Travel Health Insurance

Travel health insurance is one of those must-have items that we can easily forget about. While we rush around getting flight tickets and making hotel bookings for our upcoming trip, very few of us give a second thought to this necessary paperwork.

For a volunteer, medical coverage is a crucial aspect of the trip abroad, more so because you are usually traveling to foreign locales that need work on their infrastructure and roads and such. Yet it remains one of the least considered items on our long list of ‘must-dos’ before making a trip.

It’s easy to overlook our health and safety when our thoughts are caught up in the volunteer work and adventure trip ahead of us; however not having coverage can leave you in a very risky situation.

If you’ve never bought a plan because it never occurred to you or because this is the first time you are traveling abroad, you will need to understand how to buy it and what to look for when you buy it as part of your travel expenses.

Differences in Travel Plans

There are several different forms of travel plans to suit different needs. Generally these plans differ in the level of coverage, the number of people covered, the amount of money you’d like to be insured for, the period of time you’d like to be covered for and various health risk factors such as age and home medical policies.

You can purchase plans that cover the basic needs all the way up to plans which cover international ambulance and evacuation costs as well as medical and health needs while you are traveling. There are also varying degrees of protection when it comes to your finances and purchases made abroad.

Steps to Choosing Your Plan

1. Consider Your Health and Safety Risks Beforehand: In addition to evaluating your current health and past health issues, you should also assess the issues that may come up while you are away. This would depend on your travel destination, risk level of your vacation plans. Are you skiing, mountain climbing or sticking to regular sightseeing? Will you be at risk in the area you intend to visit due to the environment or political unrest? Take all of these kinds of factors into consideration when comparing various packages.

2. Evaluate Your Current Insurance: Some plans have coverage for things like travel delays and emergency room care, so make sure you are not paying double for the same coverage! Purchase only what you need and what will be useful to you.

3. Establish a Budget: Knowing how much you can spend will help you to determine if you can afford that extra extravagant option instead of a more modest package.

4. Carefully Consider Several Plans Before You Buy: There are many insurers out there, each of them offering different options for the type of coverage you get, competitive pricing and even better, free quotes. Utilize these options and choose your coverage carefully. During this process, you will also want to make yourself familiar with what the company provides and any fine print associated with it.

5. Evaluate the Quality of Service: Look for customer comments and reviews to determine the quality of the company and plan, and verify that the numbers and other information they offer are accurate and readily available.