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.
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.
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