Widgets Bleg: Travel Insurance - A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care

Bleg: Travel Insurance

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For as long as we're in the United States and Canada, we're covered by the COBRA extensions on the insurance we had with our employers. Once we get on the plane to Ecuador, however, we're on our own.

We need travel insurance to fill that gap, by covering any emergency medical/dental care we receive overseas, as well as our evacuation to the U.S. in case the emergency occurs somewhere with subpar health care.

So far, we've had trouble finding such insurance. Most plans limit the length of a trip to 90 days or less; we need a plan that covers close to a full year. We'd ideally also like to pay less than $1000 per person for the plan, and are willing to take on a high deductible in return. Have any readers had experience with such a plan?

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Do you have American Express? They have optional insurance for traveling I believe.

I can't recommend a specific service (since I never travel), but the magic search term for these sorts of services is "annual travel insurance".


Bill and I have been using Access America for years due to episodes too numerous to mention when someone in our family got sick/hurt, etc. while on or right before a vacation. A travel agent even used us as an example in her classes. Such notority! A recent article in WSJ dated 6/24/10 mentions several other companies that insure travelers. I do know that Access America has an annual policy: We are getting ready to see whether Access America will reimburse us when we changed the dates of our return flight from Seoul to the USA. Good luck finding insurance. Gayle & Bill Chandler

I had a great policy that I bought for 13 months, and I believe it was about $1,000 in 2004. It came via STA travel. I didn't make much use of it, though. We paid medical expenses out of pocket in Argentina (getting a metal shard pulled out of my eye, systemic strep infection...) because it was so comparatively little. But I still wouldn't take a long trip without a policy that covered medically necessary evacuation.

Here's another hint: I found out about extended-term travel insurance from the Rough Guide on Around the World travel. Have you seen a book like this?

We do have Amex, but I did not see an option for an annual policy. I have a phone call into them. Thanks.

Bateleur: Thanks. We've googled up a variety of options, but without a considerable amount of research, it's difficult to figure out which insurance companies are reputable.

Thank you, we'll look into Access America. So far on this trip, we've found that using firms with which others have had good experiences has served us well.

Thanks. I thought I was too old for STA Travel, but I'll look into it. And yes, we've seen the The Rough Guide First-Time Around The World. Quite good.

One thing this entry has taught me: I really need to redesign DMC to implement threaded comments.

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