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. 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.
2 Best Options for Expat Travel Insurance
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 over 180 countries, and the only age restriction is that children must be at least 14 days old to be covered.
- 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.
5 Options for Expat Travel Insurance (Detailed)
Here are the five travel insurance options included in this post – in order of flexibility and preference:
- Atlas Travel Insurance: For residents of 180+ countries. Policyholder must be at least 14 days old. Based in United States (Indianapolis, Indiana).
- World Nomads: For residents of all countries. Some age limitations.
- Travel Guard: Valid for Americans only.
- Allianz Travel Insurance: Valid for Americans only.
- Medjet: No medical questions (under age 75)
Below the large image is a detailed breakdown of each of the 5 expat insurance options.
1. Atlas Travel Insurance
This is a great provider for expats!
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 a wide variety adventure sports. Find the list of excluded sports here.
- Global Coverage: Receive medical care in a foreign country. This can reduce / eliminate paying out-of-pocket while abroad.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation / Emergency 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 your hospitalization, your children are covered to return back to your home country.
- Common features such as: Accidental death and dismemberment, repatriation of remains, natural disaster, and terrorism coverage.
- Online Account Management: Gone are the days of paper policies. Purchase your policy, manage your account 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. Travel Guard
Open only to residents of the United States. Valid for international travel with plans starting at $30.
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.
4. 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.
Did you know that most private health insurance plans don’t cover you when you’re traveling abroad? Learn More
5. Medjet Air Medical Transport
This coverage is different than the other four. This service is a transportation / evacuation policy, provided in the form of a membership. Rather than purchasing for a specific trip, you can purchase a membership valid for multiple trips during the year.
This is an important factor to consider. Not all travel insurance covers medical transport / evacuation. This might make a good secondary policy.
As a MedjetAssist Member, Medjet will arrange medical transportation to a home country hospital of your choice for inpatient care. This applies if you become hospitalized 150+ miles from your primary residence. This is offered to residents of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico – up to age 75 – with international trips of 90 consecutive days at a time and unlimited domestic travel.
Travelers over age 75: Diamond Membership is available for travelers age 75-84.
Long Term Travel: For expats, there are two options:
- Expat180: For expats spending up to 180 days uninterrupted time spent outside their home country on any one trip
- Expat365: For those who intend to spend up to a year abroad.
For both expat policies, you need to enroll prior to departure from your primary residence.
Transport service covers hospital to hospital travel. No medical questions (under age 75), no medical cost caps, no preexisting condition or adventure travel exclusions. Also provides transfer of mortal remains. Learn more…
Travel Insurance: 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?