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Travel Medical Insurance: Do. Get. It.

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
As many people are gearing up to walk right now, I'm bumping these two threads:

You don't think you'll ever need insurance until you do need it.
I know...who wants to line the pockets of the rapacious insurance companies?
But. You'll live to regret that resentment if something bad happens and you're not covered.

Twice people have come to our monastery here in Burma, and suffered broken bones (a hip in one case, and a sesamoid bone in another). Fortunately they both had insurance - especially needed for the person with the broken hip, who had to be evacuated home to Europe.
No-one comes to a meditation centre and plans to go home in a cast, or ambulance. But it happens.
And that kind of adventure is so much more likely on the Camino.

Buen (safe) camino, everyone! And may you have the insurance if you end up needing it.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do more than just exist.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Getting sick can happen to you all , I know.
Here in Holland everybody has an insurance , the only choice you have is what kind off cover you want .
The point is that you need a insurance , don't go without.
Wish everybody a healthy and wonderful Camino ,Peter . 🙏
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Getting sick can happen to you all , I know.
Here in Holland everybody has an insurance , the only choice you have is what kind off cover you want .
The point is that you need a insurance , don't go without.
Wish everybody a healthy and wonderful Camino ,Peter . 🙏
And I can confirm that Dutch insurance (no need for extra travel insurance) covered every cent of my hospitalization in Zamora, ambulance trip to Barajas airport with a nurse flown in from The Netherlands, plane trip to Amsterdam on a stretcher covering 9 (!) seats and an ambulance to the hospital.
No, health care insurance is not free (though compulsory), but I would hate to think what the whole works cost!
When I asked the nurse the appropriate cost of just the flight he said between €15.000-€20.000:eek:.

One never knows what can happen.
 

Roland49

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
A travel-insurance for 365 days with the coverage of all necessary medical treatments and medical evacuation even by flight costs me ~12€. Good value for money.

It's safe to have one, even if you do not need it.

Even for the people who are insured via a mandantory health-insurance like in most european countries with a insurance-card that is widely accepted in europe.

Ultreia!
Roland
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Coming from the US, I always buy the optional travel insurance from my air carrier. These policies are usually provided by Allianz. You can also go directly to Allianz and buy a travel policy directly.

In addition to trip cancellation and travel interruption benefit related to actual travel, they also provide medical backstop for serious illness or injuries. I found that they cover all "Routine" activities while you are at your foreign destination.

Mountaineering, rock climbing, and hang gliding are considered extreme sports or activities and are NOT covered. However, and most importantly, walking / hiking is considered a normal activity. So, and as this is what we do when on Camino, you are covered. Once you bungee jump off the Portomarin bridge, you are not covered... just sayin...

As an aside, in the US I am under the federal Medicare plan for primary coverage, as I am past 65 years of age. However, I maintain full secondary coverage under Blue Cross - Blue Shield for all expenses not covered by the Medicare plan...and there are a few.

I have researched, and I invite you to do the same, and found my secondary coverage (Blue Cross - Blue Shield) is valid in most of the world. They have a business arrangement with Allianz to provide a website with a lookup capability for English speaking doctors in foreign countries, including Spain and Portugal who will accept this insurance.

For example, I can go to the university medical center at Santiago de Compostela and receive any care they offer. Knock wood! Have not needed it yet...

Over my six Caminos I have needed specific medical intervention twice. Both times, I have been happy (thrilled) to pay the nominal expenses (< USD 100 each time) for expert doctoring in Spain. I have not yet, thankfully, had to resort to using my insurance policies. The medical system in Spain is excellent in my opinion.

But, that is why we carry insurance, is it not? It is a reverse gamble. We gamble that we will not need something instead of that we will win something. This is one scenario where being a loser is actually winning...

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Here is a warning for Americans, neither Medicare nor the Veterans Administration will cover you outside the United States except for extremely rare cases and walking a camino isn't one of them. Medicare supplement plans may; check the coverage on your plan. Look into this before traveling abroad, don't assume that you will be covered. Also, check prices beforehand on travel insurance. You might save by buying two months of coverage a month before going if you are 64 now but 65 when actually traveling.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Rick is totally correct. Look before you leap... Research before you travel.

Remember, the time to buy insurance is BEFORE you need it, not after... ;)

When you consider the overall costs of accomplishing a Camino, obtaining extra insurance is a nominal additional cost.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do more than just exist.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
What I mis here is the following , you have to start with giving info. in the US it self. There are so many chapters for Pilgrims give the info. at the begin .
Just saying , Peter .🙏
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
For Aussies Woolworths have the cheapest travel insurance.........
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Some of the credit card companies (at least here in Australia) - for example, American Express - will provide a basic medical travel insurance for free. It's worth investigating with your credit card companies to see if they do, and also how much they cover you for.

Buen incident-free and injury free Camino everyone -

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 
Here is a warning for Americans, neither Medicare nor the Veterans Administration will cover you outside the United States except for extremely rare cases and walking a camino isn't one of them. Medicare supplement plans may; check the coverage on your plan. Look into this before traveling abroad, don't assume that you will be covered. Also, check prices beforehand on travel insurance. You might save by buying two months of coverage a month before going if you are 64 now but 65 when actually traveling.
Great advice
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
Here is a broker site with many options--and a very usable web format:
https://www.squaremouth.com/
I chose a John Hancock for my 2017 Portugal camino and they paid my claim for an early return (blew out both Achilles on the cobbles) with no hassle--just the usual documentation. I had to pay costs and submit for reimbursement with some communication that amounted to prior approval.
This time my new risk is preexisting conditions (cardioversion last year and new sleep apnea which can be linked to just about anything). And adding pre-existing does not seem to make the cost skyrocket (but fine print may limit their exposure to $10k)
I have been around long enough to know that the only way to make money in the insurance business (with zero investment income) is to (1) not insure people who might need it (tough underwriting or pre-existing conditions) and (2) fight every claim. Squaremouth at least has a feedback review system that looks far superior to Yelp.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Excellent topic!! I personally did not have to buy any insurance as I already have private insurance in Spain (Spaniard living abroad) but I would have definitely have gotten myself insured in that case that I already wasn’t. The cost of a policy is peanuts in comparison to what one might end up paying in case anything happens. If anyone is interested, I have recently come across this company that provides medical assistance on the camino plus insurance. I am personally interested in an SOS gadget to keep you from getting lost and through which you can request for help (I deviated from my way a couple of times and it wasn’t really the best experience and google maps wasn’t really precise with the camino routes). Their services have been customised for the Camino (I think the French and Portuguese so far) but their insurance has global coverage if I remember correctly.

https://www.easyhike.pt/


Buen camino everyone and stay safe!!
 

Awakekiwi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June (2016)
So your saying 12€ for the whole year? Or per week?
Insurance in New Zealand is expensive.. I'd be looking at likely $300 - $400.
I didn't even consider it. All insurance is optional in NZ. We have free medical but of course it doesn't cover travel abroad. I just trusted I would be ok. Reasonably fit healthy 46yr old at the time.
Chose the right footwear and never even had one blister the whole way. But it's a personal choice. I feel fear is a factor. If having insurance gives you peace of mind then perhaps your less likely to have an accident anyway. I believe that whatever we dwell on or think about we attract into our lives.
There was one point where my legs were weak and tired and my knees quite sore.. and I was thinking hmm need to be careful and more mindful of my steps today! And so I slowed down and entered a quite pleasant and mindful state of total focus on my steps during rocky sections..
I feel it's most important to be aware of the conditions and adjust accordingly.
Accidents do happen and maybe that's just what some people need to experience and so for them insurance would be super useful.
I think it's a personal choice depending on circumstance. If for example it somehow became a compulsory thing I would consider that over the top. Each to their own :)
 
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lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
So your saying 12€ for the whole year? Or per week?
Insurance in New Zealand is expensive.. I'd be looking at likely $300 - $400.
I didn't even consider it. All insurance is optional in NZ. We have free medical but of course it doesn't cover travel abroad. I just trusted I would be ok. Reasonably fit healthy 46yr old at the time.
Chose the right footwear and never even had one blister the whole way. But it's a personal choice. I feel fear is a factor. If having insurance gives you peace of mind then perhaps your less likely to have an accident anyway. I believe that whatever we dwell on or think about we attract into our lives.
There was one point where my legs were weak and tired and my knees quite sore.. and I was thinking hmm need to be careful and more mindful of my steps today! And so I slowed down and entered a quite pleasant and mindful state of total focus on my steps during rocky sections..
I feel it's most important to be aware of the conditions and adjust accordingly.
Accidents do happen and maybe that's just what some people need to experiment and so for them insurance would be super useful.
I think it's a personal choice depending on circumstance. If for example it somehow became a compulsory thing I would consider that over the top. Each to their own :)
I’m a kiwi too. Frankly travel insurance is not for a sprained ankle or similar. That’s small change

My partner collapsed in China - 3 weeks in China hospital plus a private jet evac to Beijing plus business class home / I’m guessing to cost them around $100k - our insurance was around $1000 ...

We may have to do the Caminio uninsured - but that’s because he may not be able to get insurance again. In that case it’s a deliberate choice and we have a mortgage free house to be fund.

I do get bored with healthy people saying it costs$12 why wouldn’t you? Some don’t have the choice
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
So your saying 12€ for the whole year? Or per week?
Insurance in New Zealand is expensive.. I'd be looking at likely $300 - $400.
I didn't even consider it. All insurance is optional in NZ. We have free medical but of course it doesn't cover travel abroad.
Not clear who you're quoting or responding to here @Awakekiwi. If I could get cover for €12 a year i'd grab it. I can't get cover, even at €12 a day. If you are coming from outside the EC then basic medical cover is an essential unless you have a few spare thousands in the bank and your family may or may not thank you for "repatriation" cover.

Not sure what @Linda Abu Ghattas Gomez is recommending either 'cos the site she's citing isn't an insurer or a broker so far as I can see. As for an App that will tell you when you are lost - If you need to be told you're lost when you haven't managed to work that out for yourself I'm not sure what benefit you are going to derive from the information. Any of the available mapping apps will tell you where you are, getting to where you want to be is just a case of walking in the right direction.

Travel insurance: most travel insurance is useless to pilgrims on camino because it will not cover you unless you have a pre-booked itinerary ( read the small print ). Some enlightened providers may differ.
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
Travel insurance: most travel insurance is useless to pilgrims on camino because it will not cover you unless you have a pre-booked itinerary ( read the small print ). Some enlightened providers may differ.
No it’s not - it covers medical and evacuation which is critical for non eu walkers - I agree none of the rest of the benefits matter
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
@lissie45 that was my point. Med & Evac cover is essential. And frequently voided if you do not have a pre-booked itinerary and the receipts to prove it. Read the small print
Ok in my part of the world when we say travel insurance we mean insurance that covers medical, evac, loss of deposits, theft, liability etc etc . Unfortunately you can’t buy just the medical and evac cover
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Since my cautionary tale has been bumped up again - which is good, it needs to be told every year! - I thought I'd update you all on the situation: One year to the day after his accident, my Scouse Spouse and I went to the hospital in Estella, thanked the nurses for their wonderful care and patience with us and gave them chocolate, as you do (and if you didn't, you should) and the next day we started walking towards Santiago and the sea. We had to buy him a new backpack with a longer back and better hip belt to take the weight clean off his bad shoulder, but he was fine to carry his pack and do the walking and you'd never know he'd come home in a wheel chair a year before. However, we are still waiting for a new operation to take the metal out and fix a few things to limit the wear and pain and loss of mobility. Hopefully this will make him as good as he's likely to get, but this is a year and a half after the accident. We now have even better travel insurance at the same price: We increased the bit we have to pay ourselves if something is lost or stolen, because it's not that important, making the insurance cheaper, but also increased the cover in case of evacuation/repatriation, travel expenses, spouse to be flown in to help with care etc. Living in the EU (for now) we have the EHIC card which covers medical expenses, but we might have had to translate medical documents, hire interpreters to talk to people etc, it all mounts up. DON'T TAKE THE CHANCE. You really don't need the hassle if something bad happens. Call your potential insurer(s) and talk to them, tell them what you need it for, what your priorities are, and don't fib. Sometimes a fiver more is a bargain in the long run. Take care out there and enjoy, buen camino!
 

Camino Chris

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I buy travel insurance for my Caminos and I do like Squaremouth for comparison of the different companies. I have not needed to use it yet, but continue to choose a mid/high range policy and it averages $80-100 US. It's worth the peace of mind even if I never need it.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Travel insurance: most travel insurance is useless to pilgrims on camino because it will not cover you unless you have a pre-booked itinerary ( read the small print ).
Med & Evac cover is essential. And frequently voided if you do not have a pre-booked itinerary and the receipts to prove it.
Are you saying, Tinca, that flights on either end are not sufficient?
This is an eye-opener.
That's a lot of fine print to comb through, so who's gonna?...which no doubt is part of the point of it.
(Sorry, but it's hard not to be cynical about insurance companies...)
 

Roland49

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
Hello Awakekiwi,

So your saying 12€ for the whole year? Or per week?
Per Year, €12,65, that's 21NZ$.
The travel-insurance is quite affordable, b/c most Europeans are health-insured via a mandantory health-insurance, that covers all the medical bills in their home-country and in the EU.
If you are abroad in the EU most countries got multi-lateral agreements to cover medical bills in all states of the EU and bordering countries, so the travel-insurance is commonly used only for the transportation or evacuation.

In most cases the travel-insurance will not cover high-risk activities like paragliding, climbing, bungee-jumping, etc.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
We've been going on holiday, mainly within Europe, for the past thirty or so years. We always arranged insurance through our bank and felt good to know we were "covered". However, one clause which we hadn't picked up on because it was in really, really tiny print - fortunately, we never did need to claim or it might have been challenged - was that we were NOT covered if we were taking part in an organised event. Many of our holidays were indeed with the French cycling fraternity who organised a week-long cycling every year (and still do) and we loved taking part. We've learned since then that if we do go on a holiday through some organisation we take out their insurance, even if it is more expensive.

But I agree totally that you need insurance - one friend was taking part in a night ride with her husband in France. She fell asleep, crashed into the side of the road, and spent the next five month's in a coma. Because they had insurance, her husband was put up in a hotel for a few weeks then both were flown back to the UK once it was safe to move her. She did recover but I shudder to think of the trauma not having insurance would have caused to them both.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Hola all - another issue that even experienced travellers ignore or don't believe in. Given the cost of hospitals in the US anyone going anywhere near your country without full cover health insurance should (imho) be certified (as insane). We here in the land down under often see our Sunday papers filled with articles where parents of teenagers/young adults who fly off to Bali or Thailand without insurance and get sick or injured (riding motor cycles) and the cost to med-evac them is $20-30,000 AUD. I recall one family had to mortgage their home to get a child home from the US.
One of our Foreign Ministers actually went on national TV News and spelt it out very plainly - he said the Australian Govt would not be responsible for the cost of medical evacuations or even the simple medical accounts. He then said very clearly "If you cannot afford the travel insurance then you cannot afford to travel." I am off to Japan in Oct, the travel company required a copy of my travel insurance policy before confirming my bookings.

Having made to camino pilgrimages I know its not an overly dangerous activity but a simple fall in the streets of Pamplona can result in a broken shoulder, broken jaw, skull fracture and as good as the Spanish health system is non-EU citizens are not treated for free if its in a hospital.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Not clear who you're quoting or responding to here @Awakekiwi. If I could get cover for €12 a year i'd grab it. I can't get cover, even at €12 a day. If you are coming from outside the EC then basic medical cover is an essential unless you have a few spare thousands in the bank and your family may or may not thank you for "repatriation" cover.

Not sure what @Linda Abu Ghattas Gomez is recommending either 'cos the site she's citing isn't an insurer or a broker so far as I can see. As for an App that will tell you when you are lost - If you need to be told you're lost when you haven't managed to work that out for yourself I'm not sure what benefit you are going to derive from the information. Any of the available mapping apps will tell you where you are, getting to where you want to be is just a case of walking in the right direction.

Travel insurance: most travel insurance is useless to pilgrims on camino because it will not cover you unless you have a pre-booked itinerary ( read the small print ). Some enlightened providers may differ.
I’ve contacted EasyHike to better explain :) : “EasyHike is not selling insurance, it’s bundled for to make the packages offered fool proof with an Emergency hospital coverage of 5K euros and personal accident for 20K euros and repatriation in case of death (coverage is for 60 days world wide for all sports except for extreme sports) Finally, the e-doctor that’s available 24/7 via the application video chat could be a welcome feature if ever needed and its bundled.

The SOS tracker is targeted for senior or non techy pilgrims that don’t have a smartphone. The tracker does not have an app or a screen just a plain assistance button and a red panic button and which also works as a normal phone. In case someone is getting off track by more than 1KM on either side, EasyHike will call the pilgrim on their mobile or directly to the tracker and help them get back on track before they waste a lot of time walking in the wrong direction. People do get lost especially on the Portuguese because its not well marked.

The red panic button is good to have if someone has a serious accident or fall or for solo ladies who might feel unsafe at any point. When pressed, the pilgrim is contacted and the right help is dispatched. Mobile batteries tend to die out with excessive screen use, but the device’s battery is a few days between charges.”
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
Hola all - another issue that even experienced travellers ignore or don't believe in. Given the cost of hospitals in the US anyone going anywhere near your country without full cover health insurance should (imho) be certified (as insane). We here in the land down under often see our Sunday papers filled with articles where parents of teenagers/young adults who fly off to Bali or Thailand without insurance and get sick or injured (riding motor cycles) and the cost to med-evac them is $20-30,000 AUD. I recall one family had to mortgage their home to get a child home from the US.
One of our Foreign Ministers actually went on national TV News and spelt it out very plainly - he said the Australian Govt would not be responsible for the cost of medical evacuations or even the simple medical accounts. He then said very clearly "If you cannot afford the travel insurance then you cannot afford to travel." I am off to Japan in Oct, the travel company required a copy of my travel insurance policy before confirming my bookings.
I agree - but I hope that companies don't start with requiring a copy of travel insurance. Not everyone can get insurance - my partner can't because of what turned out to be a broken heart valve which has just been surgically repaired. I am very curious to see if he can get travel insurance in the future - and he can we will pay for it (often around $1000 BTW for pre-existing cardiac). HOWEVER if he can't get cover for places like the US (which is the 2nd hardest after cruising cover) - then we are NOT spending the rest of our lives in NZ - we will travel knowing that - if the worst happened - we have resources and a house to sell. We don't expect the government to pay - but on the other hand we won't allow corporations to control our lifestyle either .

In fact the company requiring insurance is silly - I could always get a company to issue him insurance - by not declaring any pre-existing conditions - it would be cheap too! Just wouldn't actually work if he needed to claim on it.

Insurers only underwrite at the point you make the claim- we had to wait a weekend before our insurer could contact the GP on a Monday morning before the accepted our claim when P collapsed in China. So just because you have insurance policy may mean next to nothing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
G'day Kiwi (@lissie45 ) this is where those bloody insurance companies stuff you up. With a little bit of give and take they should be able to insure him for everything except a heart condition. Might be worth asking around. Cheers
 

mjal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
Travel insurance: most travel insurance is useless to pilgrims on camino because it will not cover you unless you have a pre-booked itinerary ( read the small print ). Some enlightened providers may differ.
Tinca,

This para raised a huge question which has attracted comment(s) but no solutions. Your follow-up post makes the same point.

I perused the (55 pages) of small print from my insurance company (SAGA ; well-known to older people in the UK) and found no suggestion that complete pre-booking of an itinerary was required. This was confirmed today by the company on the telephone.

So, is SAGA one of the "enlightened providers" or are your fears much more restricted than you think?

Mike
Ayrshire

PS : I should have said that I have no connection with SAGA except as a satisfied customer.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Hi Mike,

I think my point was that many, clearly not all, travel insurance policies are based on the assumption that the purchaser is going on a "holiday". That holiday may consist of a week or three in a destination or a week or three travelling around a bit. If not with pre-booked accommodation then at least with in & outbound flights or ferries. When I started delving into the easily purchasable insurance that most of us would get a quote for I started finding 30 day limits on "any one trip"; exclusions on cover if your accommodation was not pre-booked; exclusions on cover if you could not produce "receipts" to evidence your holiday. Admittedly I've never tried producing a credencial as evidence. But then I've never had to make a claim.

Annual, global TI is a different beast, as is the Backpacker TI available to the under 21 - 25's. There are plenty of insurers and brokers who can and will provide cover for travellers undertaking a camino, or a trek in Nepal, or an Alpine circuit but the generality of insurers do not provide that kind of cover in their "travel insurance" packages. Hence my admonitive "read the small print". From retrospect better advice would have been "ask the relevant questions". "Am I covered for a 40 day hiking trip?" "Am I covered even though I do not have a pre-booked itinerary and do not know where I will be staying on any given night?" "What am I covered for if I am on a long walk through a civilised country in Europe?""Can I have that in writing please?'

One day, I hope, I will find an insurer that will waive luggage, curtailment, accommodation change and/or transport delays and just cover me for Med & Evac of remains...
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
“Travel Insurance” covers a wide range of risks. And we tend to use that general term for all the following risks.

  • Accidental Death:
  • Sports: to cover raft trips, climbing, skiing etc. Camino walks usually do not fall in this category
  • Loss or Delay: travel delay, baggage delay, baggage loss, missed connection
  • Evacuation (medical and non-medical): coverage from 100k to a million.
  • Medical: emergency (probably 50-100k works for France/Spain, need million for USA. And deductibles from zero to $2500
  • Cancellation and trip interruption: work loss/layoff, medical, weather (hurricane), terrorism, medical, delays, and CANCEL FOR ANY REASON.
IMO opinion, evacuation, and medical, are the biggest risks followed by cancellation. Some of the others (baggage loss, delays, baggage loss, accident) are small enough tho frequent enough to not be truly in the ‘insurance’ category—just severe annoyance. But they are mostly included in base policies, so the purchaser thinks they are getting something.

I highly suggest playing around with Squaremouth—stopping just short of a purchase on their website. Big factors in the cost seem to be: age, trip duration, trip cost, reason for cancellation, and pre-existing medical conditions. Of course, those are where the insurance company has its risks—it cannot afford someone with preexisting heart using travel as a way to pay for a needed or recommended transplant; or somebody severely hurt mountain climbing.

With insurance, the devil is in the details. Know what risks you have, what you cannot afford to pay, and read the policy to see you are covered. Then talk to the insurance company with specific questions. My 2017 CP coverage for medical and evac was solid within my stated dates (no specific detail needed). They did not pay for my Achilles exam and xray since I waited until I got back to the USA to seek treatment (which was partially covered under Medicare out of area). They did pay my one-way return fare $650) under the medical evacuation terms, but higher would have been capped by my ‘trip cost’ of $1000 (the only insurable trip cost was the prepay RT East Coast to Lisbon, they did not pay train fare Barcelos to Lisbon because I lacked proper documentation).

At age 76, my insurance cost is about $175 for a $1000 airfare (trip cost) and a 35 day walk. That's without my now needed ‘waiver of pre-existing conditions’ so the cost will change probably dramatically for my next camino.

FWIW, the husband of a lady in my Monday walking group had heart attack on a cruise and the (insured) evac cost to Tokyo(?? Or Singapore??) was above $50,000 but under $100,000.

And most policies will not cover USA/Canada treatment for USA residents. And basic Medicare does not cover overseas medical (some Advantage and supplemental policies do).

And I feel sorry for those of you who are in the USA when a medical emergency strikes. You get to pay the “Chargemaster” rate which is 4.3 times higher than what the Hospitals negotiate with insurance carriers-- so my overnite hospital stay that Medicare pays $280 for, will cost my French Camino friends $1200 (the average hospital stay in USA costs over $10,000 but ‘averages’ are almost useless in our complex medical billing environment)

I am not an expert on travel insurance but have had to research it fairly well—I have almost never taken the airline add-on default insurance; but you need to do your own research including asking the insurer questions to keep yourself protected. Trust but verify!!
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
lissie45: I just did a Squaremouth search of age 70 5 weeks basic to Spain, pre-existing conditions, New Zealand resident and citizen and the proposed 3 policies from $238-290. YMMV
 

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