Travel Insurance for the Camino

Pilgrim in Santiago on crutches, sidelined by a serious foot injury, but glad for travel insurance.

Pilgrim in Santiago on crutches, sidelined by a serious foot injury, but glad for travel insurance.

“What can I afford to pay if something goes wrong traveling to or from the Camino, or while I am walking?” Ultimately this is what you need to determine when considering travel insurance.


The broad term “travel insurance” encompasses two basic types of insurance covering different risks. The first type is what we call “trip insurance.” This helps cover the risks/costs associated with something unexpected happening with your trip/travel. Examples of what may be included are: trip cancellation, trip interruption, additional accommodation and travel expenses, trip delay, damage or loss of baggage and personal effects, baggage delay on the outbound journey, collision damage waiver, accidental death or dismemberment, and non-medical evacuation services.


The second type of travel insurance is what we call “travel medical insurance.” Your health insurance in the USA does not cover costs incurred in other countries. Accidents happen. This type of insurance coverage may include one or more of the following: emergency accident and sickness expenses, emergency dental treatment, hospital admission cost, emergency evacuation and repatriation. 


Where do you get travel insurance? We like World Nomads because they offer reasonably priced travel insurance (both trip and medical). Check out the coverage they offer. Because of some pre-existing medical conditions, we have also found what we wanted at International Medical Group ( Read the details on any policy you consider to understand what you are buying.


For more understanding, here is a travel insurance glossary of terms:


Trip insurance


Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption coverage:  Generally, reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable cancellation charges if you must cancel your trip, after the effective date of the insurance, or your trip is interrupted, due to covered illness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member, or traveling companion.  Other things that may be covered are bankruptcy of travel operator, i.e. airline, cruise line, railroad, rental car company, etc.; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster, strike, or political unrest. 


Additional Accommodation and Travel Expenses coverage:  Generally, reimburses a portion of your additional accommodation and travel expenses if you must remain with your travel companion who is hospitalized or if you are declared by a physician unfit to travel home due to an accident or illness.


Trip Delay coverage:  Generally, reimburses a portion of additional expenses if you are delayed en route or from the trip for a specified number of hours due to a covered hazard.


Baggage and Personal Effects coverage:  Generally, reimburses a portion of the costs associate with loss, theft, or damage during the trip to baggage and personal effects owned by you if you have taken all reasonable precautions to protect and recover the property.


Baggage Delay on the Outbound Journey:  Generally, reimburses a portion of expenses for the purchase of necessary personal effects if your checked baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for more than a defined number of hours.


Collision Damage Waiver:  Generally, reimburses a portion of costs for damage to a rental car while in your possession, for any cause not in your control, generally including but not limited to collision, theft, or natural disaster. Purchase of this insurance should be coordinated with your automobile insurance policy at home. This coverage might be provided by the credit card company used to pay for car rental, or by affiliation with AAA or USAA.


Accidental Death and Dismemberment:  This is generally payment of a specified sum for the loss of life or limb as a result of accidental injury occurring during the trip.  


Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation Services:  This is defined on a policy by policy basis.


Travel Medical Insurance


Emergency Accident and Sickness Medical Expense:  Generally, coverage is for medical expenses for emergency treatment of an accidental injury that occurs during the trip.  Emergency treatment must be medically necessary and occur during the trip. Illness due to a pre-existing medical condition is not covered by some policies. If pre-existing conditions are covered, in addition to the above, coverage is generally for medical expenses for treatment of conditions that arise during the trip.  An example might be coverage for treatment for a heart attack for a person who has previously been diagnosed with heart disease.


Emergency Dental Treatment:  Generally, coverage is for emergency dental treatment for accidental injury to sound, natural teeth.  


Hospital Admission Cost:  Generally, coverage up to maximum benefit for costs required to secure admission to a hospital.


Adventure Sports and Activities:  Most policies require the purchase of a special rider to cover treatment needed as a result of these types of activities. It is very important to read the details and understand the policy coverage.


Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation:  Generally, coverage is for a medical injury or illness that occurs during the trip and requires your emergency medical evacuation to get proper medical care.  Should you die on the trip, coverage is for reasonable expenses to return your body to your home.


As you consider your options, check into the travel insurance offered by World Nomads as a beginning point. This link will take you to a page on our site with more details. If you decide to buy travel insurance from World Nomads, we appreciate it when you go through our website link to buy. World Nomads gives us a small referral fee from which we can donate something to help pilgrims walking the Camino. The cost to you is the same reasonable price from World Nomads.