The Deal Mommy

If This Doesn’t Make You Buy Travel Insurance, Nothing Will

I’ve long been an advocate for travel insurance and usually see some pushback. Objections usually run along “XXX credit card has trip cancellation or lost bag insurance so why should I buy extra travel insurance?”. Well, I hope the following tale will convince you that the $38 we spent on travel insurance was money well spent and that you’ll reconsider before your next trip.

Our Story

I knew we were in trouble when we landed in Madrid.  Deal Dad had complained of stomach pain but during our layover he turned pale and was doubled over.  It was severe enough that I considered missing our flight to Gran Canaria and taking him to an ER, but he insisted it was tolerable and we got on the flight.

The pain came and went over the next 12 hours and we had a somewhat normal 1st night on the island. By 3AM it was back with a vengeance.  Being Sunday our options were limited to the ER and we debated whether he could just wait until Monday.

HERE is where I’m so grateful for the travel insurance. Allianz has a 24 hour worldwide number you can call to verify benefits or to get medical referrals if you need them.  I called and was immediately informed that we had $25,000 in primary coverage with no deductible. 

If we hadn’t been armed with the knowledge our bills were paid it would have been temping to wait it out until the local clinic opened on Monday morning.

Doing so could have had life-threatening implications.

Upon arrival doctors quickly determined Deal Dad needed inpatient treatment and immediate intervention.  The diagnosis? A large kidney stone.  He’ll need follow-up treatments at home to completely resolve the issue. Thankfully three nights and one surgery later he is back with us at the hotel and stable enough to enjoy the last half of the trip.

A note about the medical care here in Gran Canaria: the treatment the doctors provided at the private hospital was equal to or better than any provided in the states . Access to western medical is a prerequisite to any destination I choose and it came through in spades.

The cost? 4500 Euro, payable up front.

Here’s where a shout out goes to American Express who, when I called and explained the situation, immediately approved up to 15,000 Euro and told me to just call if I needed more.  Based on my previous claims I know Allianz will have reimbursed me long before the AMEX bill comes due.

In case you’re wondering: we do have good health insurance in the states.  They’ll probably cover some of this eventually or at least apply it towards our annual deductible.  How much or how long until we see a dime? No idea. The after hours service could only tell me that we didn’t need a pre-certification.  They could not tell me under what plan this type of situation qualified.

The trip we didn’t expect

If you followed along on Instagram or Twitter you might be confused right about now.  I took great efforts to downplay the seriousness of the situation to the Deal Kids. We both agreed it was best for them to get as normal of a trip as possible. That’s why the kids posed for photos having fun- they were having fun for about three hours a day. The rest of the time they were in our hotel room- which I’m SO grateful was a two bedroom condo.  They kept themselves busy playing video games or watching Netflix  (so I guess they were still having fun). Meanwhile, I monitored Deal Dad at the hospital 5 minutes away.

Needless to say we have not enjoyed a restful respite.  But now that Deal Dad is out of the hospital we can focus on his recovery and not on the 4500 Euro bill.  We dodged that worry by paying $38 for travel insurance.

PLEASE don’t get caught out if you get thrown a curveball on your next trip.

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network. 

Travel Insurance


25 thoughts on “If This Doesn’t Make You Buy Travel Insurance, Nothing Will

  1. wjs

    That sure was cheap travel insurance @$38. What plan did you purchase? I was reviewing Allianz’s travel ins. for a 5-day $2,600 cruise out of NJ, but the quote was $148 for 2 peeps.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      It was the classic plan for one person. The trip value was only $1500 declared since the tickets were on miles so $150 redeposit fee. One good thing is value of medical stays the same no matter the trip value. Kids were free and I’m on a separate annual plan.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Julianna,
      I have a personal annual policy and buy as needed for Deal Dad and kids. Kids are free with an adult policy, which saves a lot.

  2. Leana

    Wow! So glad your husband is OK. Sorry you had to go through this scare, especially with two kids who probably had no clue and just wanted to have fun. I’m a huge proponent of travel insurance as well, and we did use it a few times. I always tell people they should not view it as some sort of investment on which they will likely collect money. Most of the time, you are paying for a peace of mind, and it’s worth it. Occasionally, it really pays off. Enjoy the rest of the trip and sorry again you you had to go through all this.

  3. Rachel

    Do you buy through the airline or research an independent policy? I’ve looked into it in the past, when I was pregnant, but there were so many exclusions for pregnant women that it seemed like I would be denied if I tried to use it. The Zika issue not being covered also painted it in a bad light.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Rachel,
      I’m loyal to Allianz (booked on their site) but others have recommended Travel Guard. Check to make sure what it covers: Allianz does pre existing conditions as long as you don’t buy too close to departure.

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    1. thedealmommy Post author

      They tend to cover actual tickets, but redeposit fees are very ymmv.. I know Allianz has an actual $250 pp redeposit miles benefit. And no card is going to cover medical.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Audrey,
      It depends on how often you’re overseas and if you only need medical. If your trips are cheap and you travel less than 8 weeks a year you might be better off buying as needed since that way kids are free. I’m not sure they are on an annual.

  5. Frugalman

    Thanks for sharing. I recently also bought Allianz Travel Insurance when I booked my family Europe flight at United Airline. After seeing your “$25,000 in primary coverage with no deductible”, I checked my “Certificate of Insurance”. Unfortunately, I found some terms in the Emergency medical/dental coverage section, “This is secondary coverage. If you have health insurance, you must submit your claim to that provider first. Any benefits you receive from your primary insurance provider or from any excess coverage will be deducted from your claim.” We have a high deductible health insurance, so wonder two questions: 1. Will Allianz take care of the deductible after my health insurance? 2. How were you able to purchase a primary coverage? I didn’t see that option when I bought it on UA website.

      1. Frugalman

        Thanks. I bought this due to its coverage on repatriation for medical reasons and mortal remains. I am not a US citizen so I need to apply tourist visa. My current health insurance covers international travel but not one I mentioned above, which is one of Shengen Visa requirement.

  6. csdx

    I considered buying trip insurance as I was a bit worried with the wife being pregnant, but of course they exclude any and all issues relating to that it the fine print.

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  8. Matt

    Travel insurance is going to vary based on everyone’s circumstances. Medical is obviously the big concern for many, since things like bag delay, cancelled flight, delays often have coverage via credit cards. In the case of medical, though, some U.S. health insurers provide coverage for emergency treatment in other countries, which means the travel insurance might be duplicate / redundant coverage.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      For me it was the lack of co-pay and no deductible, especially since we had no idea what we were dealing with, that really made insurance worth it.

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