Travel Related

The One Thing I Did Before Resuming Traveling Again. Now More Valuable Than Ever!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


2021 will be a bizarre, and focused, travel year for me. My flights so far have been nothing – nada – zip! My adventures for the next few months will be VERY limited, that is, only a few select short trips following all the suggested safety protocols.

Now that I am a few weeks away from being fully vaccinated (i.e. two JABs of the Moderna treatment), I am turning my attention to the most important thing I can do to protect myself financially during my travels:

Resuming my annual blanket travel insurance policy!

Years ago I wrote about the one thing I always gladly pay for, that is, my blanket Allianz travel insurance policy. It is so much more than the limited, bare-bones, protection ANY travel card provides. My Allianz All Trips Travel Premier policy covers both myself, and my wife, for anything I have booked or anything I will book during the policy coverage time. I love this so much because of things like:

  • I don’t have to register any trips I book or have booked
  • It covers anything I book during the year paid with cash or points
  • It gives me peace of mind for every trip I book
  • I don’t have to pay with a certain credit card to get coverage
  • It covers me for any cruises I have booked or will book
  • It provides massive medical coverage and at my age that matters
  • It covers me when I scuba dive vs. paying for expensive DAN coverage
  • Fantastic rental car coverage over and above what I already have
  • For now, provides me – limited – COVID related protections

I have returned to Allianz for a number of reasons. First up, as I blogged about before, when NCL decided to change the final port we were to end our cruise over an hour from the scheduled port they reimbursed me for the expensive cab ride to the airport. The next reason was how great Allianz treated me about this time last year. I was about halfway into my policy year when COVID ended my travel. I called to see if I could get part of my premium refunded and they gave me not 50% cash back since I had half a year coverage already but a 100% refund for the price paid.

Shocking, right?

So why do I feel now, more than ever, this is a must-have for me? As we return to travel, for a long time to come, nothing will be what was normal. Delta, the once bragged about “on time machine”, has had more operational meltdowns than SkyMiles has had devaluations in 2020 and 2021! I fully expect our dearest Delta to have more issues and not just around holidays as travel picks back up again.

The above is not just Delta-related. I have way more points than I like to admit and I will be flying other airlines this year and they likely also will have operational issues as they try to get back to what things were like pre-COVID reductions. Same goes for just about anything that touches my travel experience – I foresee nothing working as smoothly as it did before the pandemic hit for the rest of the year.

Now before anyone comments about COVID being a “get out of jail free card” for Allianz to simply deny everything and pay out nothing – they have been so great in the past I expect the same when things go wrong for me during the next 12 months of coverage.

I would also love to point you to some shopping portal like Rakuten or TopCashback to get a discount on Allianz but sadly they have withdrawn from any and all programs that I can find (anyone else see a discount code or something others can use?).

Are you a yearly travel insurance buyer or do you simply get by with the coverage you get from your premium travel cards? – René

 

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

26 Comments

    • @Kevin – $475 for one year (you pick start date) and it covers both me and my wife.

  1. Joe Chivas Reply

    Nobody should be buying this right now, or traveling for that matter. Remember we’re still in the early innings of a pandemic. We need you on our quaranteam, Rene.

  2. David Purdue Reply

    Interesting how you are “fully vaccinated” even though they say that it will likely require a third shot in six months. This “pandemic” will never end like this, with people willing to travel before they are actually immune. Sad to see the lack of compassion some people have!

    • @David – I look forward to the 3rd i.e. booster shot as well. As for compassion – I have clearly posted my travel will be VERY limited but when I do travel I want financial protection against events.

    • “Recent data from Pfizer, the manufacturer of one of the three vaccines available in the U.S., indicates that protection lasts at least six months. The results showed minimal antibody decline. Recipients of the Moderna vaccine also had robust levels of antibodies more than six months later, according to a recent study published in NEJM.

      Some people have incorrectly concluded that means that those vaccines offer only six months of protection, says Scott Hensley, a professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania. ‘That’s false,’ says Dr. Hensley. ‘We only have six months of data…Six months from now it’s likely we’ll learn we have one year of protection.'”
      “How Long Do Covid-19 Vaccines Provide Immunity?” by Sumathi Reddy of the Wall Street Journal

    • The vaccines in use today in the US work effectively. That a third shot is likely needed after several months to boost immunity — including against variants that have developed into a concern since the initial vaccines were developed — doesn’t negate that the majority of people will have developed a proper immune system response to their earlier vaccine shots.

  3. Alliance offered me nothing and I was only 60 days into my coverage.
    They were very good when I have had a claim though.

  4. @Rene – Appreciate this reminder. I’m inclined to do this as I too am just a few weeks away from being fully vaccinated. I have essential work travel coming up as well as some aspirational leisure travel in the second half of the year. My big question isn’t so much about Allianz not covering claims due to COVID per se, but instead that they might point to the US State Department’s “Do Not Travel” advisories. OMAAT covered the topic this AM saying that as many as 80% of countries will soon fall in the Level 4 is “do not travel” category. Do you know if Allianz’s T&C address this?

    • @DLPTATL – My travel, for the rest of 2021, will almost exclusively be domestic. You can dive into the T&C about advisories and any impact on the policy’s.

      • Hi Rene – I bought an Allianz Alltrips policy two years ago based on your experience and advice. I’ve been happy with the policy. @DLPTATL brings up a great question that I’ll need to research before traveling internationally. But it seems extreme that the State Dept categorizes both Canada and Syria as Level 4. Are the risks really the same? One of those countries certainly feels a few levels safer than the other.

        • @Layla – This is a LONG cut-N-paste of the exclutions:

          GENERAL EXCLUSIONS
          This section describes the general exclusions applicable to all coverages under your policy. An “exclusion” is
          something that is not covered by this insurance policy, and therefore no reimbursement would be available.
          This policy does not provide coverage for any loss that results directly or indirectly from any of the following
          general exclusions if they affect you, a traveling companion, or a family member:
          1. Any loss, condition, or event that was known, foreseeable, intended, or expected when your policy or trip
          was purchased;
          2. Pre-Existing medical conditions, except as waived under the Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver
          or if you have continuous coverage;
          3. Any medical condition that resulted in you being unable to travel on your policy or trip purchase date;
          4. Your intentional self-harm or if you attempt or commit suicide;
          5. Normal pregnancy or childbirth, except as expressly covered under Trip Cancellation Coverage;
          6. Fertility treatments or elective abortion;
          7. A mental or nervous health disorder, as recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, including but
          not limited to Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, dementia, depression, neurosis, psychosis, or any related
          physical symptoms. This exclusion applies only to Trip Cancellation Coverage and Trip Interruption
          Coverage;
          8. The use or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or any related physical symptoms. This does not apply to drugs
          prescribed by a doctor and used as prescribed;
          9. Acts committed with the intent to cause loss;
          10. Operating or working as a crew member (including as a trainee or learner/student) aboard any aircraft or
          commercial vehicle or commercial watercraft;
          11. Participating in or training for any professional sporting competition;
          12. Participating in or training for any amateur sporting competition while on your trip;
          13. Participating in extreme, high-risk sports and activities, including but not limited to:
          a. Skydiving, BASE jumping, hang gliding, or parachuting;
          b. Bungee jumping;
          c. Caving, rappelling, or spelunking;
          d. Skiing or snowboarding outside marked trails or in an area accessed by helicopter;
          e. Climbing sports or free climbing;
          f. Any high-altitude activity;
          g. Personal combat or fighting sports;
          h. Racing or practicing to race any motorized vehicle or watercraft;
          i. Free diving; or
          j. Scuba diving at a depth greater than 60 feet or without a dive master.
          14. A criminal act resulting in a conviction, except when you, a traveling companion, or a family member is the
          victim of such act;
          15. An epidemic;
          16. Natural disaster, except as expressly covered under Trip Cancellation Coverage, Trip Interruption Coverage,
          or Travel Delay Coverage;
          17. Air, water, or other pollution, or the threat of a pollutant release, including thermal, biological, and chemical
          pollution or contamination;
          18. Nuclear reaction, radiation, or radioactive contamination;
          19. War (declared or undeclared) or acts of war;
          20. Military duty, except as expressly covered under Trip Cancellation Coverage or Trip Interruption Coverage;
          21. Your participation in civil disorder or unrest;
          22. Acts, travel alerts/bulletins, or prohibitions by any government or public authority, except as expressly
          covered under Trip Cancellation Coverage or Trip Interruption Coverage;
          23. Any travel supplier’s complete cessation of operations due to financial condition, with or without filing for
          bankruptcy, except as expressly covered under Trip Cancellation Coverage or Trip Interruption Coverage;
          24. Travel supplier restrictions on any baggage, including medical supplies and equipment; or
          25. Ordinary wear and tear or defective materials or workmanship.
          This policy does not provide any coverage, benefit, or services for any activity that would violate any applicable
          law or regulation, including without limitation any economic/trade sanction or embargo.
          IMPORTANT: You are not eligible for reimbursement under any coverage if:
          1. Your travel carrier tickets do not show travel date(s); or
          2. You intend to receive health care or medical treatment of any kind while on your trip

  5. Renewing an annual travel insurance policy is important for pre-existing conditions. If you have continuous coverage (no gaps where you are not insured), the “look back” period does not apply if you are medically able to travel on the date you renew.

    Note that policies and costs vary by state. If you live in New York, for example, you are not eligible for the fantastic rental car coverage in your annual policy.

    It pays to know what your credit card, personal insurance, and any additional policies cover (i.e., read the fine print)!

    For what it’s worth, I am fully vaccinated–more than two weeks after my second Pfizer shot–but not travelling. While there is a low risk to myself and others, I am waiting until more people are vaccinated and we know more about the variants. I think it is the responsible thing to do. I am still paying for my annual AllTrips Basic policy for continuous coverage.

  6. I don’t comment often online and I usually enjoy the posts of this website (check it daily!).
    I am curious however: what is the price you have in mind for DAN coverage and how does this Allianz plan compare with what DAN offers (specifically for diving related issues)?

    I am a diver and have to say am *super* happy with DAN.

    • @T – You can read about it on their site but we never go below 120 and always with a dive master. Why pay extra when this yearly policy covers us.

      • I pay $100/yr for DAN (2 people covered so $50/ea) and it covers the very expensive recompression chamber (hyperbaric) access in case of DCI. That alone can cost 150 times the annual cost… for a single use.

        Wondering if that’s also covered with Allianz, as that is a very specific (and key) item to look for when looking at diving insurance.

        • @T – If you are going below 60 feet on your dives then yes having DAN is wise move.

  7. we may have to accept the fact that COVID will be with us forever. I do not see 75% of the population getting the first vaccine much less repeating it once a year. Life goes on! and when countries re-open we will need to travel with the same precautions that we travel with now. I have taken 3 trips to FL this past year and have felt safe. I stayed away from the crowds at the airport, I dd not travel at holiday times, I boarded last, I wore both a mask and a shield from the moment I walked out my door till I returned home…no drinks or snacks on the plane, I wiped down my entire seat area with my own alcohol wipes….and life goes on….

  8. Santastico Reply

    Emergency medical coverage of $50k is very low in my opinion.

    • @Santastico – They have higher value policy’s (for a higher price). There are many other firms that also provide annual coverage (the above is NOT an affiliate link). The point of the post is having a blanket yearly coverage has been a great benefit and piece of mind for me and even more so during the pandemic when things are very likely to go sideways during travel.

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