Cigars or Travel Insurance…


Cigars and Travel Insurance… What?

What kind of title is Cigars and Travel Insurance?  I thought this blog was about the inns and outs of International Travel Medical Insurance?  Well it is so bare with me.  Lately I have been on a rant with close friends about how frustrated I get with people who voluntarily share with me about their upcoming plans to travel abroad or about a trip they just returned home from and they did not even bother to check into proper International Cover.  This time of the year these types of stories are plentiful and especially in the town I live in.  What always strikes me is the shear number of global travelers that simply choose not to purchase a travel medical plan before their departure.  Because I am an International Health Insurance broker some of this post may seem a bit self serving but the truth is I have a message to share.

This past week I have been in Coronado, California which is were I grew up.  Coronado sits right in the middle of San Diego Bay.  A very nice beach town to be sure but that is another topic.  One of my very good friends owns a quaint Cigar & Tobacco Shop just a block or so from the world famous Hotel Del Coronado.  Although this shop is very small it receives a tremendous amount of visitors both local and foreign to the island.  Because my friend is there most evenings I like to stop by to chat for a while and I was amazed at the number of customers that come in to chat throughout the evening.  So here I am for the past week hanging out in a Cigar Shop and each evening I am hearing all these really cool stories of International Travel.

What was interesting was that not one of them mentioned buying International Health Cover before their departure.  Actually unless they had a medical emergency or some kind of health scare I really would not expect that to be a topic of conversation.  But being sensitive to the subject and to satisfy a curiosity I bluntly asked a few of them if they had purchased International Travel Cover before they traveled and without exception all told me “NO because it was not needed”.  Typical response especially from Americans traveling abroad.  The most common response I hear is that they already have Blue Cross Blue Shield or some other insurer and they are already covered.  This is simply not the case and certainly not a proper understanding of the reach of their domestic coverage.  Let me just say here that before you go abroad don’t just take the word of a phone rep but make sure you get a copy of your certificate of coverage and READ IT.  I know this post may seem a bit harsh but what is wrong with people?  Do they actually believe what they are being told by their customer service rep or is it just because they want to believe what they are hearing that they do not pursue coverage?

So to my point…  I watched in wonder as people would bring up cigars to the counter and the cost for these were in some cases more than $35 per cigar with many costing almost $20 a piece.  I saw the cash register continually ring up individual sales for as much as several hundred dollars.  I was happy to see this as my buddy’s shop was doing really well – but then it dawned on me.  If these people who have said they will be traveling abroad knew the true cost of a proper Travel Medical plan would they buy it.  From experience I know this to be so.  So I ran a few quotes to help illustrate my point…


GeoBlue_transparent_logovoyager_brochure_02I ran a bunch of quotes from GeoBlue to see exactly what it would cost for these people to purchase proper cover before their departure.  I am guesstimating that the average age of most of the couples that came into the Cigar Shop this past week were in there early 40’s.  In addition most were talking about trips that ranged between 7 – 10 days which is consistent with my experience as a broker for short term vacations.  This is what I found…  A couple ages 42 & 45 could be fully insured for their medical abroad with GeoBlue’s Voyager Choice plan, a $ZERO dollar deductible and 100% coverage.  The rates consistently ranged between $49.00 and $68.00.  These can vary a bit by zip code but these are pretty solid numbers.  This rate is the total for both travelers NOT per insured.  In almost every quote I run the cost for full cover is less than the cost for a couple of fine Cigars.

GeoBlue’s Voyager Choice is a International travel plan that provides over $1 million dollars of coverage plus an additional $500,000 Medical Evacuation AND it provides cover for Acts of Terrorism which almost no other plans will.  If the travelers have an existing U.S. Domestic plan in place GeoBlue will provide cover for your Pre-Existing Conditions.  I could go on about the plans benefits but instead I am providing you with a link to the brochure here on this page and our website if further information is needed.  Why would you not want to cover your ability to seek proper health care if you are faced with a travel emergency and in some cases the need to be able to get home?  Not to mention who is going to help you find this care while abroad?

So the next time you plan to travel abroad think about this…  For the price of a couple of fine cigars you could insure your next trip and travel with peace of mind.  My guess is you can do both – buy the cigars and provide the protection and I pretty sure it will not create a hardship for your next International trip.

If this interests you visit our website or click the link below for a free instant quote for your next International Trip!  As always if you have questions call (619) 435-6700 or send us your questions in an email to ““.



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