Why purchase travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a package of benefits and services designed to protect you in three ways:
- To reimburse you for your financial investment (ie. the cost of your travel arrangements) should a variety of unforeseeable reasons force you to cancel or interrupt your trip or delay you while traveling;
- Most importantly, to protect you against the costs incurred during your trip for medical expenses, a medical evacuation, services to assist you in an emergency situation; and
- To protect against loss, damage or destruction of your personal belongings
A little bit about medical insurance and medical expenses
Most travelers don’t think about the cost of medical services abroad when they are planning their trips. But there are always risks that need to be considered.
What happens if you become ill or injured while traveling? Hopefully, you will have coverage. Those who don’t can expect to pay for any medical care out of pocket.
Travel Insurance is coverage for medical expenses gained while traveling. The medical expenses must be ordered by a doctor who is legally qualified, and the expenses must be medically necessary for diagnosis or treatment.
Travel medical insurance can be a single plan or a benefit within a comprehensive plan.
How does travel insurance work?
In most cases, travel insurance provides reimbursement for medical expenses incurred. You would need to provide receipts, hospital bills, and any admission paperwork to the insurance company. If you met the requirements with no exclusions like a pre-existing condition, you would be reimbursed up to your benefit limit.
Medical coverage begins at 12:01 a.m on your scheduled departure date. It ends at the point and time of your scheduled return. However there can be exceptions, for example, if your return is delayed by airline or a tour operator, or you become ill or hospitalized while traveling. You’ll need to carefully review your insurance policy to see the details of any exceptions and what documentation is needed.
Medical care is not free
Health care may be socialized in Europe, but that does not mean all world citizens are able to receive free medical care. Take a look at this story from Trip Advisor about someone who thought they weren’t responsible for the medical bill.
You don’t want to risk running up medical bills on a vacation that you will have to spend months or years paying off.
What are the exclusions?
Each insurance company has a list of exclusions within each policy. These conditions are policy wide, but it is important to know how they pertain to your medical coverage. Following are some examples from TravelSafe Insurance of things that probably won’t be covered:
- Pre-existing conditions without the Pre-existing condition waiver
- Suicide, attempted suicide, or any intentionally self-inflicted injury
- War, or an act of war
- Participation in a riot
- Service in the armed forces
- Mental or nervous disorders
- Treatment in connection with alcoholism and drug addiction
- Expenses as a result of any felony or attempt to commit a felony
- Extreme sports such as Skydiving, Hang gliding, Parachuting, Bungee jumping, Spelunking or caving, Extreme skiing, Mountaineering or Base Jumping
What are pre-existing conditions?
A pre-existing condition is basically an illness, disease or injury you have received or been recommended to receive any medical attention for.This dates 60 days prior to the first day you or a traveling companion placed a deposit on your trip.
What if the hospital requires payment up front?
We’ve seen it before — a traveler seeks medical treatment for an accident only to be told they must pay for the services up front. In fact, it’s happened to me. Some countries require payment prior to medical treatment, and this can burden the traveler, their traveling companions, and family.
A good travel insurance plan will have medical assistance built into their policy. Medical assistance will often include deposits, advances, and guarantees. Guarantees will provide a promise to pay for necessary medical treatment.
The chances of needing medical care while traveling may be slim, but what you will pay without coverage can be crippling.
Make sure you read your state specific certificate for coverage details.
We can help you choose the right coverage for your honeymoon or vacation. Call 609-703-0462, or email Melody@JourneysNearandFar.com for more information.