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International travel & insurance
Old 05-08-2014, 01:28 PM   #1
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International travel & insurance

What does everyone do for insurance when traveling out of country? At least for those of us based in the US, most insurance doesn't extend out of country (or US + Canada).

This appears to be true of both regular car insurance and umbrella policies, for example. When renting a care abroad, do you take the supplemental liability insurance?

It also appears to apply to medical. Do you do anything, especially for emergency medical? It seems like there would be some kind of all-encompassing short-term policy one could buy for a relatively modest amount. Some travel boards suggest this, but they all seem to be for those whose home base is outside the US.

EDIT: I Should clarify that I'm not asking about what I think is called trip interruption/cancellation insurance. I'm not worried about getting reimbursed for forfeited hotel/excursion/whatever charges. I'm only worried about catastrophic things like a car accident that causes high dollar property or personal damages. Or a sudden medical condition or injury that requires a life flight type situation.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:34 PM   #2
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When DW and I went to Australia and Fiji last year, our trip was shortly after my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We paid a few hundred for insurance such that if we had to fly back for a surgery or because things went south, it was covered and we would be reimbursed for lost deposits, etc. Of course, that cost more than standard rental car/emergency medical insurance would cost because it was completely covering the cost of the trip as well. It gave us peace of mind, and added about 5% onto the total cost of the trip.

I don't normally do that kind of thing for international travel, as I use a lot of public transportation and am young and invincible (at least as far as I'm concerned!!). YMMV.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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My use of rental cars outside North America is so limited that I could just get the coverage offered by the rental agency. But many credit cards will give you all the coverage you need for a rental car (except liability), so you should always check your card agreement to see what they cover (and where).

For real medical emergencies, I get considerable peace of mind from having this card in my wallet.
https://www.masaassist.com
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:43 PM   #4
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We have purchased trip insurance that included medical and emergency evacuation insurance. We were on a cruise once in the North Atlantic when a passenger had a suspected heart attack. The ship turned around for an hour or two to meet a helicopter that was sent from Ireland. They lowered a basket to the deck like Deadliest Catch. Think of what that cost.

For auto I usually buy the insurance when I rent overseas. I checked all our credit cards and auto policy. None would cover renting a car overseas.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:09 PM   #5
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We have purchased trip insurance that included medical and emergency evacuation insurance. ............
For auto I usually buy the insurance when I rent overseas...........
Same here.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:43 PM   #6
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For car insurance I use a CC that covers it. Most policies I've seen in Europe in recent years have mandatory insurance included for 3rd party liability, so it is collision damage to the rental car that we need to worry about.

For health insurance our regular PPO policy here in the USA covers us overseas. We are off to Australia, Fiji , Tasmania and New Zealand later this year over a 4 month period so I have already been online and made a list of doctors and hospitals in the towns we'll be having extended stays that are in-network. (for an emergency we'll rely on the closest Hospital)

Last year we did 2 cruises out of the UK and the cruise companies insisted on the purchase of Medical coverage including air-evacuation from the ship. You can either buy it through the cruise line or provide proof that you have a valid policy before you board.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:47 PM   #7
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I use the very economical World Nomads to cover medical expenses when we are traveling. They cover a lot of activities that other companies don't, and get high marks from those who have had to make claims.
I use CC for car rentals. Most will cover all countries with exceptions of Jamaica and Israel.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:48 PM   #8
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Credit cards don't provide liability insurance, no?
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:03 PM   #9
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Credit cards don't provide liability insurance, no?
No, they don't. Some provide LDW which I understand is collision damage only.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:12 PM   #10
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There was a thread recently on M* where a poster totaled a car in Europe (icy road accident) and expressed relief that he hasn't been liable for anything as the CC only covered collision, and I wondered why he ever expected the CC would cover liability. If your auto insurance company doesn't cover you overseas, them you had better make other arrangements.

One more reason we prefer to use public transportation overseas.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:51 PM   #11
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I'm trying to figure this out for Mexico right now. I think I'll stick with the CC for rental car coverage and pay extra for liability coverage. I'd love to stick with public transport, but with four of us it's more practical to rent a car. Plus, we have more flexibility than what public transport provides.
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:33 PM   #12
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For car insurance: when I go to Europe, I usually borrow a car from family and I get full coverage from a local insurance company (which is not a problem because I have a local driver's license and a verifiable driving history). Elsewhere, I avoid driving.

For health insurance: I am covered by my US health insurance. But I have evacuation and repatriation insurance, just in case.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:29 AM   #13
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I have an annual insurance policy for travel globally which also covers immediate evacuation and transport of my deceased body to home country. For car insurance, we buy the insurance top up when we rent the car and we have driven in many of our travels like in France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:00 PM   #14
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Moscyn, who did you buy the travel policy from and how much does it cost?

Mp
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:09 PM   #15
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Hi Disappointed, I stay in Hong Kong and the travel policy I bought is available for sale here by the insurance arm (AXA group) of HSBC. I just go to the bank and buy from the teller - costs around Hk$2,000 per year (approx USD260). It was a promotion price when I bought it (I think 30% off). Global coverage with unlimited travels within the year.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:57 AM   #16
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Thanks, everyone, for the input. Those of you who didn't mention it already -- what companies do you buy international travel type insurance from? The World Nomads looks pretty decent and affordable. The MASA Assist braumeister mentioned looks good but seems quite pricey.

Braumeister, do you have the standard or platinum MASA? The website mentions that platinum gives worldwide coverage while the standard is the US and the Caribbean area. However, the standard section has a note that worldwide short-term coverage is available.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:35 AM   #17
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Braumeister, do you have the standard or platinum MASA? The website mentions that platinum gives worldwide coverage while the standard is the US and the Caribbean area. However, the standard section has a note that worldwide short-term coverage is available.
We have the platinum, but it only costs us about half the published rate since we get it through my Air Force Association membership. You might look into any similar organizations you belong to, or you could just join the AFA which would give you the same discount (anyone can join).
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:01 AM   #18
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You might want to check diveralertnetwork.org They have annual policies for a very reasonable price, about $300/yr. You do not have to be a diver to get a policy with them, but they do covering diving.
They cover activities that other might not cover:
"diving, boating, golfing, hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, horseback riding, sailing, yachting, powerboating, deep sea fishing and many more."
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:01 AM   #19
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I've never gotten a policy but have shopped around.

The all inclusive $300 a year policy seem too good to be true. It's more like that much for a single trip of a couple of weeks for the prices I've seen.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:08 AM   #20
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The diversalertnetwork is the offered by the non profit organization that covers insurance for divers that includes transport to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber if needed. They are definitely a legitimate organization and have been around for decades. When you get certified for scuba diving this is the organization that all dive shops and PADI recommend. You do not have to be a scuba diver to purchase their travel protection policy.
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