While planning a trip abroad can be extremely exciting, it is also important to keep in mind that there are potential risks associated with visiting a foreign country, especially for US citizens. Anything such as accidental injuries, illnesses, theft, unexpected changes in travel plans, or even large scale catastrophes can easily spoil your travel plans and being in a foreign country amongst an already stressful situation is likely to make things significantly more difficult to navigate. For this reason, purchasing an international travel insurance policy is crucial in order to protect yourself from financial burden that may result from any unexpected discrepancies during your travels abroad.
What are the Potential Risks for US Citizens Traveling Abroad and How Can Travel Insurance Help?
Travel insurance is something that should be at the top of anyone’s packing list, but it is especially crucial for US citizens traveling abroad for the following reasons:
- Most domestic health care plans, such as Medicare, will not cover you outside of the US. This means that while traveling outside of the United States, you will not have any form of medical coverage protecting you from the unexpected. In this case, it is important that you seek supplemental coverage in the form of a travel medical insurance plan in order to protect you from any financial burden due to any unexpected illnesses or injuries during your travels. For more information on why international travel insurance is especially necessary for US citizens above the age of 65, go to American Senior Citizens Traveling Abroad.
- Healthcare outside of the US may be lower quality and works differently than what you may be used to. Purchasing a comprehensive travel medical insurance policy will reduce your out of pocket expenses should you need to visit a doctor or hospital while abroad. In addition to coverage for expenses, navigating a foreign healthcare system in the event of an emergency can be very difficult, in which case your travel insurance company can also assist in communicating with the doctor’s office or hospital to ensure you receive adequate coverage as well as help you with the claims process after the fact.
- US citizens are more vulnerable and can easily fall victim to theft or foul play while visiting a foreign country. The US dollar and US passport are highly sought after by thieves in foreign countries due to the high value that they hold and because US citizens are likely to be traveling with these items, they automatically become targets. Having a trip insurance policy can assist you with passport and currency replacement in case of theft, or in more extreme cases, it can assist you or your family with issues pertaining to kidnapping and ransom.
- Should a natural disaster or large-scale catastrophe occur while you are traveling abroad, you might need to be evacuated to safety. If such an event occurs during your travels, the medical and refuge facilities could soon be overwhelmed, or should you get injured or contract a severe illness and are unable to receive adequate treatment at your current location and need to be transported elsewhere, emergency or medical evacuation could be necessary. Evacuation is known to be extremely expensive however, and without an international travel insurance policy with adequate coverage for such an event, you will be forced pay out of pocket for these costs.
5 Most Important Benefits to Look for When Shopping for a Travel Insurance Policy
While there are many different travel insurance policies that offer a large variety of coverage options, the top 5 benefits to make sure you are covered for when planning your upcoming trip abroad are as follows:
- Medical Coverage.
- Theft, Kidnap, and Ransom.
- Trip Cancellation.
- Loss of Baggage.
- Emergency Evacuation.
Because US citizens face higher risks when traveling outside of their home countries, the Department of State highly recommends that you purchase a travel medical insurance policy in preparation for your international trip. For more information on why travel insurance is imperative for US citizens traveling abroad, visit International Travel Insurance for US Citizens and Residents.
To find a plan that best fits your travel needs, you can compare policies and get quotes at international travel insurance.