Why Health Insurance is Important When You Travel Abroad

26 May 2015
| Last update: 29 Aug 2017

 The ‘Nothing Bad Happens To Me’ Syndrome When You Travel Abroad

In today’s times, many world travelers are young digital nomads. They’re full of youth and adventure. Sometimes, with this sense of liberation, they carry the inability to consider their mortality and don’t slow down long enough to take precautions in the event of an accident, illness, or injury.

Regardless of age, it is imperative to have health insurance when you travel abroad. An accident or unexpected illness could have financially crushing effects for any age. Lack of coverage could also literally be life endangering in a foreign country.

travel abroad

[Image Credit: Antonio Ponte ]

The absolute minimum for traveling abroad should be the equivalent of two million U.S. dollars. You also need to make sure that your coverage includes 24-hour emergency services and that it’ll cover flying you back home if needed. This is the minimum. If you can afford more, or have a hunch you need more, then purchase more.

Your level of coverage is also dependent upon your anticipated activities. Along with winter sports, there are many other extreme sports that require higher coverage amounts and premiums. Be very specific when you’re purchasing health coverage for traveling abroad. Make sure you will be covered for the types of activities you anticipate participating in. Some companies have coverage that will cover you for one day if you’re only participating in an extreme sport for that particular day. This could save you a considerable amount of money and still keep you covered, so don’t be afraid to ask questions when pricing.

Many people travel to do manual labor in the form of paid work or missionary work. There are some companies that will not cover manual labor at all. It’s imperative that you be clear and concise in explaining exactly what you will be doing when you travel abroad.

Another thing to remember is that many companies will not cover damages or injuries that are related to drugs and/or alcohol. Illegal and excessive use of substances is always dangerous, but in a foreign country, it makes it even more dangerous because you’re not familiar with customs, local dangers, or penalties. In addition, when your frame of mind is altered, it makes you far more vulnerable. If you enjoy alcohol, be very careful how much you consume when you travel abroad.

Coverage must be finalized and purchased before your trip. In most cases, once you begin traveling, you will not be able to obtain health coverage. There are very few companies that will cover you in the middle of your trip, and in general, they are more costly and difficult to find.

As with regular health coverage, it is required that you disclose any and all pre-existing ailments, injuries, and conditions to the health insurance company. This becomes especially important in the event that you do file a claim. If the insurance company finds any records pointing to an unreported pre-existing condition, they have the right to turn down your claim.

Not only should you take proof of your insurance with you but you should also make sure you leave a copy of it with a friend or relative at home just in case, for some reason, yours is lost or stolen.

Most importantly, read the fine print. It is likely that you will find the correct process for filing a claim as well as any stipulations they have for coverage there. For example, some carriers require you to obtain permission before treatment. The fine print can make the difference between your insurance paying a claim or rejecting it.

Having adequate health insurance when you travel abroad will protect you and your family from financial ruin in the event of an accident or injury. Are you ready for your trip? Call us today, and we will help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.

Lynn Silva

Lynn Silva

Content Writer at Squirrly
Lynn is an expert at infusing mental skills into online business to improve sales, productivity and personal branding.
Lynn Silva