The word ”lose” is scary to most people. You don’t want your sports team, your political favorite, your stock market, or even your lottery ticket to lose. But usually at one time or another they do. (Or all the time with the lottery, lol) Speaking of lottery, not purchasing the right travel protection when booking a trip is like playing the lottery that nothing will go wrong either before or during your vacation. For instance, a couple from Georgia just had a harrowing experience in Mexico, where an emergency happened, and a Mexican hospital gave lifesaving services but asked for a large amount of money to be paid before the patient could leave. It seems harsh, but the hospital has no way of collecting or recourse when the patients return to their home in another country, and most U.S. health insurance plans have no coverage or obligation to pay for services done outside of the U.S.
The U. S. State Department advises American travelers to carry travel protection for medical emergencies as stated before, but plans also cover many other possible circumstances that could happen, as in medical transportation and evacuation, lost luggage, delayed and cancelled flights. It also can cover necessary trip cancellation for covered reasons such as serious sickness or injury of a family member or traveling companion, loss of job, and many other situations that are plan specific. Covered reasons are generally a 100 percent reimbursement of all non-refundable expenses. Many plans have “cancel for any reason” coverage if an unknown event happens that is not covered 100 percent. “Any reason” does mean anything that makes you decide you don’t want to go on the vacation. Generally, the coverage for this is 75 percent of non-refundable expenses.
Most travel insurance plans are designed to reimburse after you get home for covered expenses incurred while on a trip. All you need to do is provide receipts or official reports. However, as in the case of the Georgia couple, expensive medical procedures may also have to be reimbursed after you get back home and send in the hospital bills unless the proper travel insurance was purchased prior to travel.
A few select travel insurance providers have medical coverage designated as “primary” coverage and all it takes is a phone call to have them provide the payment that is requested so you can leave the hospital and continue your vacation or go home to continue your care.
In summary, not having travel protection is akin to gambling. Do you want to gamble that everything will go without any mishaps or emergencies? Can you afford to lose your vacation investment if they happen? Contact me, AJ! Clonts, to find out what coverage is best for you on your next vacation.