If you are about to travel abroad, whether for business or on pleasure and for merely a few days or several weeks, you should not set off before you have purchased suitable international travel health insurance coverage.
Health care can be very expensive overseas and in many countries you will find that you will not be able to get medical treatment, even in an emergency, unless you are in a position to pay up front. If this seems strange then trust me � it is a fact.
On a recent trip I went with a friend to the local hospital in a well known Far Eastern holiday city following a luckily minor traffic accident in which he suffered a nasty gash to his thigh requiring stitches and, as well as the nurses and doctors in the emergency room, we were also met by one of the hospital administrators who requested details of my friend’s travel health insurance or a credit card/cash payment before any treatment could be started.
International travel health insurance is designed to provide medical coverage for individuals traveling overseas and is a very flexible type of medical insurance. It frequently allows for daily rates (rates which are based on the number of days for which you will be traveling) and can normally be purchased without any requirement to answer health questions and regardless of your age. Cover is also usually available on a worldwide basis or can be arranged to provide cover for travel to specified countries.
One especially important thing to think about when buying international travel health insurance however is just where you intend traveling to and what sort of medical care will be available on arrival. Against this background, you should make sure that any plan covers you for every event including such things as hospitalization, ambulance fees and, critically, coverage for transportation back home should this prove necessary.
Remember too that, if you are traveling as a family, then any plan should cover all members of the family and provide for such things as bills should it be necessary for you to stay in hospital with a sick child or to accompany a child home by air ambulance.
One of the very last things that we ever imagine occurring when we travel overseas, especially on holiday, is being involved in an accident or being taken ill while we are away with anything more than a simple upset stomach. However, accidents do happen daily and serious and sudden illness can strike without any warning. Indeed, the chances of such events are considerably increased when we are out of our normal environment, so why should we take the risk.
When it comes to buying international travel health insurance the principles are the same as those that apply to buying any other type of insurance. Do not rush and shop around looking at plans from several companies before making your choice. Consider only well know insurers, which have an international reputation, and read carefully through the small print of any plan document before committing yourself.
Finally, bear in mind that sorting out medical problems when you are ill and hundreds or thousands of miles from home is something that needs to be quick and easy. So, do not be tempted to cut corners when arranging your coverage! You might pay a little more than you might perhaps like to but, if you need to call on your plan, you will be very happy you spent those few extra dollars.