Travel insurance is vital if you decide to travel. Unfortunately, most travel insurance excludes coverage for people who have pre-existing medical conditions. You should understand what to look for in travel insurance policies as well as the coverage they provide.
Why Should You Be Covered?
People often think of adventurous trips and carefree outings when they think of traveling, but you never know what may happen when you travel abroad. Unforeseeable events such as getting sick and injured are all within the realm of possibility when you travel. Travel insurance will help you protect yourself and your finances when you are abroad.
You will often have to pay a higher price for insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the insurer believes you have a higher risk of falling sick abroad and potentially incurring medical costs.
Examples of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
A pre-existing medical condition is any condition that you have before applying to a travel insurance plan, or any plan for that matter. Some common examples include acid reflux disease, congestive heart failure, seizure disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, and heart dysrhythmias. You may contact the travel insurance company to see which disorders and conditions they consider to be pre-existing.
Keep in mind that some pre-existing medical conditions are easier to cover than others. For example, insurers consider a cardiac dysrhythmia far riskier than narcolepsy. You may have to seek insurance companies that offer special coverage for unique, rare, or risky conditions.
Look for the Right Companies
Not every insurance covers people who have pre-existing medical conditions. The reason is that if you have a pre-existing medical condition, you are more likely to fall ill when you travel. You should be up front with this information. If you fall ill and your insurer discovers you had a pre-existing condition, then you may be subject to a large bill.
You should also look for the right travel insurance well in advance if you have a pre-existing condition. Since fewer insurance companies offer coverage in these cases, you will have to be patient and give yourself enough time in this search.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Not every type of insurance coverage is the same. Coverage varies under different policies and companies, and you should be diligent in your search to find the right policy for you. Make sure that your policy covers some degree of unforeseen illnesses, as well as costs incurred due to cancellation, delays, and loss of personal belongings.
Medical coverage in insurance policies includes coverage for illnesses, accidents, and treatments you may undergo while abroad. Some plans may even include coverage for travel costs to return you home.
Some policies have generous personal liability coverage. If you happen to injure another person or cause damage to property while travelling abroad, insurance can cover those costs as well.
With cancellation coverage, if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness or another reason, insurance will cover some or the entirety of your trip cost.
If you happen to lose your baggage or belongings while traveling, you may be able to have your travel insurance cover a part of the cost of their estimated value.
Airline delays are bothersome and can make you lose days of travel time. Certain policies provide coverage in case a delay occurs. Though the compensation is typically minimal, it is usually enough to cover a portion of another flight or a hotel stay. The delay must be a result of the airline’s fault for you to receive coverage.
Travel insurance does not cover any sports-related or alcohol-related injuries, or travel to unsafe countries. With all of these, the assumption is that you are well aware of the risks involved; therefore, the responsibility falls on you if you suffer any injury while participating in such activities.
Your travel insurance policy will also define how many excesses you may owe. An excess is the amount you must pay if you make a claim on your policy. Travel insurance typically has different amounts of excesses outlined for different portions of the policy. For example, you may pay a higher excess for lost cash compared to a flight delay.
Sometimes it is difficult to find quality travel insurance policies, especially if you have any prior medical conditions. You have to visit each individual company’s website and obtain quotes directly from them. Companies like Medical Travel Compared can help reduce the hassle of looking for policies in different areas, as you can search for various policies all on one site. Websites like this will also often offer competitive pricing.
Travel Accident Insurance
Note that travel accident insurance is not the same as travel insurance. You should only purchase this kind of insurance in special circumstances and it is usually not appropriate for the typical traveller. Travel accident insurance covers costs incurred with accidental deaths and emergency evacuations. Certain professionals such as government employees, business travellers, aid workers, and journalists typically buy travel accident insurance.
Compare Different Policies Based on Time
Travel insurance offers two major coverage options: annual and single. If you travel frequently, an annual travel insurance policy may be the most cost-effective option for you. Though annual policies are more expensive than single ones, the cost may be less expensive than if you were to purchase separate travel insurance coverage every time you travelled. If your travelling habits are infrequent, then you may be better off purchasing a single-trip coverage. Again, this widely depends on the company you are seeking to buy insurance from. Consider both annual and single-trip policy options.
Travelling in the U.K. and Europe
Travel insurance does not usually cover large amounts of medically-incurred costs while travelling in the U.K. It depends on the policy, but you are likely to find better medical cost coverage in policies for travelling abroad.
If you will be travelling to Europe, make sure that you are carrying a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is not a form of travel insurance, but it may help you reduce costs if you fall sick while travelling in Europe. This card will allow you to visit participating healthcare facilities and pay local prices for treatments.