Holidays. We all love them, don’t we? It’s that time of year when we disengage from day to day life, from the slog of working, cooking, cleaning, and ferrying the kids to and fro.
The last thing we expect during our sacred time away from everything is for something to go wrong. In this sense, I’m a bit of a dreamer. I don’t really tend to make plans for what to do in an emergency because I don’t think they’ll ever happen.
James, my other half, is a bit more considered with these things. He’ll pack the pills we might need, like paracetamol and anti-histamines, and sort out the medical travel insurance way in advance.
A few years ago, while in Spain, I had a fall and dislocated my knee. It was bad! Thankfully, I managed to get some basic free treatment at a local A & E. But when they told me what it would cost to have scans done, I opted for sticking it out until I got back home, where the NHS would greet me with open arms!
Since then, medical travel insurance has been a stalwart of our trips abroad. And we make quite a few as my family are in the States and James’ family are in Gibraltar.
So here my top 3 reasons why medical travel insurance is a must:
The benefits are extensive
Most basic travel insurance policies include basic emergency medical treatment, but that doesn’t mean they will give you comprehensive emergency medical coverage when you need it. And we all know that just treating the initial basic emergency is usually insufficient. Especially if your need for treatment arises early in your holiday.
If you are abroad and have an accident or become ill, medical travel insurance would cover most if not all medical costs for you. Emergency dental treatment is usually included and emergency transportation (ambulance, airlift) services are also covered. And you can take out insurance that covers not only you but the family members you’re travelling with.
Emergency medical evacuations will also get you out of a remote area and transported to a place where you can receive proper medical care. If heaven forbid, you were to pass away on your trip, the repatriation coverage will ensure your body is properly transported home or to a funeral home nearby.
Here’s a more exhaustive list of the type of cover a good medical travel insurance policy will give you:
- Reimbursement for unexpected medical costs due to emergency medical treatment.
- Reimbursement for unexpected dental costs due to an accident.
- Advance payments to medical facilities and emergency medical transportation when you are injured.
- Coordination of and payment for emergency medical evacuation services. This includes medical treatment providers to attend to you until you reach an appropriate medical treatment facility.
- Travel accident benefits to help take care of you or your family if you are seriously injured or killed while travelling.
- Emergency travel assistance services to help you find an appropriate medical facility.
- Cover that extends to different countries you might be travelling to during the same trip or future trips.
It is cheaper than trip cancellation insurance
Medical travel insurance policies are usually based on age, trip length, and coverage amount. This normally adds up to just a few pounds per day. I think this is pretty economical taking into account the benefits and peace of mind the policy gives you!
Trip insurance with cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage coverage, etc, is usually based on the cost of the trip. It usually costs 4-10% of the insured trip cost, so these policies can easily go into the hundreds of pounds.
Some medical insurance policies also include other benefits
Some policies also offer benefits like minimal trip interruption coverage, coverage for lost or delayed baggage and journeys. While it’s possible, of course, to take out separate insurance, one a comprehensive medical policy and another for delays and baggage, there are policies that cover both in detail.
A big caveat here is to check for what cover you’ll receive for pre-existing medical conditions. Never buy a policy without speaking to the insurer first if you have any doubts whatsoever. This also extends to whoever else is travelling with you on the same policy.
So there you go, those are my tips to ensure that when you go on holiday, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong, all will be taken care of. And with that, it’s time to relax and enjoy yourself!