Yonder: Insurance that protects card rewards and generates food aid for refugee children

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In a nutshell: Many Americans don’t realize that their existing medical coverage doesn’t protect them when they travel abroad. Yonder travel insurance partners with leading insurance companies to help travelers with card rewards choose a comprehensive policy that provides peace of mind during their adventures. The company provides seamless customer service for making claims and handling any emergencies. The founders of the company also want to give something back to the world. That’s why every policy sold on Yonder provides a weekly meal for a refugee child in Nepal or Southeast Asia.

As international travel picks up again, card reward travelers are ready to embark on new adventures abroad. However, if the future is anything like the past, most don’t have travel insurance when they cross the border.

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That could be a mistake, because US health insurance will most likely not cover international health costs. And health insurance doesn’t even start addressing lost travel investments when emergencies arise.

Medical and travel interruption costs can add up, yet 4 in 5 Americans board airplanes and cruise ships without any protection.

Yonder travel insurance started to change that. The company works with top providers to simplify the process of choosing the most cost-effective travel insurance policy. The Yonder team is on a mission to make travel insurance a regular part of travel planning for more Americans.

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Because Yonder formulates policies tailored to specific business and leisure niches, customers can rest assured that plans will protect them without costing more than their budget allows.

Trained and friendly Yonder agents are available to address customer issues and assist with claims. That support can reassure travelers who often spend thousands of dollars for a nice trip.

“We’re a comparison site, so our job is to find policies with the coverage our customers are looking for at a price they’re comfortable with,” said Beckah Morris, Yonder’s Operations and Marketing Manager.

Yonder’s expert, unbiased recommendations also come with a social engagement that emerged when co-founders Terry Boynton and Ryan Skoog helped distribute food aid to refugee children while traveling in Myanmar. That experience had a lasting impact and guides Yonder’s focus today.

“With every policy we sell, we donate a week’s worth of meals to a child in Nepal or Southeast Asia,” Morris said. “We work closely with both projects.”

Insurance is often about the details, and travel insurance is no different. That’s why Yonder has partnered with a range of providers to provide travelers with card rewards policies to suit different travel styles.

Policies for businesses, families and senior travelers contain clear coverage details and recommendations from Yonder, as do adventure, cruise, guided tours and student excursion policies. Yonder even includes policies for journalists who need cover for sudden evacuations.

“Certain policies with pre-existing waivers are priced well for seniors, and then there are policies priced at no extra cost for families with children under 18,” Morris said.

Yonder divides coverage into three pillars and policies into three types to help customers understand the nuances between: different types of travel insurance.

Comprehensive Policy are the most popular and include all three pillars: trip cancellation and interruption, medical expenses and emergency evacuation, and trip loss and delay.

“People may think that travel insurance only covers travel expenses or medical emergencies,” Morris said. “You want peace of mind that if you have to cancel or a major emergency arises, the insurance you buy will provide the coverage you think it does.”

The comprehensive travel loss and delay pillar covers relatively minor issues, including missed flights and cruise departures. And the medical emergencies pillar covers everything from sudden prescription needs to serious issues requiring evacuation services. All of these situations can be costly without insurance.

“Our providers can save people hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Morris said.

Just because a policy is considered comprehensive doesn’t mean it covers everything. Last year’s COVID-19 pandemic influenced Yonder to work with customers and providers to clarify general travel insurance exclusions. The results promise to bring lasting improvements to card travellers’ purchasing policies.

“Spring 2020 has been a steep learning curve for some of our customers,” said Morris. “Some felt that their policies would cover a global pandemic — and indeed there is a specific type of coverage called Cancel for Any Reason that would have covered people in those circumstances.”

When the policy includes Cancel for any reason, coverage generally protects travelers for a short period of time after making an initial non-refundable payment or deposit for a trip. Cover generally requires the insurance of all non-refundable costs and cancellation of the trip at least two days before the departure date.

Screenshot of Yonder website
The Yonder marketplace offers policy options based on different travel styles.

Some Yonder customers were surprised to learn that their policies did not cover the COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdowns and shutdowns unless cancellation coverage was explicitly included for whatever reason.

“We’ve invested time over the past year to educate customers and talk to our providers about using clearer language on their websites and in policy documentation,” said Morris. “And we’ve definitely seen good progress on both sides.”

That’s important, even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still covered as a medical event through travel interruption benefits.

“Customers are now considering travel insurance much earlier than before because of that particular benefit,” Morris said. “As soon as they make a deposit, and even during the planning before they make payments, they get in touch.”

Yonder cannot influence insurance costs for travelers with card rewards because it is an aggregator that partners with independent providers in a highly regulated industry.

“Prices are based on age and travel costs — as with any insurance policy, the older you are, the greater the risk,” Morris said. “But providers price things out in different ways, which is why we started the company — to encourage people to compare.”

That’s true the Yonder promise comes in and sets the company apart with its focus on helping every customer travel with peace of mind.

The team adheres to the highest standards when selecting providers and hiring new ones after a careful vetting process. It does not hesitate to remove providers with recurring claim problems. The team is also always willing to go the extra mile to help clients decide which policies work best for them and to make and follow up claims.

“Especially in a stressful situation, you want someone to take most of the work off your hands,” Morris said. “We’re in contact with senior claims representatives at each of our providers so we can push if things ever get stuck.”

It’s a set of values ​​that Yonder’s co-founders instilled from the start and carry over into the company’s ongoing commitment to its social mission.

“Even through COVID-19, we have maintained our support for our refugee child food programs in Nepal and South East Asia – Ryan and Terry are committed to our company,” said Morris. “A few years ago I traveled to Nepal with Terry to see the impact of what we were doing, and it was an amazing, life-changing experience.”

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