How Much Cover Do Travelers Really Need?

Good medical and health cover is the cornerstone of any modern travel insurance policy but are travelers actually aware of how much cover they need for their two-week vacation in the sun, their three-week safari or mini-cruise? Stefan with ITIJ reports on what constitutes acceptable limits in terms of health costs within a consumer travel insurance policy, and concludes that many travelers are unaware of the cost of treatment abroad and how quickly they can run up a huge medical bill.

If travelers are unlucky enough to end up in a hospital bed abroad they find themselves at the mercy of the foreign system and its associated costs. Medical bills, even for simple illnesses or injuries, can quickly mount up. Many travelers are sent to private healthcare facilities because public hospitals are below standard and this raises the price of treatment still further. Medical evacuation for a serious illness can cost up to US$100,000 and this bill will be sent to the traveler’s family if they were uninsured or partially insured.

Many travelers understand the need for health cover but greatly underestimate how much cover they will need. Often travelers take out the cheapest policy they can find, which doesn’t provide cover for the treatment they may need. We welcome any awareness-raising exercise that helps people realize how important adequate health cover is when traveling abroad, and how some policies may not be suitable for their needs. Experts suggest cover of between US$1,000,000 and $3,000,000 for travelers to the US, with emergency evacuation benefits included. WorldMed Insurance offers benefits of US$1,000,000 for accident and illness and $100,000 for emergency medical evacuation, and the plan is suitable for visitors to the United States – one of the most expensive places in the world for healthcare.

More has to be done to educate travelers about the financial dangers of traveling uninsured and the fact that the cost of treating even a minor condition is much higher than the price of an insurance premium.

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