The short answer is yes. Since 2010, only 29% of travelers had travel insurance when they were struck by natural disasters or world events overseas. While travel insurance is still seen by many as a frivolous extra that’s strictly for the paranoid, the fact is travel insurance can save a lot of money, chaos and suffering in a foreign emergency.
For example, in the event that ambulance medical flights are required when you’re out of country, travel insurance could save you a fortune in flight fees. An aero-medical flight service after a heart attack or life-threatening illness while abroad could cost $20,000 to $100,000 depending on how remote the area is. Paying a little bit of money for insurance before your trip could ultimately save- in addition to your life- years of debt. (Buy the insurance policy as soon as possible after your initial trip payment to ensure preexisting health conditions are covered.)
Travel insurance also assists in all types of reimbursements: for cancelled trips, in situations where you must come home early due to illness or injury, events when the U.S. State Department deems a country unsafe, or if you find yourself laid off unexpectedly. There’s even a (very costly) “cancel for any reason” policy that some experienced travelers find helpful.
There are three main types of insurance protection:
Major Credit Cards – often cover baggage loss, rental car damage, and accidental death or dismemberment (American Express also covers evacuations requiring ambulance medical flights under certain conditions)
Annual Travel Policies – these cover emergency medical treatment and/or aeromedical flight evacuation for a full year (good for frequent travelers and for covering gaps in existing medical policies)
Package Policies – purchased for each trip, these cover medical services, aeromedical flights/emergency evacuations, trip cancellation or disruption, and financial default by your trip provider
Another often-overlooked resource for reducing the cost of foreign medical evacuations is the air ambulance company itself. International Life Flight offers comprehensive air ambulance membership plans that shield your family from high medflight service costs while traveling. Instead of being flown to the nearest medical facility- the extent of what most insurance providers cover- an iLife aeromedical flight plane and crew can get members directly to their choice of treatment center, no matter how far away. Call (425) 320-6667 or contact us online to find out why iLife’s air ambulance membership plans, expert staff, and unparalleled medflight services have made us North America’s #1 rated air ambulance company.