Foreign Travel Insurance

Provides information on the benefits of foreign travel insurance and what is generally included.

Falling ill or experiencing an accident while travelling abroad requires foreign treatment, and, with medical expenses increasing worldwide, this can lead to costs much more difficult to cover than the actual holiday. Medical expenses increase immensely if there’s need for repatriation. Compared to the expenses of an accident in a foreign country, travel insurance is extremely cheap. As a general rule, buying from a travel agent usually means paying a lot more, not to mention the fact that travel agents are often not qualified or keen to discuss the details of the cover. The circumstances may not allow a detailed inspection of the policy, and very often, the policy document doesn’t even contain too many details.

What each and every one of us should make sure to have included in the policy is:
  • First of all, appropriate medical cover; medical costs may be much higher when travelling to distant countries (particularly if repatriation is needed) and they should be adequately covered.
  • Baggage and belongings cover; special attention must be paid to the limit of the amount that can be claimed; the total should provide coverage for what the person insured is actually taking abroad.
  • Personal liability, to cover the person insured if he/she causes injury or damage.
  • Compensation for trips which may be cancelled or curtailed – and the costs of getting home in case of an emergency.

  • Coverage in one or more areas can be increased, for a higher premium. Details are provided by the insurance companies selling travel insurance or by the bank - for the policies attached to credit cards. Common exclusions on travel policies are: cover for extreme sports (hang-gliding, scuba-diving), complications arising from pregnancy, certain illnesses or heart problems – for persons over a certain age, pre-existing conditions, chronic illness, and a few more.

    There are some ways to lower travel insurance costs: buying an annual policy, for example, to cover the summer holiday, winter skiing and weekend breaks as well (these policies usually allow unlimited trips); or buying policies that offer coverage for both parents and children instead of policies for every person. To conclude, the best piece of advice to give, regardless of the type of insurance to be purchased: read the terms and the small print very carefully!