As more and more travelers seek the four corners of the world, it’s important to know what is available in travel insurance and what coverage it provides. Do you know the difference between the various kinds of travel plans available?
Generally, travel insurance includes two important parts: medical coverage and trip cancellation.
Travel medical insurance coverage is not given as much thought today as it deserves. Illnesses or injuries can happen at any given moment and on any fabulous trip. A simple & quick trip to the emergency room for a twisted ankle or wrist, can yield a bill well into the thousands of dollars. Travel insurance allows travelers to be reimbursed for their medical expenses when they return home. Most travelers aren’t aware that many personal insurance policies don’t cover out of the country medical costs that are incurred in foreign countries , i.e….as soon as they leave the soil of the USA or board a cruise ship with a foreign flag (and most are registered in foreign countries).
My own travel experience:
What if Susan had not purchased insurance in this case? Susan was vacationing in Jamaica with her husband and friends. Her husband needed medical attention after he had a motor cycle accident, breaking his arm. He was admitted to the hospital in Montego Bay without a problem, but that was the last time they used the word “easy”. Surgery was needed, so a med-evac was necessary, and the hospital bill in MBJ had to be paid. A medical assistance team, from their insurance company, stepped in and facilitated the transfer to the USA and full payment. Had Susan and her husband not had insurance, the total cost would have exceeded $75,000.
This example is another reason to support the purchase of travel medical insurance. Advance payment is often required by medical facilities in many foreign countries, particularly in developing countries, which takes an unfortunate illness or injury to another level. If pre-pay isn’t required, then the patient isn’t released until they pay. Often, a medical insurance assistance team assists you by dealing with the foreign hospital and personnel.
The second part of most insurance coverage is cancellation protection. If travelers are a family of four, then it is pretty clear that there is a greater likelihood that one of the four could become ill, or be injured, prior to/or during the period of travel. But if the travelers are a healthy young couple, they often believe that nothing can happen to them. What they overlook is the possibility that someone in their extended family may have an issue that could cause the couple to feel the need to stay home. If insurance is purchased, it gives the travelers peace of mind that they can cancel and get the return of their money (minus the cost of the insurance). Cancel for any reason is an extended, and usually an optional plan choice, that adds additional cost. Would this option give you peace of mind?
The world we live in today can be unpredictable and violence can occur in a region without warning. Certainly, travelers should heed State Dept. warnings and information. But, what if a country’s economical or political stability deteriorates during a visit to a country? Travelers would want their travel insurance to assist them with evacuation plans set up through government assistance and intervention. Without insurance assistance, would you know who to call if trouble showed up?
Consider travel insurance an important part of a total experience…sunscreen and hats for sun protection, comfy shoes for walking, clothing for day and night…you pack your suitcase to be prepared. Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance.
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