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When to buy Travel Insurance


New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning for 2019
Hi! I'm planning on a Camino next year. I have never traveled overseas. So in my planning do I need to get travel insurance before I have dates and airlines nailed down or do I get the insurance and then figure out the dates. Any suggestions?
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
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Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
You buy travel insurance when you make your first booking/payment for your trip. Basically, when you have something to insure. I don't know where you are from, but I'm in the US and use to compare policies and purchase my insurance.

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances - September - November (2017)
I found some options for travel insurance covered less medical existing issues if purchased more than 14 days after booking your travel.
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Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to walk CF 2020 - once my partner recovers from cardiac surgery
Keep in mind that trip/travel insurance is one thing - It covers the potential costs of cancelled or delayed travel, and lost luggage, etc. Medical insurance while out of your home country covers different medical expenses that you might incur - that is the complex and often expensive part.

It depends where you are from - for many of us e.g NZ, Australia, UK - travel insurance includes medical insurance and repatriation - which is the important parts.

If you have pre-existing conditions you must declare and you may either be declined or made to pay an extra fee. Or you wil lgo back and forth for months and finally get insurance only days before you leave the country because that's the only time the GP will sign the forms from the insurer! Your mileage will vary but its happend to us twice


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
At 65 years old and having done six Caminos, they answer for me is obvious...ALWAYS but travel insurance. I am fortunate, in that my insurance cover (through my pension) is valid overseas as well. However, now that I am also under the US Medicare program (not by choice) one quickly learns that it CANNOT be used outside the US and territories. So, your secondary insurance cover becomes primary when you are overseas. Mine happens to provide coverage, even if it might require that I pay first and submit the bills afterwards.

I always buy my travel insurance through the airline I buy my tickets from. As walking / hiking is not considered a particularly risky activity, injury incurred while on Camino is covered. The important bit is coverage in case you need major medical attention for traumatic injury, AND subsequent evacuation back to the US / Canada, etc.

There are other sites to buy limited term travel insurance cover mentioned in other threads on this forum. Search on "travel insurance." The search panel is on the upper right hand corner of this page.

Hope this helps.


Active Member
I live in US and I have used Allianz for my travel insurance and have been pleased. There was a medical emergency and they covered without a hassle for an early return home. I purchase day of buying airline. Easy to use website and good service.


Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
In the UK we have both single trip and multi trip policies. If buying single trip then you obtain cover immediately for certain events such as cancellation for an eligible reason. If buying multi trip which is often an annual policy you need to specify a start date. Many a traveller enters their first travel date which leaves them without coverage for the intervening period between purchase and travel if they buy tickets and have to cancel. Worth checking how it works where you are.
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Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2013; (September 2014)
I would recommend travel medical insurance coverage at any age! The trip insurance covering cancellation, delays and lost luggage etc., IMHO, is not as critical. Last November I organized a trip to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia for a couple of friends. In the third week of the trip, while in Siem Reap, Cambodia one of my friends fell and broke her left wrist. We immediately went to the Emergency Room at the International Hospital (very modern facility with English-speaking doctor and nurses) where x-rays were taken, temporary splint and sling were applied, and pain killers were prescribed. In the meanwhile her husband was on the phone with the medical insurance office back in the U.S. After considering sending my friend to Bangkok for surgery, the insurance company agreed to fly my friend and her husband back to their home in Portland, Oregon for surgery. This decision by the insurance compamy was made 6.5 hours after the fall and it booked plane tickets for my friends to Oregon (via Hong Kong and Vancouver) to depart within 13 hours. In the end the insurance paid for the 2 plane tickets and all related costs. The insurance premium was just under $50/person for the trip. FYI, both of my friends are over 60 years of age. I travel frequently so I have an annual (365-day) policy with this same company (medical, evacuation and reparation only) for $125 U.S. I don't remember if the premium is age dependent (I am 72.) This policy is effective for any trip more than 100 miles from home. So far this year this policy has covered my Camino Portugues in April (my 4th camino in 5 years) and my current travels in China. The company I use is Allianz.
Last edited:


Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis SJdPP to Astorga (Apr 2018)
Astorga to Santiago (Sept 2018);Camino Ingles (2018)
Im in the US and just bought Travel Guard insurance. When I last walked the Camino Francis, I took sick in Astoria. I went to a clinic and was refused help. No one spoke English and my Spanish was limited. I am returning in September and don't want to repeat this from happening. Of course, no one expects to get sick/injured, but you never know. If anyone on the forum is familiar with travel guard and had to use it, I'd appreciate hearing from you.
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Im in the US and just bought Travel Guard insurance. When I last walked the Camino Francis, I took sick in Astoria. I went to a clinic and was refused help. No one spoke English and my Spanish was limited.
In 2015 we went to the province's clinic in Astorga with our travel insurance information and they took us in though they billed us at home, ignoring the insurance. The night before I wrote about the problem, had Google translate it and then fixed that up. I showed the same file at the admitting desk, to the nurse and then to the doctor. The service was good and the cost also. There was absolutely no problem getting Several Corners to reimburse us. thanks


Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis SJdPP to Astorga (Apr 2018)
Astorga to Santiago (Sept 2018);Camino Ingles (2018)
Thanks.....why didn't I think of using google translate!

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