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Old 24 Dec 2017
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Travel insurance cancels when you return home?


So I know policies differ greatly for everyone based on their home state which is probably why there isn't more information about each of the various underwriters, but I also know there are a lot of Washington state riders out there, and others who have looked into it so I figure I'd post here.

Primary question: most insurance seems to cover a 365 single trip. Does that mean if I come home for a visit I will end my coverage? tied to that - what if I don't come back to my state of residence or origin of the trip? Obviously I know I need to get it in writing from an agent, but I was wondering if there is some general knowledge about this. Also, as its holiday time, all the offices are closed :-(

I've been doing hours and hours of fine print reading these past few days inspecting various underwriters. I figured Id share a bit of info, just in case it helps anyone else. This pertains to a 30-39 year old Washington, USA resident.


Ripcord - super responsive staff, very friendly, but mostly just emergency recovery (not medical) for longer trips. I'm already covered with Spot

World Nomad - looks good, covers all that I need EXCEPT - seems to end if I come back home for a visit. Also significantly more expensive than others (~$1250/year), but I got a response in writing that they cover on and off road motorcycling of any cc. Just not damage that is caused by the motorcycle.

Spot GEOS - Get you out of a rough spot insurance. seemed very straight forward.

Medjet Assist - Get you home insurance. Ive heard nothing but amazing things. that said - over $600 for a year. almost makes it worth it to break up my trips.

HCC - Atlas: Seem to have great coverage including home country coverage for an extra fee. Concerned about coverage if return to US. Haven't heard back from agent about on/off road motorcycle travel, but they say sporting activities (which I don't think this would be) need to be adequately supervised...also they have a 1 star yelp review from all of the 30+ people who rated them. They allow you to customize your payout benefits so its hard to nail a price but about $600-900 depending. All that said there is a line in Article 3(6) in the Personal Liability Benefit Endorsement which says they aren't liable to you if you have "6. Ownership, possession, control or use of any automobile, motorcycle, ATV, off-road vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, parachute, parasail, glider or any other motorized, gravity-induced, or self-propelled vehicle or craft of any kind....sounds like a deal killer?

STA Travel - Seems to be both the cheapest and offer the highest payouts BUT - though I'd be covered for a year, just for 90 day trips. That may be just because I'm from Washington. I had chosen this one but had to back out as I'll be gone for more than 90 days. Cost was just $289

Global Underwriters. Similar to HCC in legal jargon. on their website it says coverage ends upon permanent return to your home country, but the fine print doesn't have the same language. They let you renew on the road up to 3 years. also in the 6-900 range but a bit more than HCC.

IMG - seems to be slightly cheaper than HCC/GU, but about on par as it seems you have to add the adventure sports rider for motorcycle. also seem to have coverage for 14 day trip homes.
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Old 24 Dec 2017
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I've just spent over a week trying to sort out travel insurance for a trip I'm starting shortly and the byzantine complexities of it had me wondering whether it's designed that way so they always have a get-out clause. I must have gone through the small print of something like 30 companies and looked through the headline offerings of over 50 only to fall foul of some restriction or other. It's a good job I'm (relatively) healthy otherwise I don't think any of the companies would have insured me.

These were all UK companies so some of the small print is no doubt different from what the US businesses include but with annual policies virtually all of them would cover you for any number of trips in a year as long as no individual trip was longer than 31 days. And you had to start and finish from home. Just coming back into the country didn't count, you had to return home.

Neither would they cover you for doing anything. If you wanted to do anything more complicated than sleeping it had to be on their approved activity list. Some companies lists were long, comprehensive (over 400 activities in one case) and banded for risk (and premium). Others had very short lists hidden well down in the small print. A number of them had exclusions for stuff I would regard as normal life. For example, we have a flat in the French Alps at just on 2000m altitude. Some of the companies considered walking at over 2000m as a high risk activity and specifically excluded it. That would mean I'd be covered if I walked down the hill to the lower supermarket but not if I walked up the hill to the nearest one.

Some companies would spread the geographical list into UK, Europe, Rest of world inc USA or Rest of world ex USA. Others wanted a specific list of countries. I rang up one of them, a specialist travel insurer, who would cover me for Morocco, Western Sahara, Senegal and a whole load of other West African countries but not Mauritania. He admitted he'd never even heard of the place and asked whether it was in Africa.When I asked how I was supposed to get from WS to Senegal all I got was "sorry, it's not on the list". His "list" wasn't a drop down one but country names he had to type in manually. His computer said no because he was spelling it M-O-R-A... If this is what you get from a "specialist" what hope have you got from the rest of them.

And as for age ...! I tried to get a quote from Saga, a company that promotes itself as an over 50's specialist. They wouldn't insure me because, at 66, I was ... too old. I rang them up before realising this and said I was trying to get a travel quote for a possibly risky activity and they replied "yes we do cover cruises". Probably two thirds of the insurance companies I tried had a cut off at 65. Saga have since sent me three "how did we do" survey requests!

The other (and last - I've gone on long enough) thing was that there was very little connection between cover level and price. You'd think the cheap ones would only cover you for breathing and you'd pay through the nose for base jumping or similar but as far as I could see you were just as likely to get a huge approved list + massive medical cover from a cheap company as an expensive one. It was just a case of finding one where the random variation in their terms and conditions all worked in my favour. When I found one it turned out to be one at the cheaper end.
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Old 24 Dec 2017
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Thanks for the input. Yea its a full time job to sort through it all!

In the end I decided to go with World Nomads and will just get separate policies for my two 'trips' One from now until April, the other for a full year after. I like that I got a clear answer from them regarding on/off road for any motorcycle while traveling. Too bad their ADD benefit is only $5k. $233 for the 4 months.
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Old 25 Dec 2017
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Originally Posted by Tybalt View Post

In the end I decided to go with World Nomads
World Nomads were one of the first companies I tried and, no, they wouldn’t cover me.
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Old 5 Jan 2018
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allianz travel insurance. covered my accident in nicaragua without any drama at all. get the annual plan which allows for unlimited trips.
'07 DL1000 '08 DR650
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Old 5 Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
World Nomads were one of the first companies I tried and, no, they wouldn’t cover me.
Ageist #$%$%^%&s, they dumped me too. One other thing about world nomads is coverage for bike riding depends on your home country. Australians get cover, British do not for example.
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Old 5 Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
I tried to get a quote from Saga, a company that promotes itself as an over 50's specialist. They wouldn't insure me because, at 66, I was ... too old. I rang them up before realising this and said I was trying to get a travel quote for a possibly risky activity and they replied "yes we do cover cruises".
Thanks for my morning laugh!

FWIW, I live in Washington state and I use DAN for travel and medevac insurance when I need it. They're a scuba diving organization, but anyone can join and their insurance doesn't seem to have the usual restrictions on "risky" activities like shuffleboard or mall-walking. However, I'll admit it's been a while since I read the fine print on their policies.

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