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Why I Finally Bought Annual Travel Insurance (And Why You Should Too)

Why I Bought Annual
Allianz - Why I Bought Annual

I dithered. I dawdled. Then I finally did it: I bought an annual travel insurance plan.

Here’s a secret: Not that many people buy annual (or multi-trip) travel insurance. Most travelers only purchase one-time insurance for big, expensive trips — a summer beach house rental, or an anniversary cruise. The beauty of an annual plan is that it can protect both those big trips and the smaller ones for one low price. Your family vacation, your weekend getaways, your business travel… they all can be covered.

If you have multiple trips coming up, then you should get a quote and protect your travel investment now! I’ll tell you why I finally made the decision to buy the AllTrips Prime Plan from Allianz Global Assistance — and why I’m already glad that I did.

1. I had three trips planned in the near future — and more on the horizon. 

A  family trip to New York City in December. A quick jaunt to Houston later that month for a friend’s wedding. And a spring-break vacation on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Looking at my calendar, I realized that the most economical way to protect all these trips might be annual travel insurance. First, I got single-trip insurance quotes for each trip:

  • OneTrip Prime for New York ($900 in pre-paid costs): $61
  • OneTrip Prime for the Houston trip ($600 in pre-paid costs): $61
  • OneTrip Prime for spring break in Florida ($3,000 in pre-paid costs): $145

The total to insure three trips separately: $267. The cost of AllTrips Prime: $275. And, because I love to travel, it’s a safe bet that I’ll be taking more trips this year.

Now, your mileage may vary, because travel insurance quotes are affected by your age and the cost of your trip. Allianz Global Assistance offers different levels of multi-trip insurance, too, from the super-affordable AllTrips Basic to the AllTrips Premier Plan, which can cover your whole household.

Read more: Single Trip Insurance vs. Annual Travel Insurance Plans

2. I’m a terrible travel procrastinator. 

The morning of a big trip, I’m still throwing clothes in the wash and trying to find my passport. In the past, I’ve waited until the last minute to buy travel insurance — or simply forgotten to get it. This is not a good strategy! The longer you wait to buy insurance, the shorter your coverage window. And if something bad happens before you purchase insurance, like a winter storm warning, then you won’t be covered for losses caused by that event. 

Annual travel insurance was made for procrastinators like me. I’m automatically covered for a full 365 days, no matter where I travel. I still have to find that passport, though…

Read more: When To Buy Travel Insurance in the Booking Process

3. I often plan short getaways with friends.

Wanna go to the beach? How about D.C. for the weekend? Let’s do a wellness retreat! My friends get a lot of texts like these, because I love skipping town for a spontaneous getaway. These trips are typically inexpensive — a few hundred dollars in pre-paid trip costs, at most —  which means I ordinarily wouldn’t insure them. But now that I have annual travel insurance, they’re covered. Allianz Global Assistance defines a “trip” as any time you travel to, within, and/or from a location at least 100 miles from your primary residence. (My policy excludes travel with the intent to receive health care or medical treatment, moving, and commuting to and from work. Also, the trip can’t last longer than 180 days.)

Now, my AllTrips Prime plan covers only me — not any friends who might be traveling with me. It can, however, help in certain situations: if my travel companion has to cancel the trip, for example, or gets sick or injured while we’re traveling.

Read more: How Does Travel Insurance Cover Your Travel Companion?

4. I’m not planning any super-expensive trips. 

My AllTrips Prime plan has an  annual limit of $3,000 for trip cancellation and trip interruption. That means if I take a really expensive trip, my annual plan might not cover all my potential losses. 

But that’s OK! If I decided to plan a luxury family vacation on the Amalfi coast (hey, a girl can dream), I might insure that separately anyway. That’s because I’d want to ensure that my whole family and all my trip costs were covered, so I might buy the OneTrip Prime plan for my spouse and myself. Allianz Global Assistance’s most popular plan, OneTrip Prime covers up to 100 percent of trip costs (up to the plan maximum) and covers kids 17 and under for free when they’re traveling with a parent or grandparent. 

I’d probably also buy OneTrip Prime if I were going somewhere really remote, like the Patagonian steppe (hey, I’m still dreaming here…) That’s because my AllTrips Prime plan includes up to $100,000 in emergency transportation benefits and up to $20,000 in emergency medical/dental benefits. That’s plenty for most vacations, but maybe not enough to cover a medical evacuation or emergency care in a rugged, less developed part of the world. OneTrip Prime includes up to $500,000 in emergency transportation benefits and up to $25,000 in emergency medical/dental benefits.

5. With annual travel insurance, I’m not mad about delays.

The very first vacation that was protected by my AllTrips plan was that three-day jaunt to New York City. On the last day of our trip, a winter storm dumped nearly a foot of snow on my hometown of Richmond, and Amtrak canceled all southbound trains.

Ordinarily, I would have been anxious about the delay. This time, I was ecstatic. Not only did we get an extra day to play in the city, but I could file a claim for necessary expenses incurred due to a covered delay. The limit on my plan is $200 per day, up to a maximum of $600, and fortunately we had a free place to stay. So my annual insurance plan could reimburse my lunch in Little Italy, my dinner at an Irish pub, my coffee and donut in Penn Station and my lunch for the train ride home. Not long after I bought my plan, it had already saved me a bunch of money. And there are so many more fun trips on the horizon…

Find the annual travel insurance plan that’s right for you!

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Mar 27, 2019