Ah, the age-old question: to insure or not to insure. We all know it’s a good idea, but that price tag can be so prohibitively large that it doesn’t seem worth it. I’m definitely guilty of feeling a little too invincible and convincing myself I didn't need travel and medical insurance.
The truth is, if you cannot afford travel insurance then you cannot afford to travel.
But, knowing you need insurance is only half the battle. Choosing the right kind of travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance can be a serious challenge. Insurance policies contain a lot of jargon that can border on indecipherable. This can make the whole ordeal unnecessarily stressful.
So, I’m going to break it down for you, nice and simple. When it's time to consider your travel and medical evacuation options, here is what you should be looking out for.
1. Make Sure Your Destination is Covered
If you already know where you are going then make sure the destination you have chosen is covered by that specific policy. Some countries – particularly those seeing political unrest or violence – will not be covered automatically by your policy. Certain Middle Eastern countries and a handful of others around the world will charge a premium to cover you during your trip there.
If you don’t know where you are going yet, get yourself travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance with worldwide coverage. It may cost a bit more, but it will be worth it when you don’t have to fork out thousands of dollars in medical bills.
2. Make Sure Your Activities are Covered
This applies to people who seek adventure when they travel. If you are going scuba diving or snowboarding then you need to find a policy that will cover these activities. You can easily check this by reading through the policies “included activities” section. Or just ctrl + F it.
Sometimes you will need to buy a separate policy to cover individual high risk activities you are thinking of undertaking. If there is even a chance you will be doing these activities, you need travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance.
3. Consider the Price
Normally I’m all for landing a good bargain when it comes to buying things for travel. Travel insurance is an exception. Cheap policies will have less coverage and a higher excess. This means if you do need to make a claim, you could still end up forking out for it. Invest in a good policy now and thank yourself later.
4. Honesty is Absolutely Vital
You might not think your asthma is worth mentioning. Especially if it means having to pay more for your travel medical and emergency medical evacuation insurance. But if you don’t you will regret it. Failure to disclose a pre-existing condition can invalidate your entire insurance policy. Even if that condition is in no way connected to your injury. If you break your arm and didn’t disclose your asthma, they will penalize you.
5. Does Your Claim Cover Emergency Evacuation or Transportation
You never know what's going to happen while you're abroad. You vacation destination might turn into a war zone, riots may break out or a volcano might erupt. Double check your policy to see if it will evacuate you in the event of an emergency or transport you somewhere safe. These are essential while you are traveling as paying for them out of your own pocket is a real killer. You should also see whether your insurance will cover repatriation. This is when you are sent back to your home country after a medical emergency.
If your policy doesn't cover these things, buy a separate, supplementary policy that does. If you cannot buy it from your original insurance provider, look elsewhere – just make sure you have it or you could face some seriously crippling medical and evacuation bills.
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