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Old 10-28-2018, 11:43 AM
Location: Southern California
12,773 posts, read 14,974,016 times
Reputation: 15337


I plan to travel (internationally to Japan) in about 1.5 yrs for 1-2 wks. What's the best for the money travel insurance out there? I know nothing about this topic.

How soon after the starting of booking a trip should one get insurance?

Any other info would be appreciated!
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:52 PM
2,568 posts, read 2,518,088 times
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No matter which you choose, read the fine print and exclusions.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:22 PM
4,717 posts, read 3,266,757 times
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I like the insuremytrip.com site, which lets you compare plans across various companies. The link BOBNCHI provided has some great info on how companies are at paying claims; thank heaven, I haven't had to file one yet. Here are the features you should look for:

1. Pre-existing conditions: they MAY be covered if you buy the insurance within X days of booking your trip. What they don't want you to do is game the system by waiting till the doctor says you need an operation and THEN buying the insurance.

2. Whose illness does it cover as a reason for cancellation? Just yours? Those traveling in your group? Family members at home? Pets? (Yes, some DO cover pets.)

3. If you're sick or injured on your trip, what do they do? Just refer you to English-speaking doctors? Pay to get you to the nearest hospital? Pay to get you to the BEST hospital for your issue? Pay the cost of any trip delays due to your condition, or the cost of a companion staying till you're stable and come home? Paying for Business Class if you have to travel with a giant cast on your leg? Pay to, heaven forbid, repatriate your remains? (That can cost tens of thousands.)

4. If it pays for medical expenses, is it primary? This is important if you have Medicare since Medicare doesn't pay outside of the US and Medicare supplements max out at $50,000 lifetime outside of the US. "Primary" also means they pay up front rather than requiring you to submit everything to your regular health insurance first. Far more convenient, especially in countries where you're expected to show proof of ability to pay before they'll even treat you.

In my case, actual cancellation isn't a big issue on the major trips. Business Class airfares are fully refundable in most cases and even hotels an Airbnb can typically be cancelled up to a few days ahead unless you get some deal that's specifically non-refundable. I do get a generous primary medical amount because I'm on Medicare and am a very active traveler and people fall off mountains or out of kayaks sometimes. Other priorities include the cost of getting me to a facility for care and any additional expense of getting me home. YMMV.
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:35 PM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,788 posts, read 10,608,885 times
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Dunno if you are on Medicare, a personal non MC insurance, or have a plan through an employer...

Medicare and many personal non MC insurance plans won't cover anything, out of country. Not always, but often no coverage and MC won't cover squat.

When we travel out of US/overseas we cop a plan for each of us for a couple hundred bucks. Yes, we have read the fine print, we have never had to use it, so no actual usage experience.

But, it is some level of security/safety net.

A trip to Nihon in "about 1.5 years"? You have lots of time to study up on the offerings.
Some companies, (maybe you good TA) offer trip insurance and medical ins.

I personally wouldn't leave the US for any real time period without some level of supplemental health insurance, and we are not go the to doctor types, but crap happens.
GL, mD
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:18 PM
Location: Seattle
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We were traveling in Europe by train and had spent the night in Seville. The next morning we headed to the train station only to find out the train workers in Portugal went on strike. We were headed to Lisbon to catch a cruise. We had to rent a car. Ended up with a flat tire along the way.

We had purchased insurance through Travel Guard. I contacted TG as soon as it happened and they documented the issue. After we returned home we filed a claim with them and they paid 100% including the rental, gas & flat repair. Insuremytrip.com as athena suggested is a good site and includes quotes from Travel Guard. It's nice to compare.

Also as noted, you should purchase the insurance as soon as you book to include the pre-existing coverage. If you add hotel rooms, excursions or whatever after purchasing the insurance you can up the coverage if needed at any time.
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:45 PM
314 posts, read 237,173 times
Reputation: 456
We got insurance through our travel agent to French Polynesia for $88 per person which includes 50k medvac /repatriation, 500k emergency medical and dental, 1k missed connections, cancellations etc , we also bought it a few days after we paid for flight and room
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:49 PM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
10,352 posts, read 7,982,834 times
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In addition to insuremytrip.com, you may want to check out tripinsurancestore.com. They have an office you can call to get advice from an actual human, which can help a lot if you're not sure exactly what you need in terms of coverage.
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