A vital component of all insurance is risk assessment and this is no different with travel insurance. That’s why travel insurance plans vary in price when traveling internationally. It will be more expensive if your destination includes certain countries because of the risk associated with traveling to those countries. Risks include terrorism or civil unrest, such as war, and the U.S. State Department issues warnings periodically about traveling to those countries.
Basic travel insurance covers, for example, emergency cancellations, lost or stolen luggage and the costs associated with treating illness. It could even cover the cost of having to return home suddenly or death, which might require the need to transport a body home. This is purchased on a trip-by-trip basis and covers the normally foreseen types of occurrences.
Some travelers, however, who are engaging in activities that carry a higher-than-normal risk such as skiing or backpacking, will pay for more expensive insurance in their travel insurance plans. This just makes sense because the cost of rescuing an injured skier or backpacker from a mountain top will most likely cost more than caring for a traveler who has a bout with salmonella.
But some travelers – especially defense contractors going to war zones – will need coverage which will cost even more due to the higher likelihood of the need to use it. Some carriers cover evacuation and repatriation, which may be excluded from basic travel insurance plans. These travelers usually are traveling on business and there is a natural risk associated with their business.
Men and women working in the oil and gas and mining industries, for example, may need to travel to politically unstable countries in the middle or Far East to do business, which makes them more susceptible to terrorists. But even missionaries going to Mexico should have good travel insurance plans because they are dealing with the local population outside of the normal tourism boundaries.
Travel insurance plans for all types of international travel should contain good medical coverage, and it is important to know if it covers the cost of staying in private hospitals if a stay is necessary. In many countries, the public medical facilities are far below American standards and private care would be a big plus. If you don’t have coverage, you may be asked to pay for medical expenses on the spot.
It is also important to note that most travel insurance plans do not cover travelers for medical problems that happen in their countries. Also, watch out for pre-existing conditions related to health such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Although the cost of travel insurance plans will be more expensive going to certain countries, it is well worth the money.