Do I Really Need Travel Insurance?
You have to be honest, but how many people reading this article have taken a vacation and decided, to their detriment, that they did not require travel insurance? More than just for unforeseen medical emergencies, travel insurance coverage can be used for protection against an unexpected return trip, evacuation, personal belongings, lost or stolen baggage and even travel journey delays. Be aware though that checking the policy beforehand is important as many of the contingencies you need covered may be extras - not just the amount of protection but also what happens if your trip is cancelled or there is a problem with your luggage for example.
It may be time consuming to lookup, compare and choose the best travel and medical insurance types and prices to suit your needs and budget but it is well worth it for your peace of mind. While you are doing research, remember that travel agents are there to sell you a holiday or travel deal and may not know much about travel and medical coverage so they may not have the answers you need to make an informed decision. Some good advice is to visit the websites where you can find lists and info about various offers, then compare them, and choose the best ones to suit your needs.
A good travel policy will cover most situations not just a few that may be part of a personal health plan so it is not a good idea to rely on one of these even if you have one. The items covered in your policy should not just be about medical emrgencies but also other inconvenient situations such as lost or stolen baggage plus cancelled or delayed flights all of which need to be reimbursed. It is often the case where a travel policy does not cover events such as baggage delays and only helps if they are lost or stolen, in the same way that emergency medical assistance should be available twenty four hours and not just at special times. However, some of the salient features of the travel medical protection coverage are that each and every such policy should have a hospital insurance benefit of at least one hundred dollars per night for those journeying outside the US and Canada.
When a claim has to be lodged owing to an incident it is important to notify the company who has supplied your travel protection as soon as you are able. When you return from your vacation, you will need to collect all your receipts, proof of ownership (where necessary) and any other relevant information collected from the Police or medical clinics and forward them all to the insurance company claims department to assist in an early settlement. By working with your insurance broker, there is a good chance you can eliminate most of not all the possible risks and a better opportunity in walking out of that foreign hospital with the peace-of-mind that you are not going back home without all your valuable functioning organs. Don't leave buying your travel insurance until the last minute because this could end up causing problems later on if you haven't made sure that it is suitable for your trip and just when you need to use it you may find it does not provide protection for your situation.
Photo credit: Sherlock77 (James) / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND