Before we moved permanently to Nicaragua, my family had always made big trips to Nicaragua starting when my son Aiden was nearly 3 years old. Back then we were paying for flights and occasional home rentals and hotels, too. I often worried about investing in epic trips that we might not be able to time quite right if Aiden got sick on the days were were flying back and forth to the United States.
And although we had American health insurance, I wanted an additional protective layer of insurance for medical treatment abroad, medical evacuation or even for lost luggage. So before the trips would begin, I would purchase the travel insurance from Allianz for peace of mind emergency coverage. There was no charge for Aiden when I purchased trip coverage which I always thought was a great deal. Even with the money I invested in the travel coverage upfront, there were two trips to Nicaragua where that investment really saved me some money in the end.
As it happened, Aiden did get sick twice on two different trips and I knew that he would be very uncomfortable flying. On both occasions, I called Allianz and told them we were just not going to be able to make our flights back to the United States. The representatives were so friendly; each time they thanked us for phoning to let them know and opened a file for the claim over the phone to get the process started. Allianz told us to keep any documentation regarding the illness for any unforeseen out-of-pocket expense, including receipts for doctor’s visits, laboratories, pharmacies, accommodations, ticket change fees and a doctor’s note explaining why it was not possible to travel (much of this documentation was in Spanish but worked just fine).
Our medical fees were really insignificant; as you may know, getting sick here in Nicaragua rarely will cost you more than 50 dollars to get basic medical attention and treatment. Our most significant expense was going to be the cost of changing the departure date on the tickets. For three people traveling on both occasions we were charged $150 per ticket to change the dates. That would mean being charged $450 to leave a few days later! Who wants to throw that kind of money away just to reschedule?
The good news is that Allianz came through for us on for both trips. I had a local doctor write up a note to validate our need to stay longer, changed the flight tickets over the phone and paid the ticket fees at the airport in Managua. I scanned all the information when we got home and emailed it to Allianz with our file number and within a few weeks I had a check for reimbursement for all of our out-of pocket expenses including the ticket fees. This happened to us twice! We would have paid a total of $900 in out-of-pocket fees. Seriously, that is why you buy travel insurance: sometimes you really do need it.
I know that a lot of my readers are planning similar epic journeys abroad to Nicaragua for extensive periods of time, and I believe that these plans do offer really good value for families who need coverage while nesting in Nicaragua.
The cost of the insurance for the whole family is very economical:
There are no insurance premium charges for children under 18 years old when travelling with a parent who has purchased coverage who chooses Classic Plan or Classic Plan with Trip +.
And travelers can purchase insurance for trips of up to 365 days of travel for epic trips!
Therefor, instead of purchasing a local insurance product which you would have to navigate in Spanish (and surely would not have evacuation coverage, trip delay and cancellation coverage or lost luggage protection), you can travel for a whole year knowing that you have American coverage for any emergency during your trip. Sweet!
Play around with the Allianz trip planner and compare rates for the different policies. The differences between the three plans are usually around $10-20. I like the Classic Plan with Trip + because it has practically double the coverage of the other plans (remember that the coverage stated is per person) which for luggage delay or loss can really be useful (luggage can end up late to Nicaragua and this gives you some good funds to go shopping for things you need while you wait).
Note: Allianz travel insurance when purchased from AllianceTravelInsurance.com is available to only to US residents.