In anticipation of a good holiday, people choose the best hotels and beaches, the best-priced transport tickets, and make a list of upcoming purchases for a holiday. But often, this list does not include the purchase of a medical policy from a reliable insurer.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to foresee all the risks. Despite problems and huge costs not marring the vacation, it is still necessary to make an insurance purchase in advance. In today’s reality, travel abroad insurance can be purchased without leaving home on any convenient online service.
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Why you need health insurance in another country?
The insurance policy is the guarantor of payment of expensive foreign treatment. But getting medical care is not the only functionality. The policy can help in solving other related problems:
- With the loss of luggage and documents,
- In an emergency with getting transport back,
- To cover the risks and costs of not going abroad in unforeseen circumstances,
- Legal aid abroad, etc.
It is also worth remembering that health insurance for travel abroad is mandatory when obtaining a visa. When buying a policy, you need to take into account the nuances of the country of travel. For example, in the Schengen countries, an insurance policy must be at least 35,000 euros covered, and in the U.S., the minimum coverage must be from 50,000 euros.
Several EU countries (Cyprus, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria) are not part of the Schengen area, so they can not use policies with the coverage of “Schengen.” And when buying a policy in Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, and Austria, you should remember about an additional 15 days ahead of the policy’s date. And in Austria, tourists will not be allowed without an insurance policy with winter sports coverage.
Online services for buying insurance are good because they help to automatically issue a policy for those leaving, taking into account the nuances of insurance in different countries. Accordingly, the insured does not need to worry about the minimum coverage or how many days to have it ahead of schedule. The system will take all these nuances into account for you.
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It is worth remembering that travel insurance abroad is issued based on passport data, as well as the age and gender of the insured and the date of travel. If you leave the country a couple of times a year, it is more profitable to issue a policy for each trip separately. If you often travel around the world, it is more profitable to issue an annual package for multiple trips on business or personal matters.
Insurance for travel abroad: When and Where to buy?
An insurance policy for those traveling abroad is definitely necessary to buy before the planned trip. It is best to purchase it from a reliable insurer and not to trust insurance with minimal risk coverage included in the travel package by default. And plan to buy at least 6 days before going abroad because many companies have a so-called deferred period during which the policy is not valid.
90% of insurance companies will refuse to help if the policy was purchased after entering another state. This fact will be checked in the clinic, on the stamps of entry into the country in your passport and the policy’s validity dates. In any non-conformity, the insurance has the right to refuse you coverage, and you will pay for the insurance case yourself.
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For example, VTB and RESO 100% will refuse to cover your case if the insurance was bought after entering the country. Still, SOGAZ has no such clause in the contract, i.e., you can buy the policy online already being abroad, and in the 6 days to start using it, there will be no problems.
Therefore, if you are concerned about buying a policy while abroad, choose only those companies in the contract that are allowed to use the insurance purchased after entering a foreign country.
In today’s reality, the best way to buy an insurance package is online. What’s the advantage?
- First, you can obtain a visual list of all possible insurance companies, with the size of insurance premiums, coverages, and possible additional options.
- Second, this scheme excludes an intermediary – a person in the form of an insurance broker, who may be interested in selling a particular company’s insurance policy because he can reap a percentage of sales.
- Third, it is an independent system of selecting the optimal insurance option taking into account additional options: active rest, travel by car or insurance of luggage and documents, etc. Plus, you can see the dynamic changes of the insurance premium for different coverage options. For example, for an adult in the Schengen countries, there will be suitable standard coverage with 35,000 euros, but a child should take at least 50,000 euros.
- Fourth, you can read reviews of real travelers on the Internet: what difficulties they faced in a particular country. For example, the insurance companies RESO and Zetta work without complaints in Bulgaria. Still, in Spain, the same insurance company may not assist and direct contracts with clinics, which creates problems in an insurance case.
- Fifth, it is an instant receipt of an insurance policy. Attention! Always print out the insurance policy because the paper option will be needed at the visa. It can be required at the border and mandatory in the clinic in case of insurance.
Please pay attention to how medical care will be carried out, whether you will have to pay something and then reimburse them from the insurance. It is often better to take an insurance package with coverage of 2 euros/day and not to pay a penny on vacation than to take a more economical option of insurance and at the same time pay all their expenses yourself (with the probability of reimbursement of these sums when returning home).
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When the policy is in place, the risk recovery option will be specified. The best thing is service risk recovery. In this case, the insurance company assumes all the insured person’s expenses, i.e., in hospitals, you will not pay a penny. But in the case of compensatory risk reimbursement, you take on all expenses in travel and return home with all medical documents and invoices, and you apply to the insurance company’s office to return these sums. Of course, the first option will save you time, money, and nerves.
Buying insurance on the spot is not the best option. In this case, it will be problematic to file a claim. You may need the help of an interpreter, and physical presence in the country, and the presence of a bank account abroad, and other unforeseen nuances. It is always easier to solve emerging issues in the office in your country than to try to do it remotely. And it is good if the amount you spend will be insignificant and their non-return will not bring you material damage, because in some European hospitals, a day in the hospital can cost 1000 euros. A week of hospitalization will result in a large sum.
You can also read: All About Car Insurance Abroad: Tips and Things to Remember
And summing up a few tips:
- Take the insurance of reliable companies,
- Know in advance all the nuances of insurance in the country visit,
- Purchase insurance at least 6 days before your trip,
- Always keep a printed copy of the policy and an electronic one on your phone. It will not be superfluous to have copies of all important documents on your phone. In case of emergency hospitalization, you will be able to show them.
- Find out and save in your phone the assistant company number that you will need to contact in case of insurance,
- Some default insurance packages include the article “Insured person’s mobile phone costs.” If you do not provide for this item, you can contact the insurance company by e-mail by calling the assistant via Skype (international Skype rates are very profitable, but you must have money on your Skype balance), or purchase a SIM card in the country of the visit.