Thursday, December 26, 2013

Travel insurance

Even if you’re fit and healthy don’t travel without health insurance, as accidents do happen. Declare any existing medical conditions; the insurance company will check if your problem is pre-existing and will not cover you if it is undeclared. You may require extra cover for adventure activities such as rock climbing and scuba diving. If your health insurance doesn’t cover you for medical expenses abroad, consider getting extra insurance. If you’re uninsured remember that emergency evacuation is expensive; bills of more than US$100, 000 are not uncommon.

Find out in advance if your insurance company will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas expenditures. (In many countries, doctors expect payment in cash.) Some policies offer a range of medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have extremely high medical costs, such as the USA. You may prefer a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation. Some policies ask you to call back (reverse charges) to a centre in your home country where an immediate assessment of your problem is made.

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