From emergency medical evacuations to lost checked luggage, travel medical insurance can cover a wide range of situations resulting in unforeseen costs.
Here are some popular travel medical insurance benefits many people look for when selecting a policy:
1. Hospital Room and Board
Unpredictable scenarios, like twisting an ankle or getting food poisoning, are not uncommon when traveling abroad. Depending on your location and severity of the condition, you may receive expensive medical bills.
You may assume that your domestic health insurance provider covers you while you're abroad, but many health policies either don't cover international travel or only provide limited coverage. Note that Medicare does not cover international medical treatment except in highly specific circumstances. Check first with your current provider, and if you don't have adequate coverage, you may want to purchase a travel medical insurance plan. In many cases, it can be worth it to invest in travel medical insurance.
Even if you are in perfect health, accidents can happen where a travel medical insurance plan may help. For example, you might twist your ankle while hiking in Italy and need an X-ray to make sure it’s not broken. Or you may eat contaminated food in Thailand and require hospitalized treatment for dehydration. These are only a few of the situations where travel medical insurance can come in handy.
Even though it’s impossible to be prepared for every contingency, travel medical insurance may be able to financially protect you from some of these covered, unpredictable travel medical costs.
2. Emergency Medical Evacuation
If you are traveling to a remote area or a region without adequate medical facilities, it's important that you purchase medical evacuation insurance, or a travel medical policy with this coverage. Emergency transportation to a hospital that can provide you with the medically necessary services you need for your particular illness or injury can cost as much as $100,000.
Don't gamble with your health; be sure to purchase a plan that will ensure you access to a facility where you will receive the care you need. Read the policy conditions and exclusions to better understand your policy’s emergency medical evacuation benefit before embarking on your trip.
3. Lost Checked Luggage
One of the more inconvenient aspects of travel is the possibility of arriving to your destination without your luggage, especially if you’re taking a long trip. According to Travel Stats Man, about $1.25 billion worth of baggage was lost due to various types of mishandling in 2018. Of that total, 82% of the mishandled baggage came from delays, airlines losing track of bags, or theft.
On the off chance your luggage doesn’t arrive to your destination when you do, your travel medical insurance policy may be able to cover expenses for lost clothing and personal hygiene items. In this way, this benefit can help reduce out of pocket costs when you’re caught with your pants down – or with no pants at all in this case.
Some policies have limits on how much money can be reimbursed per lost checked item, so make sure you are aware of those limits.
4. Travel Delay
What happens if your flight is delayed from an airline labor strike or maybe your passport is stolen? Travel delay benefits included in a travel medical insurance plan can cover the expenses that arise when a flight is delayed, often for a set number of hours and/or requiring an overnight stay. Covered costs could include accommodations while you wait for your flight as well as meals for an unexpected delay. It’s important to prepare for every leg of your journey, from start to finish.
5. Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)
Unfortunately travels can take a turn for the worse with an accident resulting in losing a limb, eyesight, or even one’s life. Although these types of situations are uncommon, they do occasionally happen. Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit pays you or your beneficiary if an accident causes you to lose your sight, a limb, or your life.
It’s important that you and your beneficiary thoroughly read your policy’s conditions and exclusions. You can also find more information about how this benefit works here.
Most Important Tip: Read Your Policy
Travel medical insurance was designed to protect your travel-related finances from unforeseen expenses while providing international access to emergency and travel assistance services. To help avoid confusion, make sure you know what’s covered and what’s not covered before purchasing a travel medical insurance plan.
One thing to pay attention to is your policy’s pre-existing conditions information. Some insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions at all while others do but with specific exclusions. Read through these conditions thoroughly.
Remember that the key to protecting yourself with travel medical insurance is to be informed. Always read the entire policy before making a purchase so that you fully understand each of its benefits and exclusions. If you have questions about a policy, contact a sales representative.
Do you need travel medical insurance for an upcoming trip? WorldTrips offers Atlas Travel insurance, travel medical coverage with a wide-range of benefits, such as medical evacuation, terrorism coverage, crisis management, accidental death and dismemberment benefit, and more.