Travel Medical Insurance
What would happen if you were to get sick on a cruise and require medical attention, would your insurer cover it? What if you were injured on the beaches of a foreign country, requiring hospitalization. Would your insurance company cover it? What if your small children, who are covered under your current policy, became sick. Are they insured while traveling?
If you can't answer any one of the questions above, it is time to consider your medical needs. While medical insurance is usually quite inclusive, the rules change with the location, and without travel medical insurance you may find yourself out of luck and out of insurance when you need it the most.
An emerging product on the medical scene, travel medical insurance is an important consideration for anyone in the process of purchasing medical insurance. While a number of health plans now offer coverage for out of country travels, most have a limited network that does not include doctors overseas. As a result, many consumers are best to purchase independent travel insurance to protect from the worst during what may be your best vacation.
Where to Buy Travel Medical Insurance
Travel medical insurance is purchased in your own place of residence for medical care either domestically or abroad. Traditionally, travel medical insurance was offered by travel agencies who would include it as part of travel packages, however following an increase in online bookings, fewer tourists are thinking about insurance before leaving for their destination.
Due to the limited risk of becoming injured in the short duration of a trip, many different credit card companies offer travel medical insurance as part of your cardmember agreement. Usually, these policies require only that you purchase airfare with the credit card, and you'll be automatically protected. Others may require confirmation by letter or by phone, but this is a great way to become insured if you have little interest in shopping for an independent policy. Plus, since its a perk that comes from having an open credit card account, you'll pay nothing for the coverage. Be sure to get the details before leaving, as with any medical coverage the details of the coverage can be quite confusing.
If You Already Have Health Insurance
If your health is already insured domestically, you'll likely still need to acquire medical coverage for international, but not domestic, travel. International travel includes trips like cruises, where the ship spends a significant amount of time in international waters.
Because of the difference in quality of the medical system between international borders, it would be best to have a high deductible but all-inclusive policy to cover any type of medical emergency. In some countries like Great Britain, for example, travelers may be covered under the government run medical system.
If You Don't Have Insurance
If you do not already own medical insurance, purchasing travel medical insurance for both domestic and international travels is recommended. Since many trips and travels are significantly more dangerous than others (scuba diving in the Atlantic, for instance), it may be wise to have full coverage if only for the time traveled even if you have no insurance otherwise.
Do not be fooled by the supposed safety of domestic travels, either. Just because you will not leave your own borders does not mean there are not additional travel risks, and the few dollars in expenditures for coverage will more than pay for themselves in peace of mind.
Do Not Fall for Extras
Insurance companies will insure practically everything, and just because you can buy travel insurance for different risks doesn't mean you should. One example is flight insurance, where your life is insured for the duration of the flight. This is practically free money for the insurance company, since statistically jet travel is safer than driving, and very few people have ever died in modern air transit. Do not fall for such extras when purchasing travel insurance. You will most likely be offered this insurance at the time of purchase.