Insurance, a part of any comprehensive financial plan, is more than protection against monetary loss. Travel insurance provides the monetary protection for loss during travel, but the financial aspect is not the only reason to purchase a trip protection policy. In the case of medical emergencies, the travel insurance policy can be the key to receiving proper care.
Domestic health insurance policies do not always provide coverage outside of the United States. If the policy does provide international coverage, there is no guarantee a doctor or medical facility in another country will accept the insurance. Medicare provides no coverage outside the United States. Costs arising from medical care will be the personal responsibility of the traveler. This is where travel insurance can help to cover you when traveling abroad.
Travel insurance policies vary widely in benefits, costs, and exclusions. Claims may be denied if the loss arises from a medical condition that existed before the policy went into effect. The pre-existing condition exclusion is common.
Generally speaking, a pre-existing medical condition is one for which medical attention, treatment, or diagnosis, was received or needed by the insured during a stated time frame prior to the effective date of the policy. The policy may state, for example, that the look-back period is 90 days. Conditions such as hypertension are often ongoing and controlled by medication. In many cases, these types of managed illnesses are not considered to fall into the pre-existing exclusion category unless a change in condition or prescription has been needed within the said 90 day period.
The travel insurance policy should plainly state the terms of any pre-existing condition exclusion. The exclusion may be waived if the policy is paid for at close to the same time as the deposit for the trip is paid. Time frames, and resultant coverage, should be clearly specified and considered.
The job of the travel insurance company is to provide coverage for losses arising from unexpected events. The insured does not want an unexpected exclusion to cause a loss of benefits, and must assess the policy before purchase. A cancelled trip prior to departure may cause disappointment and the loss of a deposit. In that case, travel insurance could protect funds and allow for future travel plans. A medical emergency while traveling may be a considerably more serious situation if reliable travel insurance is not in place. The policy bought for trip protection may enable life-saving treatment, and that is protection worth having.