As many Americans already know, the United States Department of State recently (in January 2018) issued travel advisories to warn citizens about potential dangers that they may be facing when traveling in Mexico. In a nutshell, the travel advisory is mainly due to violent crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery and increased risks in various states such as Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. Given that U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling to these areas and are limited in how they can assist citizens, Americans should either avoid these areas or exercise extreme caution.
Although this is certainly something to be concerned about and travelers should always, travel advisories or no travel advisories, take precautions and stay as safe as humanly possible when traveling, mishaps of various kinds can always occur when one is in another country. Thus, although problems should be prevented and avoided, there is another consideration for travelers.
Whether Americans are traveling to a nearby border nation, such as Mexico or Canada, or literally halfway across the planet, they should have plans in place to mitigate the damage from unforeseen situations in their travels. This is not a perfect world, and harmful incidents overseas, just like back home, cannot always be prevented. However, a wise traveler can set some simple plans in place to mitigate the risks that are inherent to overseas travel. A major part of the planning should be in the form of travel insurance.
What, one may ask, is travel insurance? Travel insurance, or trip insurance, is, simply stated, insurance that protects the traveler against a variety of occurrences. Many of these incidents are no different than what one insures against back home, and others are unique to the travel environment. For example, think of unexpected medical expenses, whether they be caused by a simple twisted ankle when walking down the sidewalk or by an unanticipated violent crime. The hospital-related aspects of such incidents are going to be the same: one will need to take a trip to an emergency room, a clinic or a hospital. The medical expenses will have to be covered somehow, either out of pocket or via the most common way to pay, which is medical insurance.
However, US-based medical insurance is likely to not cover an American traveler overseas. Good travel insurance, though, available online at a reasonable price from a reputable company, can generally take care of these medical expenses. This is especially important when considering that an injury or illness overseas, whether major or minor, tends to take place where the traveler probably doesn’t speak the language, has no local contacts, and is unfamiliar with how to navigate the medical scenarios involved. The peace of mind of knowing that a reputable company that specializes in these issues has one’s back is certainly worth the very minimal cost of the coverage furnished by trip insurance. It is incumbent on the reasonable and prudent traveler to put reasonable safeguards in place in the form of adequate insurance coverage.