An ER visit in Japan? Allianz travel insurance to the rescue!

This site just saved Catherina Gaines tens of thousands of dollars, but the real hero of the story is Allianz travel insurance, which fully covered her ER visit in Japan.

“I wanted to thank your website for motivating our family to purchase an annual travel insurance policy,” said Gaines, whose family travels about 400,000 miles a year.

That would be this recent story about the value of an annual policy in USA Today.

As I noted in the article, several travel insurance companies, including Allianz Travel Insurance, HTH Worldwide, International Medical Group, RoamRight, Seven Corners and Travel Guard, offer annual policies. You can pay extra for additional cancellation coverage.

Gaines had seen Allianz on this site — it is a long-time underwriter of this organization — and decided to go with one of its policies.

“Guess what?” she says. “We used it.”

Allianz travel insurance to the rescue

Gaines’ story began in March, just a few days after my USA Today story appeared. She saw the article and then consulted this site. Allianz seemed like the policy to buy.

Then her family left on their trip.

“On our last day in Japan before heading to the Philippines I fell down some stairs and had to go to the ER,” she says. “I contacted Allianz Travel Insurance about my fall, and they were wonderful. They were able to tell me hospitals in the area and reached out to their rep in Japan to contact the hospital to guarantee payment, since payment is required up front in Japan.”

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But Allianz did more than pay her bills.

“While [I was] at the ER, Allianz called me at least hourly to check on my condition and recommend paperwork I should request for travel before being discharged,” she says. “The ER in Japan diagnosed me as having two severe sprains, so I decided to continue on my trip to the Philippines.”

Allianz continued to be there for her.

“They checked in to make sure I was OK every few days until my return to the U.S. When I returned, I went to see an orthopedic surgeon, who noticed I had a small fracture in one foot so I am in a cast for the next couple of months.”

I live for stories like this

This site features a fair number of travel insurance stories that don’t end well. It’s nice to have a break — well, maybe that’s the wrong word to use in this case — since travel insurance can save the day for many travelers.

Disclosure: I have an annual policy through Allianz and an annual membership through Medjet that covers emergency evacuations. Although both of them are underwriters of this site, I pay for the policies myself. It’s worth the peace of mind.

I’d love to publish more stories that highlight the positive aspects of insurance, or any other product. We have a column called The Good News Guy, but we receive so few positive cases that he’s on the site once a month, at the most. He’s our resident Maytag repairman.

Come on, industry. You must have more happy customers.

“I just wanted to give a shout out to Allianz for being so helpful, kind, and being there for me,” adds Gaines. “I also wanted to thank you guys too for putting a fire under my foot to purchase a travel policy.”

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By the way, if you’re looking for a place to shop for an annual travel insurance policy, check out,,,, or Because annual policies are such a niche product, you sometimes have to search a while to find an annual policy.

Alright, here’s my call to action: If you’ve had a positive experience like Gaines’ ER visit with travel insurance, a medical evacuation membership, a travel product, or any consumer product, tell me. I’d love to feature it on this site. Here’s how to reach me.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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