When organizing a trip there are many things to think about: buy plane tickets, get transfers to the hotel, rent a good apartment or get a hotel with good views. However, we must not forget our safety on the trip and the possibility of any inconvenience that spoils the holidays. Therefore, many people anticipate possible claims and decide to take out travel insurance. This type of policy is responsible for protecting the insured at their destination against some unforeseen events such as the cancellation of the trip, the loss of luggage, repatriation, or medical expenses abroad, an essential coverage included in most travel insurance. This type of benefit is responsible for covering the medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, hospitalization or even dental expenses made by the policyholder in the country of destination to which he travels, in the event of an accident or illness that he may suffer. For example, if the insured tourist travels to a foreign country, is the victim of an attack and needs urgent medical assistance, the policy would be responsible for financially covering all the expenses derived from diagnostic tests or hospitalization.
Something that is really important, as the European Health Insurance Card only provides coverage in the 28 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In addition, this service is provided under the same conditions and at the same cost as persons insured in that country. Therefore, the European Commission stresses that the card does not guarantee the free service, since the health care systems of each country are different and although the services are free in some states, they may not be free in others. In addition, they warn that this service “is not an alternative to travel insurance”, since it does not cover private health care or costs such as the return flight in the face of an accident or serious accident.
Medical assistance, the most used coverage
According to a study carried out by ERV Europea Seguros de Viaje, medical assistance is the most frequent reason why travelers make use of their travel insurance,since it was used in 44% of the claims of 2014. These incidents were due to medical problems and accidents suffered during the holidays that required medical consultation, hospitalization or intervention.
Among the most common medical problems that were recorded, are problems of the upper respiratory system and otitis, since 28% of travelers needed assistance for these reasons. On the other hand, 27% of the insured needed medical assistance for suffering fractures and trauma as a result of accidents and 14% for stomach problems such as gastroenteritis. In addition, infections and cases of acute abdominal pain and appendicitis are also common diseases, as 11% of travelers suffered them, while infections, dermatitis and conjunctivitis were suffered by 10% of tourists with travel policies.
What should be taken into account?
The level of protection of a policy depends on the insurers. Depending on the company, it will have some coverages or others and these will have different economic limits. The coverage of medical expenses usually has a set economic limit that ranges between 600 and 200,000 euros. Therefore, it is important that you look at the maximums that are established for the coverage of medical expenses depending on the destination to which you are going to travel. An accident in the US, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, where the costs of treatments are usually high, will not have the same cost as suffering it in a European country where health can be more economical. Therefore, it is important to be informed about the cost of health care in the country of destination in order to choose one insurance or another.
On the other hand, you should keep in mind that most travel insurance that includes coverage of medical expenses, are reimbursed and payment is not immediate. That is, if you suffer a mishap and go to the doctor, you may have to pay ‘on the spot’. In order to claim the expense from the insurer when you return to your home country you must present the invoices that justify the payment.
Important requirements for coverage
When contracting travel insurance with coverage of medical expenses you must pay attention to the fact that the country to which you are going to travel is included in the condition of the policy. Some countries may not be in the insurance for a variety of reasons, such as being in the midst of armed conflict. On the other hand, insurance may have some exclusions such as not covering medical expenses arising from incidents of a pre-existing condition. Nor will all coverages be borne by the expenses arising from incidents caused by the ingestion of alcohol or drugs.
Find your Travel Insurance
If you are looking for travel insurance with good coverage of medical expenses abroad it is important that you compare before the offers of several insurance companies. In this way, you can get the best coverage, with the most extensive economic limits, at the best price.