure. Pre-existing would be some condition such as heart failure that you have before you apply for coverage. I wonder if the insurance companies use the term meaning you have COVID before your coverage starts. Are you sure they are defining pre-existing as coming down with COVID while travelling?
Another thing that I noticed yesterday is in my Medicare coverage--in the US we basically are forced at age 65 to sign up for very expensive health insurance. Yesterday I was reading my policy, which has a section saying they cover emergency care in foreign countries if that condition was something they would cover if the person was in the US. That, of course, doesn't cover prolonged hospitalization or evac flights home, so supplemental coverage is warranted. But I've been told for years Medicare doesn't cover anything out of the US. Any other folks out there from the US who know more than I on this?
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Check
This is confusing, for sure. Note that there is technically a difference between pre-existing condition and Force Majeure. Pre-existing would be some condition such as heart failure that you have before you apply for coverage. I wonder if the insurance companies use the term meaning you have COVID before your coverage starts. Are you sure they are defining pre-existing as coming down with COVID while travelling?
Another thing that I noticed yesterday is in my Medicare coverage--in the US we basically are forced at age 65 to sign up for very expensive health insurance. Yesterday I was reading my policy, which has a section saying they cover emergency care in foreign countries if that condition was something they would cover if the person was in the US. That, of course, doesn't cover prolonged hospitalization or evac flights home, so supplemental coverage is warranted. But I've been told for years Medicare doesn't cover anything out of the US. Any other folks out there from the US who know more than I on this?

Check this out regarding Medicare coverage
 
This is confusing, for sure. Note that there is technically a difference between pre-existing condition and Force Majeure. Pre-existing would be some condition such as heart failure that you have before you apply for coverage. I wonder if the insurance companies use the term meaning you have COVID before your coverage starts. Are you sure they are defining pre-existing as coming down with COVID while travelling?
Another thing that I noticed yesterday is in my Medicare coverage--in the US we basically are forced at age 65 to sign up for very expensive health insurance. Yesterday I was reading my policy, which has a section saying they cover emergency care in foreign countries if that condition was something they would cover if the person was in the US. That, of course, doesn't cover prolonged hospitalization or evac flights home, so supplemental coverage is warranted. But I've been told for years Medicare doesn't cover anything out of the US. Any other folks out there from the US who know more than I on this?

Medicare doesn't cover you outside of the U.S. Most travel agents are not familiar with insurance so I highly recommend speaking to an insurance agent that specializes in international travel insurance. There are policies which cover pre-existing medical conditions. medical evacuation, quarantine expenses, emergency reunion (flies a loved one to your bedside) and COVID. Plus if you need to file a claim, from my experience it is a lot easier working with your insurance agent instead of working directly with the large insurance company. My parents, brother and I have all utilized travel insurance for accidents, illnesses and unforeseen emergencies in Vietnam, Panama and Mozambique. If you need a referral, then please let me know. Safe Travels :)
 

Orlando Wren

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018), Fisterra (2018)
Portuguese from Porto (Oct 2018)
Frances (2019)
Thank you all for continuing this conversation. Here I was, busy trying to figure out a way to travel to Europe and haven't even checked to see if I could get travel insurance to cover COVID medical expenses overseas, should I be lucky enough to travel and unlucky enough to get infected. So I'm following the conversation.....
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
This travel insurance is from trailfinders in the Uk, https://www.trailfinders.com/travel-insurance
It claims to cover Covid19
Yes, it does claim to cover Covid-19 including cancellation costs.

I entered our details for a quotation : ages 75, 71 ; European travel for 9 days in September of this year ; no health questions asked (surprisingly) :

Costs : single-trip : £202-00 ; annual multi-trip (which claimed to be worldwide) : £999-00.

So, fully covered for all health events...but at a price. Before Covid-19, I would have expected single-trip as above for about £60-00 and annual multitrip (Europe only) for about £150-00.

PS : I have just run a second quote for a CF-length trip : 3 September to 8 October 2020 comes out at...£658-00 for two people, ages as above.

PPS : available only to residents of Europe ; some exclusions of which one is Switzerland (??) ; must be 75 or under when policy commences.
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
This is the information I got for US insurance. And it sounds like maybe the Canadian insurance companies are pretty much saying the same thing? As long as there’s an advisory from your government against traveling somewhere they don’t cover it. So if your government tells you not to go to Spain because of the risk of COVID-19, your insurance won’t cover it. Once the travel advisory is lifted, they will cover it.

If there was a travel advisory against going someplace because of malaria, your insurance also wouldn’t cover it.

You can see how the travel advisory is key.

US insurance always covers medical expenses if you get sick or hurt while traveling except in a place where you shouldn’t be per your governments advice (“A travel advisory“). The exception to this is if you can prove that you were unable to leave.

But what the Insurance company will not cover, irregardless of what your government tells you, is for trip cancellation or evacuation, if they think you shouldn’t go there (travel advisory or not, doesn’t matter).

Whatever your insurance company seems to cover, make sure you have it in writing if there’s any questions. I believe for legal purposes an email is good enough. I believe the above information is accurate, but you should assume I’m an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and check it for yourself. It’s too important.

This information came from Blue Cross Blue Shield in the United States, and the US representative of the world nomads, which I believe is an Australian company.
 
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Orlando Wren

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018), Fisterra (2018)
Portuguese from Porto (Oct 2018)
Frances (2019)
This is the information I got for US insurance. And it sounds like maybe the Canadian insurance companies are pretty much saying the same thing? As long as there’s an advisory from your government against traveling somewhere they don’t cover it. So if your government tells you not to go to Spain because of the risk of COVID-19, your insurance won’t cover it. Once the travel advisory is lifted, they will cover it.

If there was a travel advisory against going someplace because of malaria, your insurance also wouldn’t cover it.

You can see how the travel advisory is key.

US insurance always covers medical expenses if you get sick or hurt while traveling except in a place where you shouldn’t be per your governments advice (“A travel advisory“). The exception to this is if you can prove that you were unable to leave.

But what the Insurance company will not cover, irregardless of what your government tells you, is for trip cancellation or evacuation, if they think you shouldn’t go there (travel advisory or not, doesn’t matter).

Whatever your insurance company seems to cover, make sure you have it in writing if there’s any questions. I believe for legal purposes an email is good enough. I believe the above information is accurate, but you should assume I’m an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and check it for yourself. It’s too important.

This information came from Blue Cross Blue Shield in the United States, and the US representative of the world nomads, which I believe is an Australian company.
GREAT INFO, THANK YOU! ;)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
GREAT INFO, THANK YOU! ;)


Please explain?

But what the Insurance company will not cover, irregardless of what your government tells you, is for trip cancellation or evacuation, if they think you shouldn’t go there (travel advisory or not, doesn’t matter).

it seems to me that if the insurance company decides we should not go there regardless of gov. Then they can decide not to pay whenever they wish to?
Not reassuring to me
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
I am considering a walking Trip on the Camino toward the end of this year and I am wondering about medical travel insurance.
The first issue is that if your originating country has a travel advisory warning you not to travel to country XXXXX. Then all insurances are usually null and void unless you were in-country before the advise was posted!

If this is not the case then you need to ask a reputable Insurance Broker to find you a policy that will cover your requirements concerning; Health Cover, Repatriation, Consequential loss for travel Interruption etc.

The good news about Spain is that anyone ill will not be refused medical help at the point of need. You are not normally required to pay for medical treatment (except for pharmacy prescription charges) up front or when treatment ceases. You will be billed by the Hospital and either you or the Insurance will settle the Bill when you are back home.

My experience of Canadian Healthcare was more in the line of show us your credit card before we will stench the flow of arterial blood from your leg wound:mad:
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
Please explain?

But what the Insurance company will not cover, irregardless of what your government tells you, is for trip cancellation or evacuation, if they think you shouldn’t go there (travel advisory or not, doesn’t matter).

it seems to me that if the insurance company decides we should not go there regardless of gov. Then they can decide not to pay whenever they wish to?
Not reassuring to me


No, they can’t just decide not to cover you. It is whatever was the situation the day you purchased the insurance. Of course they can’t just change it later. You have a contract. The only way that insurance gets changed is if there’s some sort of travel advisory issued by your country.

Another words you can buy insurance to visit country A, And then if during your trip your government says that you should leave that country because of some danger, then the insurance company would have the right to not cover you if you refuse to leave. If, for instance you were in the hospital, and you were unable to leave, the insurance will still cover you. They are not willing to cover you for stupid risks, like refusing to leave a war zone or a zone where there is an active pandemic. But they would have an obligation, if your insurance policy covered it, to evacuate you if necessary.

People who purchased insurance for trips to China in January, with trip cancellation coverage, did get payouts if they purchased the insurance before there were pandemic issues. But after a certain date, You could no longer buy insurance that would cover you.

I think what people have trouble understanding is that once there’s a health or other danger, why would any insurance cover it? An insurance company wouldn’t sell your flood insurance if you lived next to a river that flooded every year. I don’t even understand what people are looking for. Nobody’s selling good coverage right now, and I think if you find it, it’s either going to be a lie or very expensive.

I’m not sure what the status of travel advisories from the United States state department is right now. But I’m pretty sure that any travel insurance company would have a COVID-19 policy clearly on its website. And if it doesn’t, I wouldn’t buy it. You can read the fine print in their policies and there usually is a pandemic exclusion, but it’s all very difficult to understand.

The only way you can even fly to Europe from the US is if you’re deemed essential. What insurance company is going to sell a tourist insurance under those circumstances? And I’m just guessing, but I bet European travel insurance isn’t willing to sell travel insurance to people wanting to come to the United States right now.

Again, my disclaimer, you should assume I am an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and do your own research.
 
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Sosthenes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2020
I am considering a walking Trip on the Camino toward the end of this year and I am wondering about medical travel insurance.

Now that the Covid 19 is a pre-existing condition or situation I am wondering if it is possible to protect myself with some insurance while away?

I fear that if I go and I become sick the medical fees could be expansive.

Of course I will wear a mask and follow all the rules require by the authority.

Any suggestions would be helpful.
Go to your insurance agent and ask for travel insurance which will cover any medical expenses
 
Camino(s) past & future
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
I am in the UK and had no difficulty getting insurance covering COVID in August. The key question was whether the FCO advice was warning against travel to Spain. This is normal practice for travel insurance. What policies won't cover you for is situations arising where you had prior knowledge (in the form of public advice from the authorities).

I used Staysure and they still have this on their website:

"All travel insurance policies with us include COVID-19 cover at no extra cost. So if the FCO say it’s safe to travel to your destination you can travel with peace of mind knowing we’ll cover you for:"

There then follows a list of the cover. I haven't included this as I don't want this post to be an advert. Naturally their actuaries will price the policy according to their assessment of the risk so if you are in a high risk group the premium is likely to be higher than previous years.

I hope this helps.
 

Sosthenes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2020
I am in the UK and had no difficulty getting insurance covering COVID in August. The key question was whether the FCO advice was warning against travel to Spain. This is normal practice for travel insurance. What policies won't cover you for is situations arising where you had prior knowledge (in the form of public advice from the authorities).

I used Staysure and they still have this on their website:

"All travel insurance policies with us include COVID-19 cover at no extra cost. So if the FCO say it’s safe to travel to your destination you can travel with peace of mind knowing we’ll cover you for:"

There then follows a list of the cover. I haven't included this as I don't want this post to be an advert. Naturally their actuaries will price the policy according to their assessment of the risk so if you are in a high risk group the premium is likely to be higher than previous years.

I hope this helps.
What is the FCO
 

Mike Wells

author of 'Cycling the Camino Frances'
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1995) (2017 twice) (2018); Via de la Plata (1996); Finisterre (2018)
This travel insurance is from trailfinders in the Uk, https://www.trailfinders.com/travel-insurance
It claims to cover Covid19
The key is not whether the policy covers coronavirus either medically or for travel related risks, rather it is if the policy covers you at all. Condition 11 on p14 of Trailfinders policy document is very clear. You will not be covered if you travel to a country where your home government has issued an advisory against all but essential travel. As I understand it this is a common exclusion for all major companies in the insurance market. There are specialist insurance companies that cover high risk travellers (such as journalists in war zones, aid workers in areas of high health risk, climbers tackling Everest, etc), but their policies come at a very high price.

At the present time both France and Spain (plus many other countries) are subject to 'travel advisories' by the UK government so travel insurance policies underwritten by UK insurance companies will not cover you there. For European citizens (EU plus Switzerland/Lichtenstein/Norway/Iceland and UK but only until 31Dec20) the EHIC reciprocal health care arrangement will provide free health care if you contract the virus, but this does not cover repatriation if you are unable to complete your journey. And anyway who would want to be queueing up for A&E treatment in a French or Spanish hospital right now?

My advice right now.... STAY AT HOME.
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
At the present time both France and Spain (plus many other countries) are subject to 'travel advisories' by the UK government so travel insurance policies underwritten by UK insurance companies will not cover you there.
If only I had written my post when the travel advice from the FCO was that you could travel or was about to change so you could🤷 oh hang on.....

There is only one piece of advice right now.... STAY AT HOME.
Definitely not come up on my FCO email alerts when was this announced? Common sense, yes but not other than that.

Edit
A humour reset on my part😆
 
Last edited:

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
What is the FCO
It's the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
The original advice to consult your own insurer is still the best advice.

I remembered that at the time Emirates started offering Travel insurance with Covid cover as a way of boosting passenger traffic on their flights and so I went over to their website to see what they are currently saying and this is what I found:

The travel insurance policy, which is offered by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), provides coverage in case of unforeseen circumstances that may force you to cancel or shorten your trip or seek emergency medical treatment while travelling.

Note the phrase "unforeseen circumstances". This indicates to me that Covid is not covered under this particular policy (but maybe on other policies).

Again, the best advice is: Read your policy.
 
There are many travel insurance options for U.S. Citizens which cover trip cancellation, trip interruption and local medical care due to COVID-19. If you want to take advantage of some lower travel costs, then it may be a good time to plan a trip for 2021. If the travel suppliers do not offer COVID coverage, then a supplemental policy can protect your travel investment from closed borders, travel warnings or the fear of traveling.

Stay safe,
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
There are many travel insurance options for U.S. Citizens which cover trip cancellation, trip interruption and local medical care due to COVID-19. If you want to take advantage of some lower travel costs, then it may be a good time to plan a trip for 2021. If the travel suppliers do not offer COVID coverage, then a supplemental policy can protect your travel investment from closed borders, travel warnings or the fear of traveling.

Stay safe,
Every policy I ever looked at had pandemic exclusions. Another words, if the US government is recommending you don’t go there, or if the country is not accepting tourists from the US.

Yes, the policies did cover Covid like they would cover any medical emergency. BUT, there would be no coverage for anything if there’s restrictions or warnings about visiting a particular country, and you go anyway.

Are you sure about this? Do you have any links? Citations?
 
Every policy I ever looked at had pandemic exclusions. Another words, if the US government is recommending you don’t go there, or if the country is not accepting tourists from the US.

Yes, the policies did cover Covid like they would cover any medical emergency. BUT, there would be no coverage for anything if there’s restrictions or warnings about visiting a particular country, and you go anyway.

Are you sure about this? Do you have any links? Citations?
Hi Stephanie,

Insurance For Trips offer a travel medical plan that covers COVID-19 regardless if there is a travel warning. https://insurancefortrips.com/quotes/?product=321. I used the Chat feature on the website to confirm. I hope this helps. I wish you a nice Thanksgiving celebration. Even this year, there is still a lot to be thankful for :)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Every policy I ever looked at had pandemic exclusions.

I haven’t looked at this since about 4 months ago, but what I learned from my United Healthcare Global insurer is the “pandemic exclusion” excluded coverage for travel-related expenses, like flight cancellations, need to stay in a hotel for three weeks during quarantine, etc. But medical expenses triggered by covid would be covered. That’s just one insurer, though, so everyone should check their own.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
@Atlas Traveler , @peregrina2000


I’m not trying to be disagreeable, but I think travel insurance Is more complicated right now and I feel obligated to encourage people to be a little nervous about the insurance and really look into it.

Note:Travel insurance is country specific. My information is about United States issued insurance.

The information I got said, yes, travel insurance will cover you if you’re sick or need hospitalization from COVID-19, or any other illness or injury. Always.

The pandemic exclusion, though, would not cover medical evacuation, quarantine or loss of trip costs.

BUT, if there are travel restrictions in place, nothing is covered. Another words if Spain is not allowing travelers in from your country and you chose to somehow go anyway, then the insurance will not cover you for Covid or anything else. The same is true if your resident country is recommending you do not go to a certain country or location. Also your coverage would expire if you refuse to leave a country that becomes restricted while you are there.

This was information I got from aggresively questioning insurers and reading the fine print on US issued travel insurance. Other countries would be different.

Just remember that their job is to sell you insurance, and it’s buyer beware if you don’t study the fine print. When I looked into this my Insurance agent, who was the person who specialized in it at their office in travel insurance, also found it confusing.

This information was gathered several months ago, so it’s possible I’m wrong now and it has changed. But I would want to see it in writing.

@Atlas Traveler Seems to have found insurance that will cover you for Covid while you travel even now. I would still be careful and research the insurer.

It did quote me $200 for 30 days, I’m in my 50s. And the policy is up to $100,000. With Spain as my primary destination. Not sure what $100,000 buys in a Spanish hospital, if you’re on a ventilator. Certainly much more than it does in the US.
It’s from Atlas travel insurance, Tokio Marine HCC, which I’ve never heard of but that doesn’t mean anything.


Here is the relevant wording from the contract. They do seem to specifically exclude the pandemic exclusion for Covid, at the end. I didn’t find anything that discussed travel restrictions. Are they claiming to cover you for insurance even if at the moment Spain doesn’t allow United States resident tourists into the country? I would guess that they don’t.
.
“General Exclusions....44. Any illness or injury incurred as a result of epidemics, pandemics, public health emergencies, natural disasters, or other disease outbreak conditions that may affect a person’s health when, prior to your effective date, any of the following were issued:
a. The United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention had issued a Warning/Alert Level 3 or higher for a location or destination, including common carriers; or
b. The United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention had issued a Global or Worldwide Warning/Alert Level 3 or higher.
This exclusion is applicable when 1) any of the above were in effect within 6 months immediately prior to your effective date or 2) within 10 days following the date the alert/warning is issued you have failed to depart the country or location. This exclusion does not apply to charges resulting from COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2.“
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@Atlas Traveler , @peregrina2000


I’m not trying to be disagreeable, but I think travel insurance Is more complicated right now and I feel obligated to encourage people to be a little nervous about the insurance and really look into it.

Note:Travel insurance is country specific. My information is about United States issued insurance.

The information I got said, yes, travel insurance will cover you if you’re sick or need hospitalization from COVID-19, or any other illness or injury. Always.

The pandemic exclusion, though, would not cover medical evacuation, quarantine or loss of trip costs.

BUT, if there are travel restrictions in place, nothing is covered. Another words if Spain is not allowing travelers in from your country and you chose to somehow go anyway, then the insurance will not cover you for Covid or anything else. The same is true if your resident country is recommending you do not go to a certain country or location. Also your coverage would expire if you refuse to leave a country that becomes restricted while you are there.

This was information I got from aggresively questioning insurers and reading the fine print on US issued travel insurance. Other countries would be different.

Just remember that their job is to sell you insurance, and it’s buyer beware if you don’t study the fine print. When I looked into this my Insurance agent, who was the person who specialized in it at their office in travel insurance, also found it confusing.

This information was gathered several months ago, so it’s possible I’m wrong now and it has changed. But I would want to see it in writing.

@Atlas Traveler Seems to have found insurance that will cover you for Covid while you travel even now. I would still be careful and research the insurer.

It did quote me $200 for 30 days, I’m in my 50s. And the policy is up to $100,000. With Spain as my primary destination. Not sure what $100,000 buys in a Spanish hospital, if you’re on a ventilator. Certainly much more than it does in the US.
It’s from Atlas travel insurance, Tokio Marine HCC, which I’ve never heard of but that doesn’t mean anything.


Here is the relevant wording from the contract. They do seem to specifically exclude the pandemic exclusion for Covid, at the end.
.
“44. Any illness or injury incurred as a result of epidemics, pandemics, public health emergencies, natural disasters, or other disease outbreak conditions that may affect a person’s health when, prior to your effective date, any of the following were issued:
a. The United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention had issued a Warning/Alert Level 3 or higher for a location or destination, including common carriers; or
b. The United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention had issued a Global or Worldwide Warning/Alert Level 3 or higher.
This exclusion is applicable when 1) any of the above were in effect within 6 months immediately prior to your effective date or 2) within 10 days following the date the alert/warning is issued you have failed to depart the country or location. This exclusion does not apply to charges resulting from COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2.“
Thank you Stephen for your careful and thoughtful post. I did see this. Here is my thinking. If The USA permits travel to Spain, and Spain accepts travelers from USA, then likely, there will not be a travel warning. If I am vaccinated then the odds of getting a severe case of COVID will likely be quite small based upon what we are currently hearing about the vaccines. In addition, I would still wear masks in public, distance, and stay in private rooms. Nevertheless, My goal would be to find apprpoximately somewhere between $100,000-250,000 Insurance as we are both now above 70.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I’m not trying to be disagreeable,

Nothing disagreeable about stressing the importance of checking with your individual health insurance provider! I don’t think anyone disagrees with that advice. In fact, I think it would be extremely risky for anyone, even if they have travel insurance, to leave the US without a clear understanding of what is excluded and what isn’t.

All I tell you is that my provider specifically told me this summer that medical expenses and evacuation from covid were covered under my policy. It may of course be different for other policies, even from the same company. My policy expires in late February (wasn’t I brilliant to buy an annual policy in February for a year of international travel 😁). If I am lucky enough to travel to Spain next year, you can be sure I will start all over again to find the coverage I think is essential. As you point out, things are constantly changing, so what is true today may not be tomorrow.

Good luck to everyone who is forging ahead. I have to admit I am holding back on making any definite plans, though I am chomping at the bit to get over there!
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
Thank you Stephen for your careful and thoughtful post. I did see this. Here is my thinking. If The USA permits travel to Spain, and Spain accepts travelers from USA, then likely, there will not be a travel warning. If I am vaccinated then the odds of getting a severe case of COVID will likely be quite small based upon what we are currently hearing about the vaccines. In addition, I would still wear masks in public, distance, and stay in private rooms. Nevertheless, My goal would be to find apprpoximately somewhere between $100,000-250,000 Insurance as we are both now above 70.
I’m with you. I’ll wait until everything is pretty safe and back to normal. I think we can trust the insurance companies statisticians. Once they think it’s safe, it probably is, ha ha
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
Nothing disagreeable about stressing the importance of checking with your individual health insurance provider! I don’t think anyone disagrees with that advice. In fact, I think it would be extremely risky for anyone, even if they have travel insurance, to leave the US without a clear understanding of what is excluded and what isn’t.

All I tell you is that my provider specifically told me this summer that medical expenses and evacuation from covid were covered under my policy. It may of course be different for other policies, even from the same company. My policy expires in late February (wasn’t I brilliant to buy an annual policy in February for a year of international travel 😁). If I am lucky enough to travel to Spain next year, you can be sure I will start all over again to find the coverage I think is essential. As you point out, things are constantly changing, so what is true today may not be tomorrow.

Good luck to everyone who is forging ahead. I have to admit I am holding back on making any definite plans, though I am chomping at the bit to get over there!
I think your insurance covers you for everything because you bought it before there was a declared pandemic. Anybody who purchased US based travel insurance before the day that the government issued the travel alerts was covered for everything without any pandemic exclusions. But if you bought it after that, everything changed.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
Here’s a link to the New York Times article discussing the current state of travel insurance for US residents. it seems you can buy COVID-19 insurance although any kind of overseas medical evaluation seems to be very problematic. It’s because since you’re potentially contagious they have to put you in some sort of pod.

Mostly it’s talking about travel in the Americas. If you get stopped by the pay wall, you can try deleting your cookies.

 

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