Covered by Allianz

By Doug Barnett
This item appears on page 48 of the November 2016 issue.
This is subscriber only post.
Get one year of online-only access — only $15!
Below is a sample of the article.
Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

If you would like to read an issue from the archives that is free to nonsubscribers click here.

On 12 of our trips abroad, my wife, Judy, and I had never filed a travel insurance claim due to illness, but in September 2015 I had to use a foreign doctor on two occasions.

We had purchased travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance (Richmond, VA; 866/884-3556, www.allianztravelinsurance.com) through our local American Automobile Association office. (You do not need to be an AAA member, although we each are.) We purchased a basic plan covering our needs as seniors traveling in Europe.

In Amsterdam, at the start of an 8-day Rhine River cruise aboard the Viking Sun of Viking Cruises (855/338-4546, vikingcruises.com), I developed a severe sore toe and could hardly walk. After boarding the ship, we asked at the concierge desk about getting off the ship so I could visit a medical clinic. We were told they would call a doctor, who would come to our cabin on the ship before we sailed that evening. Wow, what service! 

At 9:00, accompanied by someone from the ship, I was visited by Dr. E. Cambridge from the Expat Medical Centre Amsterdam (phone +31 020 4275011, www.expatmc.net). He examined my toe and immediately ruled out the possibility of gout, which was pleasing to hear.

He recommended I take two Aleve tablets right away and two more before bedtime and also wrap my foot in hot towels for the rest of the evening. This magic worked, as, in the morning, my toe problems had disappeared. What a relief!

The doctor’s services cost about 158 (near $176), which we paid in cash. He left me with papers showing the center’s letterhead and describing the services he performed.

Following the cruise, we did a 3-week driving trip through Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland. Lo and behold, while staying in the village of Savognin in the Swiss Alps, about an hour from St. Moritz, I developed constipation and severe cramps. It was Sunday, and the only establishments that seemed to be open were the bakkerij and a few restaurants.

We inquired at the bakery if there might be a health clinic in the area. Much to our surprise, there was a hospital just up the street. No one was in the lobby, so we walked through some offices and came upon two doctors. I told them my problem and, after a few minutes of discussion, they gave me some dry medicine to mix with water. 

Since their office was technically closed, they couldn’t charge me for their services or the medicine, but one said, “Come back in the morning to settle up,” so we walked out of the hospital without paying. I didn’t leave my name, nor did they know where we were staying!

On Monday morning we dropped by the hospital to pay our bill, and we saw one of the same doctors again. By then, I was feeling fine and we all were happy. Before we left, the hospital gave me a detailed billing statement; the amount was CHF90 (near $99).

 Upon returning to the US, I filed the two claims. Within two weeks, they both were honored and paid in full by Allianz because I had submitted papers from both medical offices.

We will always purchase Allianz insurance when traveling abroad. The premiums are based on age and the amount of coverage you wish to have.

DOUG BARNETT

Ann Arbor, MI

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

On 12 of our trips abroad, my wife, Judy, and I had never filed a travel insurance claim due to illness, but in September 2015 I had to use a foreign doctor on two occasions.

We had purchased travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance (Richmond, VA; 866/884-3556, www.allianztravelinsurance.com) through our local American Automobile Association office. (You do not need to be an AAA member, although we each are.) We purchased a basic plan covering our needs as seniors traveling in Europe.

In Amsterdam, at the start of an 8-day Rhine River cruise aboard the Viking Sun of Viking Cruises (855/338-4546, vikingcruises.com), I developed a severe sore toe and could hardly walk. After boarding the ship, we asked at the concierge desk about getting off the ship so I could visit a medical clinic. We were told they would call a doctor, who would come to our cabin on the ship before we sailed that evening. Wow, what service! 

At 9:00, accompanied by someone from the ship, I was visited by Dr. E. Cambridge from the Expat Medical Centre Amsterdam (phone +31 020 4275011, www.expatmc.net). He examined my toe and immediately ruled out the possibility of gout, which was pleasing to hear.

He recommended I take two Aleve tablets right away and two more before bedtime and also wrap my foot in hot towels for the rest of the evening. This magic worked, as, in the morning, my toe problems had disappeared. What a relief!

The doctor’s services cost about 158 (near $176), which we paid in cash. He left me with papers showing the center’s letterhead and describing the services he performed.

Following the cruise, we did a 3-week driving trip through Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland. Lo and behold, while staying in the village of Savognin in the Swiss Alps, about an hour from St. Moritz, I developed constipation and severe cramps. It was Sunday, and the only establishments that seemed to be open were the bakkerij and a few restaurants.

We inquired at the bakery if there might be a health clinic in the area. Much to our surprise, there was a hospital just up the street. No one was in the lobby, so we walked through some offices and came upon two doctors. I told them my problem and, after a few minutes of discussion, they gave me some dry medicine to mix with water. 

Since their office was technically closed, they couldn’t charge me for their services or the medicine, but one said, “Come back in the morning to settle up,” so we walked out of the hospital without paying. I didn’t leave my name, nor did they know where we were staying!

On Monday morning we dropped by the hospital to pay our bill, and we saw one of the same doctors again. By then, I was feeling fine and we all were happy. Before we left, the hospital gave me a detailed billing statement; the amount was CHF90 (near $99).

 Upon returning to the US, I filed the two claims. Within two weeks, they both were honored and paid in full by Allianz because I had submitted papers from both medical offices.

We will always purchase Allianz insurance when traveling abroad. The premiums are based on age and the amount of coverage you wish to have.

DOUG BARNETT

Ann Arbor, MI