Buddy was started by three founders, Charles Merritt, Jay Paul, and David Vogeleer, who have backgrounds in marketing, insurance, and technology and all share a love of the outdoors.
Buddy is geared towards those with active lifestyles, to cover out of pocket expenses if an accident or injury happens. Coverage starts at around $9 per day, or $51 per month.
Accident insurance can save thousands for adventure-loving world travelers for whom accidents can be a huge setback, financially as well as physically.
Buddy Accident Insurance is paid directly to the policyholder, unlike health insurance which goes to the medical provider. This means the policy holder has the flexibility to use the money as they need or want.
There is a 10-day cancellation period with a full refund, no penalty. This provides customers with the flexibility to change their minds about coverage, cancel policies, or switch plans without penalty.
Personal Plans start at only $51 per month and a family is $128 per month. A full list of the coverage amounts per incident is listed on the website. As an example, the policy will pay $500 for an emergency room visit or $750 per day (for up to 10 days) for a hospital stay.
This goes beyond most people’s regular health insurance, and is particularly affordable for big vacations, adventure trips, or other situations. The transparency around pricing is refreshing; other companies like Aflac, MetLife, and Unum do not provide pricing online, but require customers to call in for more details.
This accident insurance is not meant to replace health insurance, but to supplement it. The company does not cover illnesses, diseases, suicide, any injuries sustained during active military duty, and other exemptions.
For customers without health insurance, Buddy Insurance should not be considered a general health policy or a solution to not having adequate insurance for general medical needs. Similarly, Aflac also provides supplementary insurance, not primary health coverage.
Due to state policies and restrictions, citizens of certain states are unable to be covered by Buddy. California is one of those states. This fine print is very important for customers to understand before assuming coverage will be present for any trip.
The Buddy Insurance website has a list of available policies, as well as exempted activities.
This includes “BASE jumping, big wave surfing, bull riding, cave diving, cliff jumping, cross country eventing, freestyle motocross (FMX), free diving, free soloing/climbing (other than bouldering) without the use of ropes and appropriate equipment, mountaineering without appropriate use of ropes and equipment, highlining, running of the bulls, skydiving/parachuting, street luging, tow in surfing, wing suiting)”.
Also injuries sustained while high or drunk and while committing or attempting to commit a felony are exempt from coverage. Customers should make sure to check these exemptions before planning trips and activities.