Insurance Advice from the Armchair Advisor
We are not paranoid but we have heard and read more
horror stories than most. Our idea in traveling is to plan for problems and
obstacles before they occur. That way you can concentrate on the
adventure or business and know that you have tried to cover yourself in case a
problem should arise.
- Before going on a trip and especially when traveling to third-world
nations and to locales off-the-beaten-track, we advise you to check over your
personal health insurance policy to see what you are covered for while on your
- If you plan to drive, you should check to see whether your driver's
insurance policy covers you when traveling outside the United States. It is
almost a certainty that if you intend to drive, you should obtain car insurance
in the country (or countries) you are visiting as your U.S. insurance may not
- Read over your homeowner policy to determine what is covered while
you are traveling. Your policy might cover lost or stolen possessions.
- Never be afraid to ask questions. What you may consider a "dumb
question" now, could save you more than money in the future.
Armchair World feels, that if for no other reasons, travel
insurance possibly supplemented with major medical coverage should be
considered for the following:
- the possibility of tour company, cruise company, hotel and/or
airline bankruptcy. You should be aware that bankruptcy insurance has many
technicalities and loopholes. So ask detailed questions and read the coverage
and exclusions carefully.
- the possibility that you will get ill or injured and need emergency
medical evacuation: Remember that if you need to be evacuated and don't have
insurance, you will have to pay for the evacuation. This can run U.S.
$10,000 and up.
- the availability of call-in services such as emergency medical
referral, emergency cash advance, emergency message relay, and medication
replacement: Having one number that you can call to arrange emergency services
can give tremendous peace of mind. Make sure that if you are going
off-the-beaten-track, that these services will be available in the particular
country you are visiting.
Are you an adventure traveler?
- Accidents happen. If you are one of the new breed of adventure
traveler where your travel may include motorcycling, scuba diving, jet or snow
skiing, mountain climbing, sky diving, piloting an airplane, bungee jumping,
spelunking, whitewater rafting, surfing or parasailing you should have major
medical coverage. You can get coverage for these sports!
Are you a foreign national visiting the U.S.?
- Just as many U.S. medical policies do not cover U.S. citizens outside
of the U.S., so it is with many foreign insurance companies. You need medical
coverage when visiting the U.S. just as much as when you are in your own home
Are you a U.S. Senior Citizen?
- With notable exceptions U.S. citizens are not covered by Medicare
when they leave the country. To quote from recent U.S. Passport documents:
"Persons considering foreign travel should determine what
health insurance coverage, if any, they should have while outside the United
States. Medicare does not cover health care costs outside the United States and
its territories except under limited conditions in Canada and Mexico"
Are you a foreign national visiting another non-U.S.
- Protect yourself. Make sure you have medical coverage when traveling
outside your own country.
Are you an Immigrant to the United States?
- Unfortunately, as a new resident of the United States, you are not
eligible for many domestic medical insurance programs. The majority of
insurance companies require that you be a resident of the United States for six
to twelve months before they allow you to purchase their coverage. In this
interim, you may be exposed to financial burden if an unforeseen medical event
Get Information on International Major Medical
Get Information on Travel/Tour/Cruise
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