Many international travelers don't realize how much travel insurance can vary in terms of coverage, billing and customer service. When you're traveling abroad and there's an emergency, the last thing you want is to experience frustrations about unexpected out-of-pocket costs or uncertainty about whether you'll need approval to seek medical treatment.
It's far better to know the answers to these important questions before you ever leave home so that you'll be prepared to make decisions without delay should a travel emergency arise. Here are five of the most important questions to ask about a prospective travel insurance policy.
Will a Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Coverage?
The answer to this question can vary considerably so make absolutely sure to ask it. You might learn that you're not covered at all. Or you might learn that you'll be covered up to a certain amount for an eligible medical expense involving an acute onset of a pre-existing condition.
Do I Need Approval From the Insurance Company Before Seeking Medical Treatment?
Some policies will require you to get approval before getting treatment so it's best to know this before you race to the nearest medical facility just to later learn that your treatment wasn't covered because you didn't contact the insurance company beforehand.
Is There a 24/7 Customer Service Line That I Can Call to Ask Questions and Get Support?
If the answer is no, that should be a red flag. You don't want to suffer a late-night injury in Hungary and have to make medical treatment decisions when support representatives aren't available and you can't get your policy questions answered.
Can I Extend My Coverage If I Extend My Trip?
Let's say you enjoy backpacking across Europe so much that you decide to extend your trip. Will you need to get a separate policy to cover your additional days, or can you add some days to your existing policy?
Does the Policy Exclude Any Adventure Sports or Other Activities That I'm Planning?
You might be salivating at the adventure activities available at that all-inclusive resort in Panama, but will you be covered in the event of any injury? Many travelers don't realize that adventure activities like scuba diving could be excluded from travel medical policies.
If you're planning to backpack from Spain to Germany or take that trip to Central America, you should consider Atlas Travel Insurance. Click here to download a brochure that covers the following:
- Benefits of travel medical insurance
- Description of coverage for pre-existing conditions
- Description of coverage for sports and activities