Travel insurance for sailing the Baja Ha-Ha

sailboat at sunset

If you’re heading down on the Baja Ha-Ha this year, you should consider travel insurance for sailing. There are several options for health care, as well as evacuation coverage, depending on your sailing plans. International health insurance includes two categories: Long Term travel insurance for trips of one year or more, and Short Term travel insurance for trips ranging from 1 week to 1 year. You should also consider Evacuation insurance to pay the cost of getting you home from any hospital. Evacuation insurance can also include getting you from a wrecked boat to a hospital and then home. 

I’m going sailing for a few months. What’s the best travel insurance for me?

The majority of Baja Ha-Ha cruisers are going to want Short Term travel insurance for themselves and their crew. This insurance is cheap and easy to get. You can have a policy in place the day before you leave — maybe even on the dock the day you cast off the lines.  My recommended travel insurance for sailing the Baja Ha-Ha is GeoBlue Voyager, a Blue Cross/Blue Shield company.  It comes in two flavors, Essential and Choice. Choice is for sailors who already have health insurance, and it will cover pre-existing conditions. Both plans cover Covid-19. You can use this plan for up to 180 days. Keep in mind that you must buy your coverage while still in the US, and you can only extend your policy once (say from 30 days to an additional 160 days), but you can’t extend it more than 180 days. Click here to get a quote for GeoBlue.

I plan to keep sailing for a year, but then I’m done. What plan do you recommend?

If you are sailing for longer than 180 days or think you might extend your voyage, then Atlas travel insurance is a better plan for you. It includes travel benefits if you’re flying crew in and out, and it also covers Covid-19. Unlike GeoBlue Voyager, Atlas can be purchased after you leave the US, and it can be extended and renewed as often as you want. You could continue sailing with Atlas and not get a Long Term plan, but there are other advantages to Long Term travel insurance (see below). Atlas also gives you 5 days of emergency US coverage for every 30 days you are enrolled. This means if you drop your US insurance, you can return to the US to visit family and still have some coverage. Click here to get a quote for World Trips -Atlas.

I have other Short Term travel insurance plans for sailing, but these are my current favorites. 

This is it, I’m leaving to go see the world! What do I need?

Many sailors decide to do the Baja Ha-Ha as their jumping off point for a few years of cruising. If that’s you, then I would get an annually renewable Long Term travel insurance plan. Annually renewable plans can be renewed each year for as long as you want. They work much like your insurance here in the USA, and some plans even include benefits inside the US for up to 180 days or more. They have medical underwriting, so they do NOT cover pre-existing conditions and they usually have a deductible. Some Long Term travel insurance plans include wellness visits, vaccinations, well-woman care, and both inpatient and outpatient care. Others only include inpatient (hospitalization, cancer  and ER). If you know you are going sailing for a while, you can cancel your US insurance and definitely save some money with one of these type of plans. For you cruisers who keep your boat abroad, spend summer in the US and return to your boat in winter, these annually renewable plans are a great choice for you too!

I want the best I can get! What’s your best travel insurance plan?

I actually have two top-tier plans that have been very popular lately. These two premium plans are GeoBlue Navigator (a Blue Cross/Blue Shield company) and Cigna Global. Of all the Long Term travel insurance plans, they are the only two that cover Covid-19. Which one would I choose? Well, the best Long Term travel insurance for full benefits, including US coverage—and the plan that is probably most like what you have right now—is GeoBlue Navigator. If you want a plan with US benefits and all the coverage to protect you and your family, it’s the best. It’s one of the most popular plans for families because parents tend to choose the best for their kids! This plan is more expensive than the next one, but if I could afford it, it would be the plan I’d choose when I go cruising. Get a quote for GeoBlue Navigator here. 

Another excellent plan and the most popular choice

My best-selling plan, used by some well-known YouTube sailors, maybe you’ve heard of them—Sailing Uma, Delos, Zatara—and many others, is without a doubt Cigna Global. This Long Term travel insurance plan has a lot more flexibility because it has modules that you can add or drop. You start with an international plan that covers inpatient/daypatient/ER/cancer. Then you can add modules for outpatient, wellness, dental/vision, US coverage and Evacuation. If all you want is the core module, that’s fine. However, I will insist that you add Evacuation because you’re sailing to some pretty remote locations. If you want to get a quote for Cigna Global here is the link(Sailor names used with permission.)

Just get me HOME! What do I need?

Last but not least, there is Evacuation insurance. Once you’re admitted, it gets you FROM any hospital TO any hospital. I work with three different companies, but for sailors I recommend Global Rescue. They will helicopter you off your boat or a beach with a triage team and get you to a hospital. Once you’re admitted and in stable condition, they will get you to a US hospital. Global Rescue has Short Term plans and Long Term plans. They are the best in the business. To get a quote for Global Rescue, click here.

I’d like more information and I want to see everything you offer for travel insurance.

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