Update (May 13, 2014): We published a new post entitled: 7 Travel Insurance Options for Expats & Travelers
Just before we flew to Miami last month, a shot of fear went through me. Travel insurance! A couple of months earlier we were in Canada, and I didn’t give it a second thought – its Canada, for goodness sakes. Home of the (almost) free medicare.
And you know whats really funny is that I had just watched Michael Moores Sicko (again) about the state of US health care. Of course, it might not actually be that bad, I don’t really know. I’m an ignorant and medicare-covered Canadian. However, the movie put the fear in me and I had to buy insurance.
So I did what every other self respecting person does – I googled it: travel insurance. As it turns out, I can’t buy travel insurance from Canada. The rules require that we be actual Canadian residents – living more than 6 months per year in Canada. And we don’t. I checked with our Canadian credit card companies – nothing.
I was short on time, and didn’t feel like searching and sorting out the options that I’m sure are available here in Ecuador.
I did find an option that turned out to be really good.
Its called World Nomads and they cater to the world traveler – regardless of where you live or where you are going you can buy insurance. And it isn’t that expensive. For our family, it cost less than $200 for two weeks in the States. If we went for 5 weeks it would have cost just over $300.
What Does International Travel Insurance Cover?
The travel insurance we purchased from World Nomads had the following coverage. It is so much more than just emergency medical insurance – although this is the most critical component of any plan.
- Emergency Out of Province Medical Expenses maximum cover per person per trip $5,000,000
- Emergency Medical Transportation / Additional Expenses maximum cover per person per trip $500,000
- Trip Cancellation maximum cover per person per trip $1,000
- Trip Interruption Costs maximum cover per person per trip $5,000
- Luggage & Personal Effects maximum cover per person per trip $2,500
- Sporting Equipment Coverage maximum cover per person per trip $2,500
- Travel Accident Coverage maximum cover per person per trip $10,000
Update: A reader brought the age limits to my attention. Depending on your country of permanent residence, there are predetermined age limits. For example, Canadians are covered up to age “under 60”, Americans are covered to age “under 67” and in Ecuador, permanent residents are covered to age “under 66”. Be sure to confirm as you book your coverage.
- Do I need Travel Insurance?Believe us, when you travel, things can – and do – go wrong when you least expect it. Adequate travel insurance helps to protect you (and your bank balance). If you’re still not sure, read this.
- Who can buy it?World Nomads Travel Insurance is available to residents of over 150 countries.
- What if I change my mind?Had a change of travel plans? Unlike other policies, World Nomads is flexible and allows you to extend your policy while you are still traveling.
- What activities are covered? World Nomads cover most adventure sports from bungee jumping in New Zealand to white-water rafting in Colorado.
- How do I buy it?You can only buy World Nomads policies online using a credit card. To start, please choose your country of residence.
- How do I make a claim?With World Nomads Travel Insurance you can claim online even if you are still traveling. And if you don’t entirely trust insurance companies, have a look at how World Nomads have helped some of their travelers.
Without insurance, your vacation might become a little more expensive than you planned. Here are some other travel insurance options.