On a recent transatlantic cruise I incurred more than $600 in medical expenses for a sinus infection

By Eileen Ogintz

Just a (relatively) easy to treat sinus infection, the doctor said.

But I wasn’t at home, or even in the United States, where my medical insurance would cover most everything.  I was being treated by a ship’s doctor in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean a few days into a transatlantic cruise.

The bill, which included mandatory testing for COVID, RSV, and FLU as well as medications and the doctor’s visit cost over $600, which my medical insurance wouldn’t cover as I was out of the United States.

That’s why I was really glad we had invested in an Allianz Annual Plan for travel. Whether you’re planning a road trip, camping getaway, or vacation rental, Allianz Travel Insurance can help you journey there — and back — with confidence.

Allianz Global Assistance offers complete travel coverage
Allianz offers complete travel coverage

I can’t think of a better gift for the moms, grandmas, dads and grandpas in your lives this Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  Until you have experienced a medical emergency abroad or been stuck with the costs from lost luggage, delayed flights, or cancelled trips, among unforeseen travel expenses, you don’t realize how important travel insurance can be whether you trip is one from your bucket list or a last-minute beach getaway.  (Costs depend on age and state of residence.)  

One of  Allianz most popular options ( and the one we have)  is AllTrips Prime, which includes benefits for covered trip cancellation and interruption, covered emergency medical care and emergency transportation, lost/stolen or delayed baggage, rental car damage and theft coverage (available to residents of most states), and more.  I was singing the plan’s praises the rest of the cruise.

An annual (or multi-trip) travel insurance plan protects all your trips — long or short, international, or domestic, planned, or spontaneous — for 365 days. These plans are a good bet because they typically are cheaper (and definitely easier) than insuring each trip separately, especially when the trips are expensive—like a transatlantic cruise.

For budget travelers, there is AllTrips Basic that covers up to $20,000 in emergency medical benefits, $100,000 in emergency medical transportation, $1,000 in baggage loss/damage, $200 in baggage delay $200 a day up to $600 for travel delays, up to $45,000 in rental car damage and theft, and more, as well as access to a  24-hour emergency hotline assistance.

Sunshine bathes the pool deck on the Regent Seven Seas Grandeur on transatlantic crossing

The AllTrips Prime plan  includes all the benefits (with the same max limits) as AllTrips Basic, with the addition of trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits. These two benefits can reimburse you for pre-paid, non-refundable, unused trip costs if you must cancel your trip or cut it short for a covered reason. Be aware, however, that there’s a limit of $3,000 for trip cancellation and trip interruption per year.

The annual AllTrips Premier Plan is the only multi-trip plan that Allianz offers that can protect your entire household. Not only that, but it offers four tiers of trip cancellation/trip interruption benefits, up to $15,000 per person, per year. This plan offers up to $50,00O in emergency medical benefits, up to $500,000 in emergency medical transportation, up to $2,000 in baggage loss/damage benefits, up to $2,000 in baggage delay benefits and up to $1500 ($300 a day) for travel delays.

Just make sure to read all the fine print—and keep all your receipts. You also will have to submit to your primary insurance first for medical bills as the annual plans typically provide secondary coverage.

You might think you would never need so much coverage but if you or someone in your family gets sick or injured overseas, especially in a far-flung destination, costs add up fast, as we discovered for treatment for a simple sinus infection.

Another couple on our cruise lamented to us at dinner that they had not purchased travel insurance on a recent Alaska cruise and ended up stuck with a $2,200 medical bill for treatment onboard when they had just left Alaska for international waters. Keep in mind for all the seniors in your life that Medicare doesn’t cover medical treatment outside of the US, except in very rare circumstances. Allianz also offers insurance specifically for cruises.

Travel insurance keeps you covered on any cruise or trip
Allianz Travel Insurance keeps you covered on any cruise or trip

Whichever plan you choose, the free Allyz TravelSmart app from Allianz Global Assistance is the perfect travel companion. Allyz TravelSmart  lets you instantly access all the benefits of your AllTrips plan, whether you need help in a hurry or you just want to know what your plan covers. Travel protection provides peace of mind to travelers in moments that matter. Allianz serves as a hub that puts insurance benefits, assistance services, safety features, and added convenience at customers’ fingertips—where and when they need them most.

Also,  Allianz AllTrips travel insurance plans now include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, which adds covered reasons to select benefits for certain losses related to COVID-19 and any future epidemic. (Benefits vary by plan and are not available in all jurisdictions).

(To see if your plan includes this endorsement and what it covers, please look for “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” on your Declarations of Coverage or Letter of Confirmation. Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Keep in mind that benefits may not cover the full cost.)  

Happy Travels!

This post was sponsored by Allianz Travel. The views are those of the author.