Although some may consider travel insurance a waste of money, those who have gotten sick overseas see it as a lifeline. There are different types of travel insurance and also different levels of coverage, so knowing which policy to purchase or where to purchase travel insurance can get tricky.
Airline Insurance Policies
Many airlines offer travel insurance when you are purchasing tickets. This often covers missed flights due to illness or even hotel stays if your flight is delayed or canceled. There are also some plans that cover ticket extensions or re-routing. This can come in handy, especially if you have small children. Small children can get sick without a moment’s notice and you’ll find yourself extending your trip for a few days or even just delaying your flight for a few hours until they feel better. The cost of airline insurance policies is typically nominal and the option of buying insurance is given before your flight is finalized.
Health Insurance Policies
Health insurance is a tricky subject, but if you don’t have health insurance and you end up in the hospital you can be left with a huge bill. If you live in a country like Canada that offers its residents healthcare programs that cover travel, it is still essential to get travel insurance that covers health care costs because most provincial travel insurance only covers about $100 a day if you have to stay in a hospital. If you’re traveling to the US from Canada, this won’t even cover half of your bill.
Cost of Health Coverage
The cost of insurance coverage varies by policy, pre-existing health conditions, and the age of the applicant. Policies can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Ensure that you get the amount that will ensure every procedure you need will be covered in case of an accident.
When choosing a policy, keep in mind that there will be additional unforeseen costs. For instance, if you get into a car accident and need to be airlifted to a hospital in the US, the cost can range from $12,000 to $39,000. This means that if you purchased coverage for $100,000 1/4 of your coverage could be spent on just getting you to the hospital. If you have existing insurance that covers travel, the insurance broker may give you a discounted rate. Be sure to check your current coverage before heading out to purchase a new policy.
If you have any existing conditions like diabetes or cancer, the cost for your treatment won’t be covered. That being said, ensure that you have enough medication to last for the length of your visit before you leave. Dialysis, for example, is a separate cost and can be arranged at a facility of your choice in the country you’re visiting for an out-of-pocket rate. Check with your agent or look through the policy information to see what conditions are defined as pre-existing.
Age is definitely a factor when it comes to travel insurance. The older you are the more you will pay. If you’re over the age of 65 and plan on traveling, you may be paying hundreds of dollars for an insurance policy. This is because the likelihood of illness increases with age.
When it comes to traveling, it is absolutely essential to obtain travel insurance before leaving your home town. You never know what could happen and nothing is more important than your health. There are many horror stories about people losing their homes due to a lack of health insurance coverage while visiting other countries and people paying hundreds of dollars to change flights due to illness. Keep yourself and your family safe during your vacation and purchase insurance for both your health and travel itinerary that will cover all of your expenses.