We regularly harp on the importance of travel insurance on this site. If you follow the blog, and regularly read articles about things like amoebic dysentery and typhoid, then you probably see the importance as well.
The simple fact is that you never know when an accident or an illness is going to strike. While it’s unlikely that you will need to use it, travel insurance provides valuable protection. Not convinced? Have a look at this info sheet on travel insurance here. There are certainly some travel insurance policies that are better than others, but there are also many similarities between standard policies. Here are a few things that almost all policies have in common.
A minimum deductible
The deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. I have found that most travel insurance policies have an average deductible of $100. This means that if you receive medical care, you need to pay $100 of it and then the insurance will take care of the rest. A lower deductible generally means that you are paying a higher premium (the cost per week or month of your insurance).
Documentation required for a claim
Save all of your receipts. Hell, even save your bus or plane ticket stub that shows you arrived in the country. Claims are approved primarily on the basis of documentation. Simply saying you broke your arm in Thailand is not going to get you reimbursed for what you paid at the hospital. Save every piece of paper and once you get home, be prepared to mail it in.
Certain activities and even destinations are off limits
This depends on the particular company and policy, but in many cases, adventure sports are not covered. Also, countries that are under certain travel advisories or warnings may also be off limits in the sense that, if you need medical attention there, your policy won’t cover it. To have a more inclusive policy, that includes certain destinations and activities, expect to pay a higher premium.
Pre-existing conditions matter
You can often get travel insurance even if you have a pre-existing condition, but you probably won’t be covered if you need to get medical care for something that is related to that condition. Make sure to read the fine print of the policy and if it is still unclear, pick up the phone and contact the company directly. Also, make sure you disclose any pre-existing conditions at the outset.
All policies have fine print
Speaking of fine print, all insurance policies have it. Take the time to read it and as we said above, if you have any questions or confusion, pick up the phone and get in touch with the company directly.
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