Over the last year, you’ve seen me writing a few pieces about travel insurance and its benefits. Particularly for Allianz. And in that time, I’ve received a lot of questions and comments regarding how to pick a policy and what coverage people should look for. So here I’m going to go over exactly what’s in my Allianz Travel Insurance policy and break down what each area covers and what you should watch out for.

A few things that I won’t go into detail about. This policy includes coverage for my “travel companion”. This could be anyone you indicate in your letter of declaration. But they MUST be declared. Some policies allow someone to be added after the fact. For example, if you get hurt and a family member has to come and take care of you.

Also, the financial amount of coverages and deductibles vary from person to person and policy to policy. I won’t list too many of my coverage numbers to prevent confusion. Just know that the highest coverage amount on most policies are the Medical areas and the lowest are baggage related. All entirely customizable. The key to selecting the proper travel insurance is being self-aware enough to know what you need and being cautious enough to get more. 

Baggage Coverage

Why I Have It: I have a personal travel rule. I never put anything in my luggage I can’t afford to lose. Everything else, carry on. With that said, it’s still annoying to lose some of my best clothes. And if you need to replace an entire 3 months journey worth of clothes, the price can get up there quickly.
When This Applies: Your baggage is lost, damaged, stolen, or delayed.

Important Notes: You must file a report with the company that lost your bag describing it and its contents. As well as their value. DO NOT overestimate the value of what’s in the bag. Claiming you have $20,000 worth of jewelry will launch an investigation more likely than a $200 hard drive. If something is damaged, you’ll need to provide photo evidence.

Some policies cover things like jewelry for an additional fee. But most don’t. So other items rarely covered include eyewear, perfumes and makeups, tickets to events, cash, and property for business. Looking at you photographers.

Baggage Delay Coverage

Why I Have It: It’s not too bad when your bag is delayed a day or two. Which is more common than your bag being permanently lost or damaged. This coverage allows you to purchase a few essentials to help you survive until it arrives.

When This Applies: Your baggage is delayed by a common carrier (Common Carrier is a person or company that transports goods or passengers on regular routes at set rates).
Important Notes: How long your bag can be “delayed” is going to be up to the insurance company. So pay close attention to what’s considered delayed and lost. 

Emergency Medical and Dental

Why I Have It: This is pretty self-explanatory. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people injured traveling. From food poisoning to broken backs, emergency medical coverage is an absolute must. Especially when traveling to countries that might not have the best medical care options.

When This Applies: If you become injured or sick during your trip.

Important Notes: My plan includes Existing Medical Condition Coverage. Which means, if an issue arises that’s been previously diagnosed, I’m covered. This is especially good for people that have conditions like seizures or panic attacks. My coverage also DO NOT have a deductible. Meaning whatever amount of coverage you purchase is what you’re covered. No requirement for you to pay a deductible before your coverage kicks in. This is extremely vital and I advocate you never purchase a policy which requires s deductible for you to be covered for medical and dental emergency services.

Be sure your policy includes Emergency Medical Transportation coverage. This kicks in in case you need to be transported to adequate facilities. For example, some situations require you to be medevaced. Nepal is a perfect example.

Trip Cancellation Protection

Why I Have It: Life happens. Aside from medical coverage, this is the most important thing you can invest in. And get the most liberal policy possible. Plans change at the drop of a hat in the real world and sometimes it’s best to cancel your trip. Births, life-changing events, and work opportunities are sometimes more important than your trip.

When This Applies: Your trip is canceled before you get started. A few specific reasons would allow you to claim here. A few being illnesses, death in the family (or of travel companion), quarantine, pregnancy, or childbirth. Environment comes into play when your home becomes uninhabitable, your destination is inaccessible for at least twelve hours because of weather, or your travel supplier stops offering services for 24 hours where you’re going. Politics and violence are also reason to claim. Hijacking or carjacking are valid reasons to claim. Terrorism comes in if a terrorist event happens in the US or foreign destination within 30 days you’re scheduled to arrive.

Important Notes: My policy has a one claim per year caveat. Meaning this protection can only be claimed ONCE. If you’re a frequent traveler like myself, make sure you pay for additional coverage on this point because it’s likely the one area you’ll claim from most often.

Travel/Trip Delay Coverage

Why I Have It: The nomadic life is a funny one. In that it liberates and restricts you at the same time. Airlines don’t always understand that if you can’t arrive the day you planned then the trip isn’t worth taking. I’ve had forced overnight delays which forced me to change plans entirely.

When This Applies: Your trip is delayed six hours or more. (All claim requirements from Trip Cancellation apply here also)

Important Notes: The same one claim per year caveat from above applies here.

Trip Interruption Protection

Why I Have It: Emergencies happen. I personally had a family emergency 10 days into my recent project. The number of reasons that could interrupt your trip has multiplied quite a bit in recent years with weather shifts and political uprisings.

When This Applies: Your trip is interrupted after you’ve left. (All claim requirements from Trip Cancellation apply here also)

Important Notes: The same one claim per year caveat from above applies here.

Travel Accident Coverage

Why I Have It: This is especially important for those who rent vehicles. Many rental agencies require you to have this insurance or purchase theirs.

When This Applies: You have an accident while on your trip.

Important Notes: The same one claim per year caveat from above applies here.

What Are the Vital Things To Consider When Choosing a Policy?

Who’s the Underwriter?
So the company you choose to “provide” you with travel insurance often isn’t actually covering you. It’s the underwriter that covers you. For example, the underwriter for my policy is Jefferson Insurance Company (owned by Allianz). Look at Allianz and World Nomads as consolidators like Expedia or Orbitz. They take the information you provide, in this case desire coverage, and comb through their database of underwriters to see who’s the best fit. Now some companies DO underwrite their own policies. But some don’t. When you’re checking on the quality of a company, research the underwriter as well with the Better Business Bureau.

Are You Going to Be Involved in Extreme Sports?
I’m a martial artist. I’ve trained BJJ for over 10 years and love rolling in different countries. But most policies don’t cover it. Same with popular travel activities like skiing, climbing, and bungee jumping/skydiving. Most companies offer additional coverage for thee areas.

How does the underwriter “define” coverages?
Request a copy of the companies definitions page. Here you’ll find the exact wording your underwriter uses to define things they’ll cover and won’t. Do this BEFORE you sign for a policy. Any reputable company should have no problem with this. An insurance policy is a legal document. And at times the language can seem vague. Common sense and legalise rarely coincide.

Can you afford to not be covered?
I want to close out with a plea. Travel can be an amazing and transformative experience. But with that experience comes certain risks. And you have to be honest with yourself if you can afford to take those risks without coverage. Not only can these things ruin your vacation but your life as well.

Disclaimer: I work as an ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and receive financial compensation.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This