Forbes, February 13th 2013 – Travel Insurance Aimed at Active Boomers

Published by February 18, 2013

While vacationing in the Swiss Alps last summer Mark L. Welton, chief of colorectal surgery at the Stanford Cancer Center and an advisor to Men’s Health magazine, fell off his mountain bike and broke his collarbone. “I wasn’t doing anything unreasonable,” says the athletic 56-year-old. He had pulled over to let a hiker pass, he explains, when he lost his balance and toppled over. “You could’ve tripped in your driveway and done this,” his orthopedist later told him.

With one arm in a sling and an ice pack on his shoulder, Welton cut short a two-week journey and flew home for surgery. His wife, Cindy, 49, who’d been scheduled to rendezvous with him in Geneva after completing a bike race (she’s a triathlete), flew to Zurich to see him off before continuing the vacation with two of the couple’s children.

Welton paid out of pocket for all the related expenses: X-rays and a sling at a hospital in the Swiss village of Murren (about $350); airline change fees for switching flights booked with frequent-flier miles (another $350); a taxi from the nearby village of Lauterbrunnen to Zurich ($531); and one night at an airport hotel before flying home ($660). Had he not been using frequent-flier miles, the tally would have been thousands more. But if Welton had purchased travel insurance, all his extra expenses and those of family members would have been covered, notes Chris Harvey, CEO of SquareMouth, a website where consumers can comparison shop for policies offered by 23 different travel insurers.

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