Travel insurance (when starting and ending your journey in France)

(Zoe Buckley) #8

I would never buy travel insurance again to be honest. I had done, for years, but I find that they go back on their word on what they claim to cover as soon as you try to ask for help.
I had one that “provides funds to buy emergency items and clothing in the event of baggage loss or delay”… My bags were delayed at Port Vila airport, and I had to spend five days in Vanuatu dressed in winter gear (having just left New Zealand), had no towel, no insect repellent, no light clothing, no pyjamas, nothing other than the clothes I stood in ,and a small bag containing a book, my wallet and my passport. the insurance company said “your bag will arrive, so we’re not covering anything, take it up with the airline”…
When my bag DID finally arrive, certain items were missing. A pretty expensive camera, a pretty expensive hunting knife, and other camping gear. I thought "ok, the insurance company can finally help with this. No, they refused "the items wer not stolen from your person, nor were they in a locked room at the time of theft. Not covered.

On another trip, my camera was stolen… insurance guy tried to convince me that it was “just lost”, and therefore not covered… I had to go to the police, file a complaint, send them the report, and then they asked for “poof that I had made the trip to Australia”… they wanted the ticket stubs of my flights. Of course I didn’t keep them, and had to throw my claim up in the air.

cut to two years ago when I had travel insurance for a trip to the Us and had my wallet stolen. This time I ended up in hospital, because I’d been mugged for it, and with the hospital report, the police report and everything detailed, I was confident that the insurance company would stick to their policy and "forward funds to cover costs in the event of the loss or theft of credit cards and/or cash. No go. Not even the hospital fees. “Should have threw your wallet at them and ran away”… and as for assistance with money “We can put you in contact with your embassy or family”… I took insurance so that I wouldn’t have to call my mother to ask for her to fly me home after being attacked in the subway.

From that point on, I’ve never got insurance. If your hotel double books, the company will tell you to take it up with them. If you fall down a flight of stairs, they’ll pull out sme clause about you not holding the handrail.

(Timothy Cole) #9

So based on your own experiences are you advising people not to buy travel insurance?

(David Martin) #10

It’s strange, when people mention travel insurance I always think of health care not possessions.

(stella wood) #11

With me it’s all 3… health, car, possessions…in no particular order…

(Debbi Stevenson) #12

Try Staysure for expats, everything is in English and it covers those resident in France. We’ve never had to claim but it appears to work.

(Lyn Hayward) #13

Does anyone have an Insurance company who deal with over 75. None of the 3 mentioned another do.

(Davies George) #14

Thanks to all for their help. In the end I chose Staysure because the prices from the french insurance companies just for a single trip were around 130/40 Euros! With Staysure I got a very good policy for the whole family for a single trip of 2 weeks for 24 GBP.

(Mary Wolcott) #15


The first place I would look, to find good recommendations for travel insurance is BootsnAll.

Here’s the link:

I like this organization. Odd name, and yet it has info for expats as well as for other types of travelers. I’ve followed this org for over 10 years, and feel they are reliable for good solid information. I am finally starting to use their info as I’m starting my research for becoming an expat.

I hope this is helpful!

(Mary Wolcott) #16


Welp, I wonder if this might shed any light:

It’s a link to travel insurance information provided by a company called WorldNomads. You can choose “travel medical insurance” or “trip protection insurance.”

Bootsnall is a great resource in my opinion, and it is the organization that provides the link to this company’s offerings for travel insurance. Disclaimer: It’s my first time so I can’t speak to it at this point but will post my experience after my trip is completed, as I’ll be purchasing from them.

I hope this is useful.

(Jonathan Barclay) #17

We have used Staysure for an annual policy for the last three years during which time my wife has had various medical problems and we have had to make two separate claims - one for having to cancel a holiday and the other for repatriation from the UK plus various ancillary costs. They have been extremely efficient and helpful and have paid up without any problems (rather to my surprise!).

(Zoe Buckley) #18

I can’t advise another person how to live, everyone’s own choice, and all for good reason. just sharing my own grain of salt, and as for myself… based on my experience of that and also other issues (No help for falling ill in a foreign country, non cover of fees for injuries incurred on a ski trip and dive trip on seperate occasions, with seperate companies), i would never again buy “travel” insurance. I have bumped up my health insurance and my other insurance policies, and so, “travel” should no longer be a term I even consider when not in my own home.

(stella wood) #19

Seems to me that each person decides just what they want to be covered for…

Important to check out possibility of existing cover with Bank, Credit Cards, House Insurance, Medical Insurance, Car Insurance… etc etc…

and then, if something is NOT covered they have the option of taking out something extra to suit… if they wish to.

Always important to read the small print and to be aware what telephone numbers to ring and what to do… if the worst does happen while abroad…

(Sandra Shadrach) #20

We are off to the USA for 4 weeks, and I tried asking the insurance broker who handles our car and household insurance, as well as our mutuelle health insurance, for something to increase medical cover.

We have a Premier account with HSBC In France, and have quite good travel cover with that, but you hear such horror stories about the costs of medical care in the US, and we are both retired.

Insurer came back with €150,000 medical cover, which we did not feel was enough, so asked if more possible - the answer being that it was not.

Search online revealed CHAPKA ASSURANCES, who offered a policy called Cap Assistance 24h/24. Prices extremely reasonable, and available to anyone living in Europe and registered for state health care in the country they reside.

A few easy online questions later, we paid €189 for two folks travelling for 25 days, with €500,000 medical cover, and repatriation cover. Just the ticket!

Very impressed with the site and ease of use, clear links to explain the policy, and instant download of all the insurance documents and certificates in French, English and Spanish for both of us. We even know how much we can spend on a coffin!

To top it all, the policy is actually with Allianz, who is our insurer! So, strongly recommend you look at this site. Policies for backpackers, folks going abroad to work for a while, annual policies and single trip.

(James Higginson) #21

@fabien can help with all your insurance needs

(Fabien Pelissier) #22

Hi, just kicking in thanks to James mention :wink: To be honest there isn’t a ‘one fit it all’ solution so it depends on your age, family composition (for the trip), where you are going (quiet zone or not), etc. Travel insurances range from 25€ to more than 150€ in regards to your answers for these questions so comparing the price only is a non-sense as it’s useless to take an insurance just to have one… you have to be properly covered otherwise you’d better of not taking one :wink:

Happy to help of course (I’m a broker so I can compare many options),

1 Like
(Timothy Cole) #23

Hi Sandra, that doesn’t seem much for the US, the basic policy we normally go for has £2.5 million of medical cover.

(Sandra Shadrach) #24

Hi Timothy, most policies in France are a LOT less than that, and of course you don’t need to fill out a 30-page questionnaire only to be excluded cover for any pre-existing conditions - in other words, giving the insurer the ability to not pay out for things you may actually need.

We struggled to find what was a ‘reasonable’ level of medical cover, and decided with repatriation cover included, we would just have to somehow get back to France if really ill!

Our lovely insurer, normally so helpful and knowledgeable was at a loss to let us know what level of cover we needed, and why the big differences between European policies and U.K. ones in relation to medical cover for the USA…

Does your normal policy include all pre-existing conditions and cover those resident in France, and flying to/from France? Please do send me the details as I would be very interested to investigate for any future trip.

Thank you.

(Timothy Cole) #25

Hi Sandra, we’ve been going to the States for years and when we lived in the UK getting insurance at a reasonable cost wasn’t a problem. Here though the cost is ridiculous, our assurance company is Allianz who quoted us 200 Euros per person for a two week holiday so we now go with Worldwide Insure who specialise in insurance for EU residents. We’ve got a rolling annual worldwide policy with them which cost roughly 170 Euros for the two of us for trips lasting a maximum of 31 days. Now we’ve never had to claim and we have no pre-existing medical conditions which might increase the premiums but the company is highly rated and is regulated by the FCA in the UK so we think they are as good as any on-line insurance company.

(Sandra Shadrach) #26

Thanks Timothy, had a look at them and their medical clause may cause us some issues, I would need to call for clarification! We are sorted for this trip now, and at a lower price than that quoted by Worldwide. We have paid €90 euros each for 25 days, and very professionally handled. That is why I wanted to share with others who may be in a similar situation. Our HSBC cover is great for our European trips where our European Health card takes care of the medical side, and HSBC does the rest! And indeed, it was fine for our trips to Australia as a British Passport holder is entitled to medical care (for the moment at least!).

I have shared the information with our current insurers, who tried hard to help us, but Allianz was not providing them with cost effective products. They are now on the case to see what Allianz have to say about this! What they could offer was low cover levels and high premiums…

Minefield really! Thanks again for the recommendation.

(Fabien Pelissier) #27

From my experience Allianz is one of the most expensive insurer for that kind of insurance (they are great for other matters like cars or home for example) for information.