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Insurance - first hand experience

I often tell my clients that I purchase the same travel insurance that I recommend. And it's a good thing I did because I just had to cancel a trip. Here's some first hand experience with Allianz.


We were planning a trip to St. Lucia at the Sandals Grand property. We were traveling with friends as a celebration. Unfortunately one of our friends' parents needed medical surgery and ended up in the intensive care unit. This happened the day before our plane was to take off.

Our Friends insurance - easy

With Travel insurance, you won't lose too much if you have to cancel your trip
Need to cancel that trip?

Our friends had purchased an Allianz Classic with Cancel Anytime policy. Here's an excerpt of the policy which pertained to them under cancellation coverage:

Any serious Injury or any unforeseen serious medical condition: a. Occurring to You or a Traveling Companion, which is so disabling as to cause a reasonable person to delay, cancel, or interrupt their Trip; b. Occurring to a Family Member that is considered life threatening or requiring hospitalization; or c. Occurring to a Family Member requiring Your care

Allianz policy

So their trip is clearly covered. But they were concerned about our costs; they didn't want to be responsible for a large financial risk caused by them to their traveling companions.

But what about us, traveling companions?

We purchased Allianz Journey policy, by far the most popular policy we sell. In this case, the operative work is "travel companions" Here's an excerpt from our policy:

Covered reasons: 1. You or a traveling companion becomes ill or injured, or develops a medical condition. The following conditions apply: a. The illness, injury, or medical condition must be disabling enough to make a reasonable person cancel their trip; and b. A doctor advises you or a traveling companion to cancel your trip before you cancel it. If that isn’t possible, a doctor must either examine or consult with you or the traveling companion within 72 hours after the cancellation to confirm the decision to cancel. 2. A family member who is not traveling with you becomes ill or injured, or develops a medical condition. The following condition applies: a. The illness, injury, or medical condition must be considered life threatening by a doctor or require hospitalization.

Allianz Journey Policy

So in our case, the family member of our traveling companions had a medical condition that required hospitalization and therefore is a covered reason.

Once we explained to our friends that we would suffer no costs as a result of their cancelation, they felt much better.

Ready, Set, Action!

Here's what we did once we found out about our friends parents' situation.

  1. Called the insurance company to verify our coverage. Allianz sent our request to their claims department. They got back to us within a few hours with the news that we were both fully covered.
  2. We notified each component of our trip: our airport hotel (with free airport parking), American Airlines and Sandals.
  3. We received letters of cancellation from each of them - we'll need this for documentation. Notification of cancellation is required by Allianz within 72 hours.
  4. Filed two claims (one for us and one for our friends) with Allianz. This took about 2 minutes.
  5. Sent documentation requirements (basically a doctor note) verifying that hospitalization was required.

You're in the driver's seat

Go Astro Travel and Susan Wolfson recommend Travel insurance
Driver's seat

The fact that Allianz agreed this was a covered reason, quickly and without argument deserves an "A" on it's own. But all the other transactions we did were easy as well. We really felt like we were in the driver's seat, not the insurance company.

Exactly nine days after we submitted our paperwork (on line) we received our money back. Wow! No questions, no delay tactics, just the money. Impressive. Also an "A+".

Careful though, there's many different Allianz policies out there. We sell a version that allows you to wait till final payment and still cover existing conditions. Insurance products can be confusing which is why you should get some expert help. A great travel agent can steer you to the right coverage for you. You don't want to be over covered or under covered and you certainly don't want to spend more than you need. We can help you figure this out.

A dose of my own medicine

So next time I recommend travel insurance I can make a few definitive claims:

  • Allianz is great to work with and prompt with payments.
  • If you're traveling with someone else, it's doubly important to have travel insurance. It reduces guilt and stress.
  • Not having to worry about thousands of dollars of potential losses was really nice. Instead we focused our attention on helping our friends and they focused on helping their family out of the hospital.

Want to know more?

We've written extensively about insurance. Here's some articles you might be interested in:

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