Overseas travel insurance is important for anyone traveling abroad. In some cases, it is a mandatory requirement made by the government of your intended destination.
Traveling abroad can be exciting and fun. You get to experience different cultures, new cuisine and can see the tourist attractions overseas; it will give you a different perspective regarding the lifestyle of other cultures. Many travelers spend a lot of time researching their destinations and making travel arrangements with airlines and hotels, but not much thought is given to overseas travel insurance. Some of those travelers simply buy whatever their travel agent signs them up for when they purchase the airline tickets. Unbeknownst to many, there are many overseas travel insurance plans with a variety of benefits available. Before settling on the first thing suggested to you, it is the best to research overseas travel insurance plans by comparing the benefits and the prices to make sure you are purchasing the one that is the most suitable for you.
Even though each plan varies in exact details, overseas travel coverage would usually provide the following types of benefits:
- Unexpected and unforeseen medical costs if you get to become sick or injured while traveling abroad. All plans have some kind of pre-existing conditions exclusion; therefore, please review the certificate wording to make sure.
- Dental treatment cost in case of any accident or acute pain.
- Trip interruption coverage in case you need to return home earlier than planned due to a covered reason.
- Emergency medical evacuation - Transportation to the nearest medical facility where adequate care can be given.
- Repatriation of mortal remains - If a person were to pass away during their trip, it would pay for the cost of sending the mortal remains to their home country.
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment benefits.
- Loss of checked luggage.
Many people mistakenly assume that their domestic health insurance will provide adequate coverage while traveling abroad. The truth is that while many domestic health insurance plans may provide some foreign coverage during trips abroad, the deductible, coinsurance and out of pocket costs will be much higher; moreover, it will not provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation or repatriation of remains. Another important consideration is domestic companies are not accustomed to dealing with healthcare providers in foreign countries; as a result, foreign travel insurance is highly recommended.
Even if the country you are visiting has nationalized health care, it will be available only to its citizens and residents, not to the tourists. Not having foreign travel insurance could be disastrous, overseas travel coverage is a necessity during trips abroad.
Foreign travel insurance plans come in several different categories:
- Travel Medical insurance
The focus is on the medical costs when traveling abroad.
- Visitors to USA - Consider this if your travel includes the U.S.
- Schengen Visa Insurance - Consider this if your travel includes one or more Schengen visa countries.
- Travel Outside USA - Consider this if your travel excludes the U.S. or Schengen countries.
If you are planning to partake in any hazardous activities such as snow skiing or mountaineering, make sure that the insurance plan you purchase covers it. Many plans exclude these type of pursuits and some plans will provide coverage at higher cost.
Always purchase travel medical insurance from a U.S. based company. Some foreign based insurance companies provide frivolous benefits such as hijack distress allowance or lost golf rounds allowance, but really fall short when you need emergency medical treatment in a foreign country.
If you are taking frequent short trips abroad, you can purchase annual multi-trip travel insurance and you will be covered for any number of trips, provided each trip duration does not exceed 30 days or 45 days, depending upon the plan.
If you would like to insure your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs in addition to getting emergency medical coverage and other travel related benefits, you can consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance. The price primarily depends upon the trip cost and age. Whether you are traveling for 4 days or 30 days, the price is the same; for trips over 30 or 31 days, the premium is higher. Trip insurance plans are typically not suitable to those traveling abroad for 4 to 6 months. Also, please note that not all trip cancellation insurance plans provide medical coverage.
Don't let an something unexpected ruin your trip overseas when you have spent so much time planning your venture. Purchase travel insurance to protect yourself and make it a worry free trip.