How do I choose good travel insurance? This is a question we get asked all the time.
- Which provider is best?
- How can I get coverage as a resident of Ecuador?
- Who covers Ecuador?
I should note that we are not experts in travel insurance. But I’ve learned a lot since moving to Ecuador, and during my research these past few days. Always make sure to confirm all details yourself.
When we moved to Ecuador we lost eligibility to buy travel insurance from Canada.
The providers we contacted all stipulated that we must be Canadian residents. In researching other providers, this seems to be pretty common. Like all expats, we lost residency in our home country when we settled in our new one. In this post, we share providers that will insure expats living abroad.
We’ve written about travel insurance in the past – but only featuring World Nomads – because they are our favorite. Since then, we’ve learned that the age restriction (there are maximum ages depending on country of residence) is an issue for many travelers and expats in Ecuador. So for the past two days, I’ve been researching travel insurance for expats.
Here’s what I have discovered.
Here are the seven travel insurance options included in this post – in order of flexibility and preference:
- Atlas Travel Insurance: For residents of all countries. No age limits.
- World Nomads: For residents of all countries. Some age limitations.
- InsureandGo: For residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Favorable rates and policies for seniors.
- Travelex: For residents of all countries but only Americans can purchase online. Everyone else must call in.
- Travel Guard: Valid for Americans only.
- Allianz Travel Insurance: Valid for Americans only.
- FrontierMedex: Valid for Americans only.
Update: I just found an another option. AAIB/Frontier Travel Insurance covers just about every country of the world – including high risk countries like Afghanistan, Egypt and Iraq. They cover ages from 18 to 75 and you choose the level of coverage. The pricing seems less than some of the other providers. Looks like a solid option. Get a quote from AAIB/Frontier.
Best Travel Insurance for Expats
If you want to save the time of reading the full post, you can check out these top two providers:
- Atlas Travel Insurance They accept residents of all countries and places no age limits.
- World Nomads They also accept residents from more than 150 countries but they do have some age restrictions. American residents must be under
67 years of age(Update: September 2014: they now accept US residents under the age of 70) and Canadian residents must be under 60 years of age. If you are an Ecuadorian resident you qualify if you are under 66 years of age.
Below the large image is a detailed breakdown of each of the seven insurance options for expats.
1. Atlas Travel Insurance
Requirements: you must be at least 14 days old and traveling outside of your home country.
What is your country of residence? If you are a US citizen, your home country is always the United States (regardless of residency issues). For all non-US citizens, your home country is where you principally reside and receive regular mail.
Insures all ages. Maximum per injury is broken into 3 categories:
- Age 80 or older
- Age 70 to 79
- All others
6 Benefits of Insuring with Atlas Travel
- Adventure Sports: Most travel insurance policies exclude adventure and sport activities from coverage. Things like zip-lining and scuba diving aren’t covered with most policies. With Atlas Travel you are covered for adventure sports.
- Global Coverage: receive medical care in a foreign country. This can reduce / eliminate paying out-of-pocket while abroad.
- Emergency Evacuation / Reunion: for return to your home country in the case of potential loss of life or limb. Emergency Reunion will bring an immediate family member to you – to either stay with you or help you return home.
- Return of Minors: In case of hospitalization, your children are covered to return back to your home country.
- Common features such as: accidental death and dismemberment, return of remains and natural disaster & terrorism.
- Online Account Management: gone are the days of paper policies. Sign-up, manage and submit claims online.
Get a quote from Atlas Travel insurance
2. World Nomads
World Nomads is our insurance of choice. Each time we’ve left Ecuador in the past five years we were covered by them.
We like how easy it is to get a quote and purchase. Our online account is easy to manage and print papers. And they cover us as residents of Ecuador.
5 Things You Should Know About World Nomads
- They offer some of the most flexible insurance available. Their policies are available to residents of more than 150 countries. If you have trouble finding travel insurance then you should check them out.
- Make claims online
- Extend coverage on the go. Because it is purchased online, you can add (or extend) your insurance as soon as you realized that you need more.
- Adventure sports are covered. Things like bungee jumping and white water rafting are covered.
- Policies are only available with credit card purchase. Country of residence is an important factor.
Drawback: They have specific age limits, depending on the country of origin. Here are some common countries of residence.
- United States: under 70 years of age
- Canada: under 60 years of age
- Ecuador: under 66 years of age
- United Kingdom: under 60 years of age
- Australia: under 70 years of age
- New Zealand: under 70 years of age
- Costa Rica: under 66 years of age
- Belize: under 66 years of age
- Dominican Republic: under 66 years of age
- Spain: under 66 years of age
- More than 140 other countries of residence available. Check yours here.
Get a quote from World Nomads travel insurance.
3. InsureandGo USA
Offers coverage for seniors with a pre-existing conditions waiver (available for travelers 70 years of age and under).
Primary features include:
- Coverage for travel delays, lost or stolen baggage.
- 24 hour emergency assistance
- Emergency accident and sickness medical coverage
The main site is for Americans but they also offer coverage for residents of United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. You will need to be a resident of one of these four countries to qualify for travel insurance.
While Travelex will insure residents of many countries, only residents of the United States can purchase a plan online.
Travelex offers five levels of insurance with varying benefits and costs. Virtually all plans cover trip cancellation, trip interruption and trip delay. Things like itinerary change and the values for baggage delays vary with the plan.
Also standard with each plan type is travel assistance, medical evacuation and medical expense benefits. It’s important to consider how much medical expense benefit you will actually need. Visiting South America will require significantly less coverage than a trip to Europe or the United States.
I investigated age limits and I couldn’t find any with Travelex. They look like a good option – especially for seniors from the United States.
Get a quote from Travelex insurance services.
5. Travel Guard
Open only to residents of the United States. Valid for international travel.
TravelGuard specializes in international travel insurance. They offer 4 levels of protection:
- Platinum: their top plan including premium travel insurance and assistance.
- Gold: their most popular plan
- My Travel Guard: The lowest price plan
- The Great Outdoors: Great for adventurers and athletes.
Get a quote from Travel Guard travel insurance.
6. Allianz Global Assistance
This is a full service travel insurance company – but only sells to people residing in the United States. Coverage is for either domestic (within the US) or abroad. They also offer annual travel plans and rental car damage protector insurance.
Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance
FrontierMedex has a nice set of benefits for policy holders. This is only for Americans traveling abroad. Once you live abroad you won’t qualify for this insurance. It is for two types of travelers:
- TravMed Choice: U.S. residents traveling outside of the U.S. or foreign nationals traveling to the U.S.
- TravMed Abroad: U.S. residents traveling outside of the U.S. only.
They insure over 20 million people each year. And they offer medical and evacuation benefits. Travelers up to age 85 are covered. Option to add Sports Coverage for adventure travelers.
Travel Insurance Abroad: Just Make Sure You Have Something
So there you have it. A number of these options apply to everyone and the rest apply only to American citizens. I think that there should be an option for everyone.
The most important thing is to buy it. Buy something – even if it is a basic policy. When you are traveling abroad there is an increased risk of a fall or another easy injury. Without insurance you could be looking at a very large bill.
What insurance provider have you used? What company / policy do you recommend?
Please note: This post is not an offer to sell insurance but a listing of the possible options. Please confirm all details with the insurance company before making any purchase or travel decisions. Details and specifics can (and do) change quickly and without notice. If you notice an error in this post, please comment below and I’ll update it.