“Is buying a travel medical insurance really necessary?” is one of the questions people ask me all the time, and ever since I got into a quite serious accident in Paris in 2014, my answer to this question is always YES! “Insurance” is a precaution for things that haven’t happened – things that aren’t in your prediction. Do not skip buying a travel medical insurance because you think you’re always careful or the country you’re travelling to is safe because, well, SHIT HAPPENS. Moreover, medical expenses can become very expensive in many countries. After years of experiences buying travel medical insurance from various companies, I’ve compiled a few tips for you to take away. If you’ve never bought one before, here are some travel medical insurance buying tips you need to know.
#1. Plan ahead for better research
Carefully read through what the plans do and do not cover. Plus, many travel insurance companies don’t allow you to buy the insurance on the same day you’re travelling. You usually need to do it at least the day before.
#2. If you cannot buy your travel medical insurance at least a day in advance
There are insurance providers that offer last-minute purchase, even when you already begin travelling. (You should still read the coverage carefully.)
#3. Read authentic customer reviews from Trustpilot
Look for people who had to apply for claims with the insurance provider you’re looking into and see what they say. It’s a big NO if the insurance company gave their clients a hard time when they file a claim. (I’ve been using Trustpilot for a while when I have to buy travel related services online and had left reviews on the site, too.)
#4. Are you an adventure seeker who like extreme sports?
Make sure the insurance covers the medical expenses if you have an accident while doing sports such as skiing, rock climbing, or surfing. There are several providers that cover adventure activities.
#5. Planning to rent a scooter?
If you love the freedom that comes with riding a scooter when you travel, note that many insurance providers do not cover the medical expenses if you have a scooter accident. Use an insurance that does or ride it at your own risk!
#6. Always have a copy of your passport and the insurance letter with you
You will need them if you have to go to an emergency room, so the hospital can contact your insurance company and process it through their system to avoid future hassles. (I learned this the hard way!)
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
I know travelling itself is a big expense already, but buying a travel medical insurance is not a waste of money! It’s a good practice that every traveller should adopt doesn’t matter where you’re going. I’ll be sharing another post on the travel insurance providers my friends and I have personally used with you very soon!
Do you have a travel medical insurance provider you’d like to recommend to us? Comment below!
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Also published on Medium.