Should you consider a Travel policy?
It’s that time of the year for fun excursions! When traveling overseas, it’s important to know how your current insurance company will cover expenses if you have a serious or even minor condition that requires you to seek care. Most plans do offer overseas coverage, but some don’t, so make sure you ask the pertinent questions as to what your plan includes and more importantly, what it does NOT include. While most companies cover travel overseas, it is only covered on an “emergency basis.” Most companies define emergency as a situation in which you could reasonably expect that the absence of immediate medical attention could result in serious jeopardy to your health. That statement is very general and left open for interpretation. The fine print in the insurance company’s contract could go into further detail, such as “a fever of less than 104 degrees is not considered emergency care.”
So, why consider purchasing a travel policy? First, they often have benefits that your insurance company does not provide or place limits on expensive care, such as medical evacuation to the nearest facility or back home to the US. For example, we had a client hiking in Europe and seriously broke his leg. While he didn’t need a private medical plane back to the US, he couldn’t fly in coach after the surgical procedures to fix his leg. So, he was upgraded to first class and the travel policy picked up the cost. So, if you are going off the beaten path, we would highly recommend you purchase the additional coverage. Even if you are taking a stroll in a common place, like Rome, you could still slip and fall on marble stairs and need your travel policy to help cover your surgery (it happens, ask employee Donna Haynes).
On top of the obvious benefit of covering medical expenses, travel policies can provide other benefits. This may include 24-hour assistance hotline to help you find the best care or even get a family member by your side. They often include translation services when you are in areas where English is not common. Many overseas travel policies include trip cancellation or interruption protection in case you need to cancel a trip or you have to come home early due to illness, injury or another covered reason. There are a lot of policies out there, so just make sure you read the fine print if you choose to purchase one.