The fear of being stuck overseas while you are ill, with little understanding of the local language and bankruptcy as your only way to be treated or get yourself back home, is the main reason that many people take out travel insurance. If you are wondering about the fine print on medical travel insurance policies and exactly how much they pay for adverse events, we’ll be looking at several policy types from a popular travel insurance agent today to give you an idea.
Overseas medical expenses
This is the cornerstone of most travel insurance policies – there aren’t many available that will omit this vital cover. The key words in the policy are usually ‘necessary and reasonable costs’ – so the treatment must be reasonably priced and necessary to your immediate health. Typical cover levels are:
* $5, 000, 000 at the basic level of cover
* $5, 000, 000 at the intermediate level
* $10, 000, 000 at the highest level of cover
You can file travel insurance claims for the actual medical or surgical treatment; for emergency dental work to your natural teeth; being evacuated to your home country if necessary; and the associated logistical costs (cancelling accommodation and flights, etc).
Emergency dental treatment
This usually comes under the umbrella of overseas medical expenses, however there is often a sub-limit for dental work. You know how much routine dental work can cost – standard policy coverage rates are:
* $500 at the basic level of cover
* $750 at the intermediate level
* $1000 at the highest level of cover
Accidental death/total and permanent disability
This portion of cover refers only to benefits paid in the event of your accidental death – not if you die from a progressive cause, such as a disease. That medical travel insurance event would come under overseas medical expenses. If the accident causes you to lose your sight, lose a limb, become totally and permanently disabled or die within 12 months, you can expect the following benefits, based on a standard policy:
* $10, 000 at the basic level of cover
* $20, 000 at the intermediate level
* $30, 000 at the highest level of cover
Hospital cash allowance
Many medical travel insurance policies allow you to claim for out of pocket expenses arising from a hospital stay, including incidental food and phone calls, and other costs not related to your actual treatment. The standard benefit limits you can expect (based on a popular policy) are:
* $1, 000 at the basic level of cover
* $2, 000 at the intermediate level
* $3, 000 at the highest level of cover
Loss of income
In your regular home country insurance, loss of income is a separate policy that you need to take out. Medical travel insurance will often cover you for quite a decent amount, though. Loss of income cover will reimburse you 75% of your net income, for a period of up to 6 months from the date that you return. It is usually only available with the highest level of travel insurance cover, and standard limitation is $30, 000.