Many people truly believe that the purpose of travel insurance is to be able to cancel your vacation and receive a full refund of any monies paid.
This belief causes many people to decline travel insurance because they are confident they will be going on vacation and have no reason to cancel. Therefore, they think spending the extra money to purchase travel insurance is not beneficial.
Although being able to cancel and receive a refund is important, it is not the only benefit of travel insurance. Another very important benefit is Medical Emergency and Evacuation for when covered parties become ill or are injured while traveling.
When planning a vacation, we focus on how much fun we are going to have and don’t think about what could go wrong with our health. Quite often, having medical coverage while on vacation is not a priority for us, especially if we are healthy at the time and have no major underlying medical conditions.
However, things can happen while traveling, such as unexpected illnesses or injuries. To understand the value of travel insurance, here are some things you should consider if you travel WITHOUT insurance:
- Does your healthcare plan work outside of the United States? Many people believe because they have medical insurance, their coverage is valid while on vacation. However, many U.S. healthcare plans are not applicable outside of the United States. Before you decline travel insurance, dig into your U.S. healthcare or Medicare plan to know the facts on if you are covered outside of the U.S.
- Medical treatment is not free. When outside of the country, hospital admittance and medical treatment may require an upfront payment. Will you be able to pay? For example, I have a travel agent friend that took a trip to Jamaica. On her second day of vacation, she was in the ocean and hit her toe on a rock. She tried to be strong, but she was in a lot of pain, so she visited the hospital and found out that she broke her toe. She was required to pay $2,000 upfront for her visit. This unexpected expense could have been covered if she had had travel insurance. As another example, remember the couple that was unable to leave the hospital in Mexico because they could not pay their medical bill? Tyler Perry very generously stepped in and paid to get them back to the United States. So yeah, you’d get to meet Tyler Perry, which would be a great silver lining to the saga, but do you really want to take that risk and end up in the same situation?
What if I need medical evacuation? What happens if you are traveling and suddenly need medical treatment or a vital surgery? How comfortable are you with having surgery in another country? Perhaps you only feel confident having surgery in the U.S., or you are unable to fly commercially for whatever reason. What happens then? Medevac, which can cost around $80,000 to get you back to the U.S. (and most require payment upfront). Do you have $80,000 that you can access immediately? Do you have a line of credit that you can tap into? With most travel insurance plans, medical evacuation is an included benefit that you don’t want to be without.
Being sick or getting hurt on vacation is not fun. Having travel insurance that offers medical emergency and evacuation benefits provides you with peace of mind. To know that you have someone to assist you in getting the medical treatment you need, and then either getting you back to enjoying your vacation or getting you home safely, is invaluable. Insurance is there for you when things go wrong. It is better to have it and not use it than need it and not have it.