Here is a general note I wrote some time ago, regarding the general topic of trip insurance.

The first thing that you need to determine is what perils are MOST important to you to be covered and how much you are willing to pay to cover that risk.
Insure My Trip allows you to compare different insurance policies straight up against each other and helps take some of the confusion out of the process. Insure My Trip is a TTOL sponsor and if you book through the link here on TTOL, we get a small commission and your cost is EXACTLY the same. Especially if you don’t understand what types of coverages are available, and the cost and the dollar limit coverage for each type, Insure My Trip is extremely helpful.

SkyMed is ONLY emergency medical evac. Most other travel policies have a component of medical evac in them, but you do need to look at the limits of coverage on other policies, as some have something like a $25,000 limit, which is NOT sufficient for the Caribbean, as it often will cost $50,000 or so for a true medical evac. SkyMed is also a TTOL sponsor and again, if you book through the link here on TTOL, we get a small commission, and your cost is exactly the same. SkyMed does offer annual policies, which can be very useful if you travel a lot. SkyMed is different than most any other medical evac policy because they take you HOME. Most other medical evac policies will transport you to the closest medically appropriate facility. For example, if you live on the US West Coast, but the nearest medically appropriate facility is in San Juan or Miami, you and possibly your relatives might have to stay in San Juan until you are cleared to travel further, which could be a long time.

Especially now that we are older, we ALWAYS book insurance that includes medical evac insurance. Now, we often book Allianz for cheap coverage for medical evac and emergency medical care, as our personal medical insurance will NOT pay out of the country, or it is all out of network, which means HUGE deductibles. If we book Allianz AT THE SAME time you book your air through the airline, it can be pretty cheap. We recently paid $62 for both of us for an Allianz policy with $50,000 medical evac and $15,000 emergency medical coverage, for an 11 day trip. The policy provides a small amount of trip cancellation/trip interruption/baggage delay insurance, but the main purpose for US is the medical evac and medical coverage insurance. We usually use it only for air tickets of relatively modest cost and a hotel of relatively modest cost. If it’s going to cost you $10,000 for your hotel or boat, then probably Allianz isn’t your best bet at all.

One note regarding trip CANCELLATION insurance. READ the terms of the policy, as far as what qualifies for it to kick in. Usually it will kick in if a person travelling becomes ill, or an immediate family member, but let’s say you are in a relationship with someone to whom you are not married, they are not travelling and THEY become sick. Many policies won’t cover that circumstance. Also, check to see what coverage there is for pre-existing conditions. Also, IF IT IS PURCHASED WITHIN A VERY SHORT TIME OF WHEN THE TICKETS ARE BOOKED, usually around a week, SOME trip cancellation policies will kick in if you decide to cancel for ANY reason and/or will cover pre-existing conditions. Usually those policies will cost more, but if you have a situation where you think you might need to cancel because of a work situation or a family member’s medical condition which qualifies as pre-existing under the policy, those types of coverages can be VERY important.

Carol Hill