Travels abroad offer the chance to tour the globe’s most exquisite attractions, become acquainted with different ways of life, and generally broaden one’s own perspective. International travels are always a fresh adventure, but unexpected emergencies or events occurring abroad can be far more disruptive and difficult than the same events might be if they occurred back home. International travel insurance is a wonderful way to attain the type of security and reassurance that comes from knowing that an unforeseen medical situation will not result in financial disaster, and that access to appropriate and necessary medical care will not be restricted.
Tourists embarking on risky or unconventional physical endeavors, such as rock climbing, white water rafting or deep sea diving may find that the medical insurance policy which covers such activities at home will not provide coverage if such sports result in injuries while abroad. Travelers spending time in countries with nationalized health care schemes need to know that the inexpensive or even free medical care offered by those systems will likely be available to citizens only, and foreign visitors may be denied treatment or be asked to pay upfront for services. Hospitals and health care providers in other nations may decline to work with a traveler’s regular home insurance company, and demand payment in advance for necessary treatments. It is also possible that a tourist may face a medical situation so serious that proper treatment is unavailable and they must be transported home, which can be a very expensive proposition. It is quite possible that even when a traveler’s regular medical policy provides for routine health care costs while the insured is traveling, payment for an elaborate evacuation due to medical reasons would be refused. It is unexpected situations like those above which underscore the wisdom of purchasing international travel insurance.
Intended to provide compensation for unexpected healthcare and other expenses to travelers while abroad, international travel insurance can be purchased in various types and levels of coverage, the price of which is determined by a number of factors including the duration, destination and other specifics of the trip involved. Coverage for shorter durations is often available for purchase in conjunction with the making of travel reservations. In the alternative, more extensive coverage of a longer term may also be secured. These types of policies are frequently offered by cruise operators, excursion companies, travel agents and large national general insurance firms.
Policies for international travel insurance can be customized based on the characteristics of the traveler to be covered by the policy. Business travelers, vacation trippers, adventure tourists and students are all specific types of customers for which different kinds of policies are written. Circumstances that may be covered by these types of policies include payment of basic medical expenses incurred, accidental injury or death benefits, and possibly even funeral costs for services performed while still abroad. Medical costs incurred during pregnancy may be included in this type of policy, if the travel happens during the insured’s first trimester, and perhaps beyond, if a customized or expanded policy is purchased.