The last thing anyone wants to think of when they are travelling to another country is the possibility that they will be injured or fall ill. Many people vow to travel even if they break their leg or contract the flu. The reality is, if you get injured or sick while on vacation, you may be stuck paying enormous medical expenses for many years to come. Travellers often do not realize that in a foreign country, suitable medical treatment can be scarce and expensive.
Even if you have a health insurance plan in place, you still may want to look into a travel insurance policy. There is a real possibility that your regular health plan will not extend coverages outside of the country. If you do get injured or contract an illness in a foreign country, how do you know which facility employs adequately skilled physicians or offers quality heath care? This can be a very frightening thought when visiting a remote area in a less developed country.
While some people may be content with paying for a physician visit or prescription out of pocket, there are also many other situations that are simply not considered. It is these expenses that we must be concerned about covering.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment – If you are in a serious accident that results in the loss of an arm, leg, or eye, this coverage will pay a pre-determined amount to the insured. This is also the case if death results from the accident. In effect, it is a life insurance policy added in to the travel insurance.
Medical Evacuation – As stated earlier, medical facilities and expertise may not be up to American standards in other countries. Insurance companies often prefer to bring the insured home for treatment rather than keep them abroad, if possible. This way, they can be more closely monitored and the expenses will be kept down.
Repatriation – If an insured person happens to pass away while out of the country, the remains will have to be brought back. This expense can be extremely high. No one wants to worry about dishing out this cost on top of the grief suffered by the loss of a loved one. Travel insurance will pay for the remains, even if they have been cremated, to be returned home.
Bedside Visit – If an insured is injured or falls ill while abroad, there is a chance that they may be hospitalized for an extended period of time. If the insurance company opts not to bring them home for treatment, they may pay for a companion to be flown to their side instead.