• Travel Insurance Blog

  • Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The hottest international destination this year? You may even have trouble placing it on a map, but New Zealand is where the action is this year. If a visit to New Zealand in on the cards this year, remember that the healthcare system in New Zealand is a bit different than the U.S. healthcare system. As always, remember to add travel insurance to your to-do list.

Visitors to New Zealand will have to organize their own funds for medical treatment of illnesses, and are strongly advised to come armed with adequate international travel insurance. If you have prescription medication with you, be sure to also bring the doctor’s prescription, to avoid customs hassles.

While traveling within New Zealand is not too dangerous—there are no snakes or poisonous animals in the wild—certain parasites are known to cause diarrhea. Also, sunburn is a common complaint of those visitors seeking treatment in the country.

However, the country has an accident compensation scheme that covers injuries sustained due to an accident, even for visitors. Medical expenses are covered, but no compensation is offered for trip cancellation or disability to work due to the accident. You might want to consider plans that offer this coverage.

Travel tip: When traveling in New Zealand, always remember to have a bottle of sun block handy. The sun affects your skin more in New Zealand and in Australia than in the northern hemisphere.

In a recent tragedy, six workers of a humanitarian organization were gunned down by militants in Pakistan. In an alarming trend, more and more humanitarian and aid workers are being attacked in what is considered increasing intolerance to other ways of thought. Missionary travel insurance aims to restore some of the eroding confidence in the efficacy of what have become dangerous missions.

While the victims of this particular crime were all Pakistani, the organization they worked for is international, and an international worker might have faced the same fate. With missionary insurance, the remains of the victims are shipped back home, so that the final resting place can be in the home country.

However, before purchasing missionary insurance, check whether the plan covers acts of terrorism and your destination—some war or war-like zones are not covered. Also remember that acts of violence take some time to be declared as terrorist. Missionary insurance plans usually carry AD&D benefits, which means that the plan holder’s loss is somewhat compensated, albeit only financially.

Missionary insurance is not just meant for religious missions, and can be used for humanitarian and aid programs in any part of the world. Usual benefits include medical and mental healthcare, AD&D, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains. Some plans also cover scheduled physician visits and maternity.

Recently, the Cuban government has made it mandatory for visitors to the country to carry travel medical insurance. According to estimates, nearly 2.4 million people visited Cuba last year. Even if there is no stipulation to purchase travel insurance, it is the prudent thing to do.

Several countries already have insurance requirements in place before issuing a visa. For a Schengen visa, for instance, applicants are required to provide proof of medical insurance of at least €30,000.

Many countries have no such requirements. Travelers only require a visa, and the onus of medical care falls squarely on their shoulders. It may be tempting for many international travelers to forego insurance, especially when young and healthy, and when the costs of medical care are low at the destination.

However, it is best to remember that even if a common cold may not dent a hole in your pocket, an accident or injury is expensive to treat, no matter what currency you consider. Also, at a higher level, when travelers ignore insurance, countries like Cuba may start to feel the pinch, and be forced to mandate travel insurance for visitors. Travelers may then end up paying more for insurance than they otherwise would have.

Travel tip: Insurance is typically around 8% of the trip cost. Factor this in when budgeting for your trip.

Sometimes, your international travel plan may be on a real shoestring budget, and you really wonder whether you even need travel insurance. Agents might have suggested insurance plans whose premiums are just too high, and you think that taking the risk of traveling without insurance will be worth it.

In just such a situation, the Liaison Continent travel medical insurance plan provides basic coverage at a low price. The plan offers four different plan options, with different co-insurance options for travel to and from the U.S.

The maximum plan period is six months, and coverage includes inpatient and outpatient care, surgery, ambulance and other emergency services, medical evacuation, AD&D and repatriation of remains.

For less than the price of a cup of coffee, you can get international travel insurance and travel in peace and with confidence. It is always best to shop around before you purchase international travel insurance, as the rates may vary widely, along with coverage.

Travel tip: Look for the plan that not only offers a good price, but also the coverage that you need. It is no use purchasing insurance that does not cover half the costs you are likely to encounter.

When you’re traveling to cultural centers such as Europe, international travel insurance that covers medical issues and trip cancellation insurance that covers airfare and accommodation may not be sufficient.

Tickets to various events may form an important part of the travel expenses, especially when you’re traveling on a budget. A visit to Italy is incomplete without the experience of watching live opera. October through April is the official opera season in Italy, while opera action is also seen in summer, mostly outdoors.

Most of these require advance reservations, and the cost of the ticket is usually non-refundable. Travel insurance plans such as Travelite cover the costs of a cancelled event ticket, in addition to usual international trip and medical benefits.

Travelite’s Event Ticket Secure benefit reimburses the plan holder for theatrical performances, concerts, and sporting events. The plan holder must demonstrate that he/she was unable to attend the event because of a covered reason.

The maximum coverage of the plan is $100 per event ticket, $400 per event and $800 per trip. However, conditions apply, and plan holders must check the fine print and conditions for the insurance benefit to take effect. With protection such as this, the plan holder is sure ready to face the music!

Travel tip: While most movies show opera-goers as dressed to the hilt, it is not always the case, as there is no set dress code for the opera, except for opening night.

Traveling abroad is a unique experience, and with cost-cutting occurring in many areas, any change in travel plans may mean a loss of substantial money. To avoid this, most international travelers will do well to purchase trip cancellation insurance along with their international travel insurance.

Travel Guard offers many travel insurance plans, among then the Savvy Traveler plan. The plan offers trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay and baggage loss and delay benefits.

Apart from these travel-related benefits, the plan also offers medical expenses coverage up to the limit of $10,000. Emergency medical transportation up to a maximum of $100,000 is also covered by the plan. Apart from these basic benefits, the plan also offers other travel-related services such as round-the-clock travel assistance, medical assistance, and legal assistance, and emergency cash transfers and messaging, and pre-trip travel advice.

As with most plans, it is essential to organize the medical evacuation through the insurance company for realizing the benefits. Also, remember to pre-certify any medical treatment you receive, as well as preserve any receipts or documentation that will help you strengthen your case for reimbursement of medical expenses or trip cancellation.

Travel tip: Portable receipt scanners are a good investment in case you travel abroad very often.

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Trip Cancellation Insurance
International Medical Insurance - Short Term