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How Does Travel Insurance Cover Your Travel Companion? 

How Insurance Covers Travel Companion
Allianz - How Insurance Covers Travel Companion

Your best friend is one unlucky dude. He’s always tripping over his shoelaces, losing his wallet, crashing his car and catching the flu. Yet when you travel together, you always buy travel insurance — and he never does. “If anything happens to me, your insurance will cover me, right?” he says.

There’s a common misconception that if one person buys travel insurance, their travel companions are protected too. That’s not the case — although travel insurance does provide some benefits that can affect companions. Allianz Global Assistance defines a travel companion as “a person traveling with you whose name appears with yours on the same trip arrangement and who will accompany you on your trip.” (A group or tour leader doesn’t count, unless you’re sharing a room.)

When something happens that involves a travel companion, what can travel insurance cover? Let’s look at a few scenarios. Remember that plans vary, however, and you should read yours thoroughly to see what’s covered.

A travel companion gets sick or injured. What does travel insurance cover?

When you and your best friend take a trip to Patagonia, you go birdwatching while he takes an ATV tour. On your return to the lodge, a staff member comes running with some bad news: your friend crashed his four-wheeler. He may have fractured his femur, and it looks like he has a concussion as well. Can your travel insurance help?

If you purchased travel insurance that includes emergency medical and dental benefits, those benefits are only for you, the insured. So your travel insurance plan will not reimburse your friend for emergency medical expenses overseas, or help arrange payment to doctors and hospitals. The same goes for your emergency medical transportation benefits. Because those benefits are for you, the insured, they will not cover the cost of transporting your friend to a hospital or other appropriate medical facility.

However, there are a few ways your travel insurance plan may be able to help. One, because you’re an Allianz Global Assistance customer, you can call the 24-hour travel assistance hotline for guidance. Our multilingual travel experts can direct you to the nearest qualified medical facility; serve as interpreters if you need help communicating with local doctors; and help you obtain emergency cash or get a message home.

Two, travel insurance may also reimburse a traveler for additional accommodation and transportation expenses incurred because a traveling companion is hospitalized. So if your friend ends up in the hospital in Santiago, Chile, your travel insurance may pay to get you there and put you up in a hotel room. (A per-day dollar limit and time limit apply. )

Three, your travel insurance plan may consider the serious, covered injury of a traveling companion to be a covered reason for trip interruption. That means if you must cut your trip short because your friend got hurt, your travel insurance may reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses and for reasonable transportation expenses to reach your final destination or to get back home. If you decide to continue your trip without your companion, travel insurance may reimburse you for the extra cost of single accommodation, if you prepaid for shared accommodation.

A travel companion has to cancel the trip. What does travel insurance cover?

You’re packing your suitcase with tropical shirts as you prepare to leave on a luxury Caribbean cruise with your friend. Then he calls you with bad news. The company where he’s worked for 10 years has announced massive layoffs, and he lost his job. “I’m so sorry, man, but I can’t go,” he says. “I just can’t afford it.” Now what are you supposed to do?

In this situation, your travel insurance may be able to help. If you or a traveling companion is terminated or laid off from a company after your plan’s effective date, that may be considered a covered reason for trip cancellation. A few requirements apply: Your plan must include job termination or layoff as a covered reason for cancellation, the termination or layoff can’t be your (or your companion’s) fault, and you (or your companion) must have worked for the employer for at least 12 consecutive months (or at least three years, for some plans). Check your Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance plan documents to find out what’s covered and which requirements apply.

In this scenario, if you decide to cancel the cruise because your friend got laid off, and your travel insurance considers layoff/termination to be a covered reason for cancellation as described above, your plan can reimburse you for your lost prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses. Note that we say “your” expenses — your friend would not get his prepaid trip expenses reimbursed unless he has his own travel insurance plan.

Other things that happen to a travel companion may be covered reasons for trip interruption/cancellation. For example (specific requirements apply to each):

  • The serious covered illness, injury or death of a traveling companion
  • A traveling companion is quarantined
  • A traveling companion is in a traffic accident on the way to the airport or other point of departure, and either needs medical attention or needs to repair the car because it’s unsafe to drive
  • A traveling companion legally separates from or divorces their spouse after the plan’s effective date and before your departure date
  • A travel companion is hijacked
  • A travel companion is called for military duty

All plans do not have the same covered reasons, so please read your policy documents carefully.

What does travel insurance cover if your companion is a family member?

Our most popular plans, the OneTrip Prime Plan and the OneTrip Premier Plan, cover children 17 and under for free when they’re traveling with a parent or grandparent. And some travel plans offer trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits in situations when family members suffer a covered illness or covered injury, or when an immediate family member gives birth to a child. Read more about how travel insurance covers family members.

In general, the golden rule is that every person on a trip should purchase their own travel insurance. Allianz Global Assistance offers a range of travel insurance plans for every destination and budget. Compare plans and get a quote for your next trip!

Allianz - AZ_OPM_Insurance_Partner

Jun 13, 2018