Many people don’t know if or how their current medical insurance policy will cover them when they are out of the country. One family found out the hard way. If you’ve been watching the news in recent weeks, maybe you’ve seen the story of the young man who was cruising with his family. He wasn’t feeling well and went to see the ship’s doctor where they found out that he had appendicitis.
With his mom with him, they checked him into a private hospital in Cancun, that asked for the admission cost of $6,000 and possible surgery cost of $25,000, which is standard procedure in many locations throughout the world. Because they did not have the funds to pre-pay for the $25,000 operation that the young man might need, they were sent to another hospital where they paid the $6,000 deposit that the new hospital required. And the young man was able to get the care he needed.
Happy ending, except they now have an unexpected $30,000+ bill, including the ship's doctor charges, and the hospital bill.
Why I always recommend travel insurance.
And some generally less expensive reasons, but still nice to have covered. Flight delays, flight cancellations, and lost luggage.
In the case of the young man above, what would have been the situation if he had travel protection insurance?
Depending on the details of his particular policy, it could’ve looked like this below scenario.
He feels ill and goes to ship Dr. They tell him he has appendicitis. Cruise ships charge for doctor visits. So, there’s a fee for that. Travel insurance comes through either through direct payment or reimbursement.
He calls his Travel Advisor, who reassures him and directs him to call the Travel Insurance 24-hour 800 number and give them the ship doctor’s report. The insurance company sends him to the hospital that they work with. He is admitted and the travel insurance company arranges and confirms with hospital that payment will be made through them up to the coverage limits of the policy. (If he had a hospital of choice rider, it might look a bit different.)
The family doesn’t have to go to multiple hospitals trying to find one where they will admit him and one that preferably speaks English. The travel insurance company takes care of that.
The family doesn’t have to worry about paying the $30,000, contacting their favorite uncle or long-lost relatives for money, or even making a GoFundMe page for that. It’s taken care of according to the coverages of the policy.
I’ve had clients have to cancel trips because their doctor said they couldn’t travel. Without travel insurance, they would’ve been responsible for thousands of dollars of non-refundable costs. And clients who lost luggage and the insurance company came through with reimbursement. Or had flights cancelled and had to spend an extra night, incurring additional out of pocket costs. I've been on trips where a traveler twisted her ankle and had to see a doctor. Travel insurance was there to help.
Every travel insurance policy is different, so it’s very important to read the fine print, inclusions and disclaimers. Some credit cards offer trip insurance. Does yours? But again, compare and read the fine print, even make some phone calls to find out what it actually covers. Check the pre-existing conditions clause on your credit card policy against the one you might be purchasing elsewhere. Be informed in the beginning stages of your vacation planning process because this is where early purchase benefits come in.
Just like I reduce the stress of your vacation planning, having travel insurance reduces the stress and burden of travel mishaps and unexpected expenses.
Have you purchased travel insurance? What was the main reason you did? I’m curious to know what your experience was. Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. If you need help planning your next trip, start here and we’ll work together to create a trip that will bring you beautiful memories and refreshed relationships.