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RTW Medical Insurance for 2012

PDXnative

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  • Added on: September 10th, 2012
Starting this November, my wife, 8-year old daughter, and myself will be leaving our hometown of Portland, Oregon and begin a 2-year RTW trip. We are currently shopping around for medical and travel insurance (stolen items, etc) for the duration. We have priced several companies, but have read mixed reviews about many of them. So, what are the recommendations for travel and medical insurance companies for a family from the USA? Any help in this would be greatly appreciated.
Planning our family RTW Trip on:
http://travel-junkies.com

Twitter: GoRTW

La Lluvia

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  • Added on: September 13th, 2012
I suggest the Patriot International plan for US citizens. This plan will cover your family while traveling outside your home country. Plans can be purchased for 12 months at a time and extended while you are on your trip. We have used this plan for our staff here at BootsnAll. Note, most travel insurance plans will not cover personal items except for checked luggage.

Use this link to get a quote from this link.

If you have any questions, please call 503-528-1005 or email me.

Best,
Dave

Eppyboy

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2012
I have traveled all over the world, not for as long as 2 years but have had travel insurance, medical insurance and the like...and for lack of a better word...they are all scams...They are all secondary insurers and it requires you to pay out of pocket for anything that happens upfront, and then you have to submit claims forms and proofs within a very strict amount of time and often fight them for any money back.

Also, most of these policies have high deductibles over what you will be claiming. And a policy for a family is going to run you a fortune upfront...my suggestion would be to find one with zero deductible (I guess even though you have to lay the money out upfront, the deductible would be reimbursed as part of your claim). Furthermore, I have worked with Dave from bootsnall (sean's dad), very nice man and they have good policies here and I am not saying they are selling bogus policies with bogus companies, but just read the very long policies and coverages and be clear how you file a claim. I had a camera stolen and had insurance, but didn't get the claim in on time. Remember you will be away 2 years...most of these companies will require a claim to be submitted 30-45 days maybe 60 and 90 days absolute max, most after incident date with all proofs by mail. I would consider looking into how to get these claims forms (can you get them online, or in my case they had to mail me forms (which doesn't work when you are traveling)).

Look at the coverage for lost and stolen items, some items are excluded, some require police reports you may not be able to get (lets say it gets stole on a train or plane) and you are leaving the city, or in an airport and the police station is closed or its late at night and they say come back...you are essentially screwed.

I have yet to find a reasonable alternative because there really isn't a formidable option for secondary health insurance while traveling. Just remember some of the things I have mentioned above: how to make a claim, how long do i have to make a claim, what is needed besides the claim form, how to do i get the claim form, will it need to be translated or will the company accept the police report in the home language, will it have to be a certified copy...also, in regards to going to medical centers, doctors, hospitals, a lot of these countries have different policies, and charge a whole lot less than in america for services...some have socialized health care which you may be included under if you need treatment...what type of bill will you need from the health provider, will you need your file and chart, will a receipt be good enough?

Also, you are gone for 2 years, where will they send you the checks? How will you know if they have paid you so you can follow up?

All these things should be considered before you dish out money for a policy that will require you to pay upfront and work hard as hell to make claims and get money from them.
Josh and Nicole aren't going anywhere for a while, but you can still read about their past trips herehttp://blogs.bootsnall.com/eppyboy

busman7

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2012
Eppyboy raises some valid points but as the thread is 3 months old likely too late for the OP.

That said I can give a solution to the address situation for anyone wondering the same http://www.virtualpostmail.com offers virtual mailboxes you can check online, have mail opened with a scan emailed to you then forwarded to you if you wish. The address is also legal for government use.

Canada now has a similar service http://www.canadianaddress.ca

*note some Mailbox/UPS stores may offer the same services though it's not advertised
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown

Eppyboy

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2012
Busman, your right, I didn't notice when the thread started or that they were leaving November. However, I am hoping that going forward the post will be beneficial to someone who has questions/concerns about travel insurance both medical and trip. I didn't know about the virtual mailboxes, very cool.
Josh and Nicole aren't going anywhere for a while, but you can still read about their past trips herehttp://blogs.bootsnall.com/eppyboy

Hedonist

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  • Added on: December 25th, 2012
For those reading later.

The travel policy against which others are often compared is from WorldNomads.

It is important to read the policy completely, you would think that was common sense but common sense is not all that common.

People often complain after making a claim that is refused. In 90% plus of those claims, in fact they were not covered. For example. Take a stolen camera or purse. If you hang your purse on the arm of your chair in a restaurant and it is then stolen by someone walking by while someone else distracts you, you are not covered. That is because every policy has wording that basically says you must take 'due care'. Hanging on a chair arm and inviting it to be stolen does not constitute due care.

Most complaints you will read on reviews are of that nature. Not actaully covered, but they THOUGHT it was.

What to look for.
Will it cover the activities you plan on? ie. riding an elephant or petting a tiger.
Can you claim while on the road or must you wait until you return? Not much good for a major claim on an extended trip.
Do you have to pay up front (medical) and then claim? Again, not much good for a major medical emergency while on the road. Some time ago, a bus load of tourists in Africa found out the hard way when the bus overturned and many needed medical attention. The hospital where they were taken asked for payment up front before any treatment!! Some were able to make a call and have their insurance company agree to send the money. Others had to put their hand in their own pocket.
Can you extend while on the road? Many policies will not extend. You must return home and start a new policy. Some will extend while on the road but for a limited amount of time. A few will extend indefinitely (WorldNomads for example). Lest any asks, I have no affilition with WN. They're a standard to compare, other offers are equal.

For USA travellers. Be careful about 'pre-existing conditions' when you return. I understand Obama may have done something about this, I don't know, but you need to find out. For example, in the past at least, if you had a heart attack while travelling and then returned to the USA having let your coverage at home lapse, it was almost impossible to get a policy in the US to cover you for heart problems as it was a 'pre-existing condition'.

halfnine

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  • Added on: December 26th, 2012
Eppyboy wrote:I have traveled all over the world, not for as long as 2 years but have had travel insurance, medical insurance and the like...and for lack of a better word...they are all scams...They are all secondary insurers and it requires you to pay out of pocket for anything that happens upfront, and then you have to submit claims forms and proofs within a very strict amount of time and often fight them for any money back.


Well, they aren't all scams but many certainly are. It really depends what type of policy you get. Off the top of my head I can think of a few varieties of plans

- secondary medical insurance
- secondary medical insurance with emergency evacuation
- emergency evacuation only
- international primary medical insurance with emergency evacuation

Of those, the only ones I have used or would even consider are the last two. Of course, the great majority of travel insurance packages offered are the first two.

Hedonist

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  • Added on: December 29th, 2012
In the developed countries I cannot imagine any insurance company being a scam. It is simply not possible. The insurance industry is highly regulated by government in most countries.

Again, as I've already said, what invaribly is the case when someone complains about being 'scammed by insurance' is that THEIR expectations were not in line with the policy they bought and they did not read or fully understand what they bought.

I find it annoying when anyone accuses any business of being a 'scam' as an anonymous poster and to which the accused has no recourse. An insurance company is not even allowed to respond to such an accusation on a forum such as this. So I (with no connection to any insurance company) will answer for them.

it requires you to pay out of pocket for anything that happens upfront, and then you have to submit claims forms and proofs within a very strict amount of time and often fight them for any money back.


That statement is false. SOME insurance policies require you to pay upfront, not all.

I had a camera stolen and had insurance, but didn't get the claim in on time


So? Whose fault is that? If you read your policy, understood how long you had to make a claim and did not do so, who's too blame for that? YOU.

work hard as hell to make claims and get money from them.


I guess you think you should just call/e-mail them and tell them what happened and theiny should take your word for it. Right? How else do you expect them to process a claim than with proof of the validity of your claim?

Have you any idea how many false claims are made by people? Do you know that it is common for people to claim a gold ring, watch, etc. was lost when travelling or a camera fell into a river and was irretreivable, or countless other SCAMS attempted against insurance companies by travellers?

Go into any pub in the UK and if you hang around long enough you will hear one guy telling another something like, 'hey, do you want to know a way to get all or part of your vacation paid for by insurance? Just go to the police station and report your gold chain necklace lost at the beach. You get a police report and when you get home you file a claim. It's easy peasy mate.'

That is the person who causes the insurance company to ask you for REASONABLE proof that you even owned a gold chain in the first place. Go attack them for a change.

Eppyboy

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  • Added on: December 31st, 2012
I'm not an anonoymous poster. People on these boards have met me. And i'll be more than happy to discuss anything more personally.

Here's the kicker, I work for a major, world-wide insurance company! I know a little of what I am talking about. Heck, I defend my company against FALSE claims all the time!

Let me take you through some of your outrageous statements:

In response to my line:
"I had a camera stolen and had insurance, but didn't get the claim in on time"

I never said getting the claim in on time was NOT my fault, my point was that some of these policies offer very short time constraints to get a claim in and it may not be easy for someone on a 2 year RTW to get it in.

By the way, how was my below statement false:

"it requires you to pay out of pocket for anything that happens upfront, and then you have to submit claims forms and proofs within a very strict amount of time and often fight them for any money back."

You responded by saying "That statement is false. SOME insurance policies require you to pay upfront, not all."

did I say ALL insurance companies require you to pay upfront? No and then you responded by saying some only require you to pay upfront, not all, which agrees with my point that insurance companies may require you to pay your costs upfront and claim them back later.

Listen, I fully understand how the insurance business works...Since you do not work for one maybe you shouldn't be speaking for them. As someone who knows the business, I know how hard it is to even sometimes show "reasonable proof" as you claim. Remember these insurance companies that run these plans for international travel are not major carriers...Some are "mom and pop" so to speak...people immediately think every insurance company is multinational and worth billions, that is not true. Yes, there are some that are big and are underwritten by big companies.

Bottom line is that RTW, secondary medical/trip/travel protection insurance is not a great option for people traveling long term through many different continents and countries. A 3 week trip, it may be okay because you should be able to get a claim in on time and get all the proofs necessary.

Granted, I liked how you rebuffed only a few of my claims, in turn agreeing with most of my post regarding RTW medical insurance and the few you attempted to rebuff really did not do so as you basically agreed with me.
Josh and Nicole aren't going anywhere for a while, but you can still read about their past trips herehttp://blogs.bootsnall.com/eppyboy

JainaSJedi

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  • Added on: January 7th, 2013
Good topic. Interesting points from all. Long-term travel insurance is something I'm looking into now as I plan my working holiday to Australia with travel afterwards. I'm going to be gone at least 1 year, probably more. The IMG Patriot policy and World Nomad's are both recommended. The problem is when I read reviews of WN is that many people who have needed to make a claim are given the run-around. I'm not overtly concerned with stuff being stolen; I figure most insurance policies are not going to cover your missing Ipad.

I'm most worried about medical issues. I want a good policy that's going to cover me if I end up in a hospital, especially in a place like Australia where medical costs are high. I got sick in Thailand last year, and was freaking out that I was going to have a fight with my travel insurance, but the bill ended up only being $100. I didn't bother with a claim. I got lucky that time. But if you have to make a claim, It seems that between the insurance underwriters and the policy sellers, the consumer seems to get screwed in the end.

tbk

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  • Added on: January 8th, 2013
Hi.

I wrote a post recently about Travel Insurance called Travel Insurance: Are You Covered?

It might already have been mentioned but make sure you are clear about what you need cover for: disclose all the things you plan to do and any pre-existing medical conditions etc. to the insurance company, whomever that is. It's important to make sure that you are covered for anything you THINK you might do.

Are you getting a RTW ticket or one-way tickets? Lots of insurance companies won't cover you if you have a one-way ticket.

Finally, once you have the insurance, make sure you have the policy details and emergency number with you at all times. That might sound obvious but people often don't think about it when they head out for a day or a few days. Someone I was trekking with in Torres del Paine National Park found out the hard way and I learned a very valuable lesson!

And... enjoy! :)

80weeks

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  • Added on: January 10th, 2013
I had insurance with World Nomads when traveling long term and had to make a claim after tearing a ligament in my knee. I didn't have any issues at all. To be honest claiming was such a non event I don't remember the details of how I made the claim. But I remember being surprised at how easy it was and the money appeared in my bank fairly quickly. Personally I would never travel without medical insurance, property insurance is a different kettle of fish as I think it is very difficult to prove that you had the item and it was stolen.
Around the world in 80 weeks from April 08 to Oct 09
http://www.80weeks.blogspot.com

Eppyboy

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Location: New York

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  • Added on: January 14th, 2013
@Jaina,

have you considered looking into if you are eligible to get insurance from an Australian based company? If you are going to be working there you may be eligible to get an insurance policy during your time there...with regards to travel afterwards, as I have stated before its buyer beware...read the entire policy carefully, make sure what you need to be covered will be covered. Be clear on how to make a claim, time frames, and proof that is required to make the claim. And as the last poster said, make sure you have all the phone numbers readily available...
Josh and Nicole aren't going anywhere for a while, but you can still read about their past trips herehttp://blogs.bootsnall.com/eppyboy

cindyfae

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  • Added on: January 28th, 2013
This is a really really useful thread. I had a hard time finding info on this when I was planning my big trip. I wish more companies would respond to this demand.
I love the feeling of being anonymous in a city I've never been before.



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