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International Travel Medical Insurance - Why You Need It

Aug 17, 2007
International travel for the retired is here and booming! As a consequence so is the need for International Travel Medical Insurance. But whether you are 6 or 60
the need for international travel medical insurance is true for everyone, regardless of age or length of time abroad. Suppose you fall ill just a few hours after arriving at your destination. Or you make a trip to another country and you are injured in an accident? Or one of your children is part of a group making a visit abroad, gets food poisoning and requires hospitalization. In all cases, without adequate travel health insurance, you will be responsible for the costs above and beyond the limitations of your existing medical plan.

International travel insurance is normally used by short-term travellers, mostly on holidays and pleasure cruises. Apart from covering medical expenses for a short travel time, it also covers emergency medical evacuations and trip cancellation refunds.

Travel medical insurance is meant for international travellers who have to go abroad quite often. There are a number of travel medical insurance companies that give support to thousands of travelling people on travel medical programs. These programs are meant to provide medical protection and assistance services in cases where people develop medical problems outside the country.

To avoid any potential medical disasters, wise travellers are prepared by carrying health insurance coverage. Check to see whether your regular health insurance takes care of medical costs in other countries. If it does, what is the extent of your coverage?

On a sombre note, have you thought about repatriation of mortal remains? In case of death the travel health insurance company will bear the cost of returning the mortal remains of the insured.

Before you leave check your policy document or contact the insurer to confirm what precise steps your insurance company requires you to take in a medical emergency. If you have to buy any treatments or medicines, again keep receipts and original prescriptions if possible.

Always read the fine print. Accidental coverage is not provided in case of drunken driving, driving under the influence of narcotic substances etc. Exclusions are also provided for accidents during risky sports, that means in case of accidents in these situations the insurance company is not liable to pay any amount to the insured.

Many travel insurance companies also feature discounts for owning multiple policies with them or for maintaining a good driving record. A group package is intended to cover school travels, such as sporting events, group travel, or any travel that carries ten or more individuals. Since the family packages are restricted, covering only the immediate members, the extended polices may be needed to cover additional parties. Thus, few insurance companies may offer up to 10% discounts, while others may offer more or less.

You can determine which insurance is best for you and your situation by learning about the different kinds of coverage offered by the insurance companies your familiar with. By simply phoning to get more information you'll learn and discover the options available for your particular type of trip and destination.

Be completely open and honest about your medical history and any activities you are likely to take part in, whether you think they're risky or not. As with any insurance policy; if in doubt declare it anyway. One of the most common defences made by insurers when declining a claim is that information was not disclosed or not correctly disclosed. Declare everything and document it.

So, if you are planning to travel, whether it is for business or for pleasure, you should definitely think about getting a single trip insurance policy. The comfort, peace of mind and assurance you will enjoy while travelling far outweigh the premiums you will pay. In case something goes wrong, you know that you will receive the best compensation and benefits.

Finally, check your existing insurance policies for possible coverage. There is no sense in paying more for what you already have in your homeowner or tenant policy, such as theft and loss coverage.
About the Author
Allen Jesson writes for several sites, making sense of international travel medical insurance in particular. Allen also writes regularly for various sites that focus on finance.
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