Travel Insurance

When most people think travel insurance it brings to mind coverage in the event something causes you to miss your trip. Something to pay you back for what you paid for the trip. This is good coverage to have, but if you are traveling outside of the United States you would be well served to consider whether or not you are covered for a variety of risks that may pop up on the trip.

While on a cruise a few years ago, a fellow passenger had a heart attack and was airlifted off the boat. We were all praying for the person’s safety, but as a lawyer I was also praying that he had coverage for what I knew was going to be a six figure bill for the helicopter ride. It’s a question you don’t want to have to ask yourself after the fact.

Before your next trip outside the United States take some time to examine your insurance coverage. For example, does your health insurance cover you outside the United States if you have a medical emergency on your trip? Most don’t. And if you have a serious injury or condition to happen while you are out of the country, do you have coverage that would pay for you to be medically transported back to the United States? This is called evacuation coverage and even if your health insurance plan does pay for emergency treatment outside the United States it is highly unlikely a standard health insurance plan would have evacuation coverage. You can typically buy both of these coverages very cheap on a travel insurance plan.

If you plan on driving while in another country this can bring up additional issues. Your personal auto policy likely will not cover you outside the US either. If you are renting a car, you likely will be required to show proof of some coverage in that country or purchase some from the rental company. There is a chance that your credit card company may provide some coverage if you are paying with your card. Some do, but you’d need to confirm that before your trip. The next question is how much coverage? The rental car company may be more concerned about protecting their car than protecting you from liability. You want to make sure you obtain enough liability coverage so that if you cause an accident your personal assets are not in danger. Be sure to discuss all of this with an insurance agent you trust before your trip. Most coverage for a trip will be cheap because it is only for a short period of time. The key is just making sure it is in place.

Vacations out of the country are great and provide memories for a lifetime, just be sure that you make sure you have adequate insurance so that you don’t end up with liabilities for a lifetime.

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