Five Questions to Ask When Purchasing Travel Insurance

You're finished planning your next trip. Plane tickets? Check. Accommodations? Check. Itinerary? Check. Packing list? Check. What about travel insurance?

Travel medical coverage is critical to ensuring you get the medical care you need when traveling abroad. While medical travel insurance is a necessity for almost all responsible travelers, it is important to consider your personal circumstances when choosing your coverage.

Here are five questions to ask when choosing your travel medical or medical evacuation insurance:

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1. Does your current health plan cover international medical treatment?

What happens when you sprain your ankle hiking in the Alps, or you get in a scooter accident in Thailand, or you receive a strange bug bite in a Central American rain forest? In some countries, if you don't have proof of insurance or the ability to pay for care up front, clinics and hospitals will refuse you treatment.
You may assume that your current health plan covers you wherever you go, but this is often incorrect. Even if your provider does cover you overseas, you may want to consider a supplemental plan that covers the expenses your current plan does not. Medicare does not cover you abroad.

2. Does your current health plan cover medical evacuation?

What if you are traveling in a remote area where medical care isn't available? You'll need coverage for the evacuation flight to a hospital, which could be miles or even countries away. Even if your health insurance plan covers international travel, it often does not cover medical evacuation. Medical evacuation can exceed $50,000. Make sure the plan you purchase covers transport to facilities that offer care that is comparable to what you would receive at home.

3. Do you have a pre-existing medical condition?

If you have a pre-existing condition, make sure that either your existing health insurance or your travel insurance will cover you overseas. While the Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover pre-existing conditions in the United States, this does not apply to travel plans, which often provide limited or no coverage for pre-existing conditions.

4. Has the United States issued a travel warning for your destination?

The U.S. occasionally issues warnings for countries that the government considers too dangerous for travel for reasons such as civil war, terrorist attacks, or government instability. Often, travel insurance will not cover travel to these countries or will provided limited coverage. Note that travel warnings are more serious than travel alerts, and mean the U.S. strongly advises against travel to that country.

5. Are you participating in adventure sports that an insurer may deem dangerous?

If you plan to participate in adventure sports like sky diving or bungee jumping, or even more common activities like scuba diving and skiing, you'll want to check whether your plan covers these sports.
Learn about the travel medical plans HCC Medical Insurance has to offer world travelers just like you.

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Tokio Marine HCC - Medical Insurance Services Group (MIS Group) is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. We are regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by Tokio Marine HCC – International Group.