Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Africa & the Middle East (
-   -   Insurance help needed! (

annmcd Sep 1st, 2007 05:12 PM

Insurance help needed!
I'm taking my family on a once in a lifetime safari in Tanzania and am looking for guidance on travel insurance. The trip is very expensive so I feel required to get trip insurance (as well as medical evacuation insurance) and would very much appreciate advice, experiences, specific company information, things to look for/avoid in a policy etc. Thanks!

julienk Sep 1st, 2007 05:40 PM

go to for a good comparision and also live email chat operators to answer questions.
I learned something...too late to help me...but might be good for you. There are two companies that have a "cancel for any reason" clause . Global Alert and Travel Safe. There is also one that has a Bizpack addition that is in case you have to cancel for work related reasons. Forget the name of that one. However, the big thing to remember is that if you are taking a tour or made any downpayments at all for the trip, then these extra additions MUST be made within 14-15 days of that payment.
The regular policies cover you if one of the travelors or immediate family at home, gets sick. And for a variety of other reasons. I needed the business coverage for my husband and can't get it now because we put $600 down with the tour operator back in Jan.

annmcd Sep 1st, 2007 05:44 PM

Thanks! The cancel for any reason addition makes the insurance really, really expensive and I am content with canceling due to normal reasons. But I am wondering if it is better to get minimal medical coverage in the "comprehensive" policy and then get medjet additionally.

hills27 Sep 1st, 2007 07:23 PM

Does your health insurance cover you abroad?

Mine did, so I went with a policy with no medical coverage and bought Medjet because I wanted to be able to return to the States in case of an injury or illness that resulted in a lengthy hospital stay.

annmcd Sep 1st, 2007 09:10 PM

Excellent question which I do not know the answer to! Will investigate that on Tuesday morning. I am less concerned with the medical (plan on buying medjet) and more with trip cancellation. Thanks!

hills27 Sep 2nd, 2007 07:50 AM

You may be aware already, but Medjet only covers evacuation, not medical costs.

Also, I didn't insure my plane tickets because they were fully refundable, fully changeable business class seats. So there was no need to include them in our trip cancellation insurance, which saved a lot of money.

annmcd Sep 2nd, 2007 09:57 AM

Thanks hills27, yes I did know that about Medjet. Turns out my policy does cover medical expenses incurred in foreign countries but the language they use is not wildly encouraging: ""If you receive care outside the country, submit a claim form for eligible expenses. You must submit itemized bills for your care with all expenses converted into US currency. We recommend that you keep a copy of your records becasue foreign claims information can be difficult to obtain."

GreenDrake Sep 2nd, 2007 11:39 AM

annmdmd - My insurance company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) told me something similar. I am covered, but would need to submit claims after the fact. Like most U.S domestic health policies they do not provide medical evacuation benefits.

I decided to obtain additional medical coverage for a minimal fee along with medical evacuation coverage. The short term trip policy I obtained specifically stated in the policy:

"We will advance payments to a hospital up to the amount provided in the medical expense coverage to secure your medical admission to a hospital."

annmcd Sep 2nd, 2007 12:36 PM

Thanks GreenDrake! Did you do your medical evacuation policy through Medjet?

GreenDrake Sep 2nd, 2007 12:55 PM

I used Access America - short trip policy had medical evacuation and medical coverage. About $35 for and individual for about $25K medical coverage and $300K evacuation coverage.

But,the Access Americal policy I have, does not give me the choice to be immediately transported back home to the hospital of my choice, but instead to the nearest "appropriate" facility and covers transport back home when the local physician and insurance physician gives green light.

Medjet gives you full choice where you want to go and will immediately transfer you back home if you choose to do so. For about 14 day coverage Medjet gives you evacuation (no medical) for about $105 for and individual and $195 for a family.

hills27 Sep 2nd, 2007 12:59 PM

Medjet Plus will advance you money for medical expenses - up to $50k, I believe - to be later reimbursed by your medical insurance.

GreenDrake Sep 2nd, 2007 01:52 PM

hills27 - you are right about the $50K advance from MedJet, but you need to enroll in their annual "Plus" program (about $450 for a family). I don't believe the $50K advance benefit is available for their short term policy or their regular annual membership.

annmcd Sep 2nd, 2007 07:55 PM

You guys are SO GOOD! Thank you.

hills27 Sep 3rd, 2007 08:21 AM

Yep, that's why I said Medjet Plus. :-)

GreenDrake Sep 3rd, 2007 09:13 AM

Right you are hills27. Sorry - I was asleep at the wheel and I did not read your post carefully.

I resolve to stop scanning the horizon for fires and notice that elephant about to climb in my landrover. ((B))

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:27 AM.