Holiday Travel & Health Insurance
Travel insurance is available in several different variations to meet your needs. Travel insurance is often used interchangeably to mean insurance for your flight and such items as luggage and it also can mean medical insurance for illness or injury while traveling.
Often, your current health insurance will not cover you for a trip to another country. Make sure you are purchasing a medical travel insurance plan through the carrier you choose.
Medical travel insurance is intended for trips outside of the United States. If you travel to a foreign country and you are in an automobile accident or have a heart attack, you are often not covered on your regular insurance policy and the foreign hospital can refuse treatment.
You can check your policy or consult an agent to verify if you have coverage. If you are not covered, your insurance company may offer travel insurance or provide recommendations on companies that do.
Each travel insurance company has its own requirements for the minimum and maximum length of coverage. For example, All Aboard Benefits is a travel insurance company that offers insurance from five days to 12 months.
If you are taking a tour of Europe, typically a week or two of travel insurance will cover your needs. However, if you are planning a backpack trip over the summer, you will need the insurance for a longer period of time.
Discuss your plans with the carrier your choose so that you are covered during your entire trip.
Many people take holiday trips such as ski trips, mountain climbing or even scuba diving. When you participate in any risky activity, you should have medical insurance in case of an accident.
If you are injured in a remote area, you may need special evacuation to get to a medical facility. Be sure to tell your agent what type of activities you plan on doing so that you have adequate coverage.
Choosing a Plan
Coverage varies per company offering travel insurance. You should write down the important factors for you and ensure the company you choose meets your needs. For example, some companies have age restrictions which may be a concern if you are older or traveling with older people.
Policies have different deductibles that must be paid. A company may have exclusions for pre-existing conditions. You may want to select a policy that pays for transportation home in case of an injury or death.
While you are considering various policies and their features, also consider whether the policy covers for political issues such as terrorists attacks or even events such as being injured during a mugging or similar event.
Like most insurance premiums, the cost of travel medical insurance varies from company to company and by the level of coverage you want. According to USI Affinity, a travel insurance company, you can obtain insurance for approximately $3.25 per day (see Resources).
As an example of coverage, this fee has a maximum of $25,000 for an illness or injury, a $50 deductible, $50,000 emergency evacuation and even an escort of minors back to the United States if injury or death occurs to the only adult on the trip.