Dealing with a medical emergency while on vacation in a foreign country can be a really stressful experience. As much as you would wish they wouldn't happen, the fact is that they still do. Emergencies, whether medical or otherwise, can arise at any time and in any circumstances. Although travel medical insurance or international insurance won't help avert the situation, it will certainly help you in dealing with the aftermath, thus giving you more peace of mind while traveling.
Travel medical insurance or international insurance comes in many flavors, each with its own characteristics and advantages. For example, most basic travel insurance policies cover injuries and medical expenses in foreign countries. A more comprehensive policy would most likely also include untoward incidents with your flights, your luggage or your accommodations. Obviously, a more comprehensive policy would give you more comfort and peace of mind because it will cover more emergency situations and untoward incidents.
You might see the benefits of travel medical insurance to be merely for convenience, but those benefits could become critical once you step into another country. Getting emergency services or immediate medical attention in a foreign place could end up costing you a lot, especially if you or a family member required special transportation such as by helicopter. In the case of an all-out crisis, such as a coup or a national disaster, you will have to shoulder expenses for evacuation and emergency transport back to your country.
Travel insurance policies, fortunately, cover such expenses, making them all the more important to have for your trip.
While purchasing travel insurance isn't expensive, especially if you're under 40 years of age, it's still a cost over and above your travel expenses. It's not really necessary but having an insurance policy can be nothing short of a lifesaver should you find yourself in a pinch while traveling through unfamiliar territory. It will all boil down to you and whether you're willing to take on either the extra expense or the additional risks involved.
If you want to save on travel insurance, purchase it as early as possible. Buying too late or immediately before your flight will likely have you paying extra charges to get a less-than-expected policy. You might also want to try buying it from your travel agent as part of a travel package, as that option often comes out cheaper than buying a standalone travel medical insurance policy.
Before deciding to buy travel insurance, analyze your itinerary first. If you're merely going to visit urban areas or cities where banks and similar institutions are abundant, the need for a travel insurance policy is greatly diminished. If, on the other hand, you're going to a region where diseases are rampant or where you're basically at risk, you might want to give travel medical insurance some serious consideration.
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