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Monday, May 27, 2024

what is travel insurance and how does it work in 2024

Food poisoning, a scorpion bite, an injury at a ski resort and even the loss of a passport are extremely unpleasant, but solvable if you have correctly chosen insurance for traveling abroad. Let’s figure out what different types of policies include and what payments you can count on.

The article describes:

  1. Why do you need a policy? 
  2. How is travel insurance issued?
  3. Insured events
  4. Additional options 

Why do you need a policy?

Insurance for traveling abroad may not be on the list of mandatory requirements. This is typical for countries such as Egypt, India, Turkey and the CIS countries. At the same time, there are areas where it is required at the stage of applying for a visa. Among them are the EU, China, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Japan, Canada, Peru.

If you plan to travel to EU countries, insurance in the amount of at least 30,000 euros is issued in advance and attached along with the entire package of documents for a European visa.

Common requirements for EU countries include:

  • availability of a policy without a deductible;
  • coverage area that includes all EU states;
  • valid for days of stay plus another 15 days.

Even if insurance is not asked, this does not mean that you can let the situation take its course. Moreover, the cost of a standard policy for a couple of weeks of travel will cost 2.5-4 thousand rubles, and this can save your life.

When choosing insurance, start from your goals and the nature of the country you are traveling to. If you plan to relax in exotic places with extreme water activities, jungle walks and trekking in the mountains, an extended package will clearly not be superfluous.

How is travel insurance issued?

Ordinary insurance for a traveler is a rather long and sad document. It includes a detailed contract printed in the most inconvenient to read font with cumbersome wording. Studying its details is boring. But it is necessary – the more attentive, the more exotic the country to which the journey is to come.

Appendices to the contract include a description of the insurance package and additional options. The personal data of those who are insured are also indicated.

Any policy contains:

  • list of insured persons with dates of birth;
  • the territory of the policy;
  • The selected package.
  • list of additional insurance risks;
  • date of issue;
  • Insurance period is the number of days covered by the insurance.

Leading insurance companies usually offer several insurance options for travelers. For example:

  • full coverage (emergency treatment in the hospital and at home);
  • full coverage + risks from non-departure and loss of luggage;
  • Maximum coverage + civil liability, search and rescue, etc.

For example, Sovcombank Insurance offers three insurance options. The “Economy” package is chosen when applying for a visa to the EU. “Standard” will protect in any unforeseen situation. And among the additional options there is also civil liability insurance and technical assistance for those traveling by car.

It is convenient to receive insurance payments on the Halva.MIR card from Sovcombank. In addition, it is convenient to pay for it abroad – in particular, in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Vietnam.Why the “Halva” card is profitable

Halva has many advantages, here are the main ones:

  • Interest-free installments up to 10 months.
  • More than 250,000 partner stores.
  • Cash withdrawal in installments.
  • Cashback up to 10% with a subscription “Halva.Desyatka”.
  • Up to 12% on the balance of own funds.
  • Instant card approval.
  • Free delivery by courier to a convenient address.

For example, you paid with Halva for the purchase of a brand new Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphone. In the company store, it costs 69,990 rubles. 6999 rubles are debited from your account within 10 months.

Basic insurance packages in terms of the composition of services in most cases are similar as twins. Indicative list:

  • calling an ambulance or doctor to the hotel;
  • inpatient and outpatient treatment;
  • prescription medications;
  • diagnostics and consultations of narrow specialists;
  • emergency surgeries;
  • transportation costs;
  • emergency dispatch to the home country for treatment;
  • repatriation in case of tragic circumstances.

Packages always include several items. For each, indicate the amount that will be paid in the event of an insured event.

Let’s give an example.

In February 2022, we went on vacation to Mexico and opted for the basic “Full Coverage” package. It involved treatment in the amount of up to $ 40,000, payment for an air ticket plus $ 300 in case of a forced delay on the way due to covid, $ 100 for emergency dentistry and $ 75 for telephone conversations with the insurance company.

Please note that there was another column in our contract – an unconditional franchise. This means that in the event of an insured event, the minimum costs within $ 30 would fall on us.

This small amount would be enough to call a doctor in case of food poisoning and get prescription medications. Anything beyond that, if the case turns out to be more serious, will be covered by the insurance company.

By choosing a policy with a deductible, you can save an average of about 35% of its cost. Such a scheme is offered to tourists in order to make insurance services cheaper. At the same time, the company also reduces its own expenses. A policy with a franchise will not be accepted everywhere – for example, it is not suitable for a visa to EU countries.

Another type of franchise is conditional. It implies that the insurance company pays in full if medical care costs more than the amount of the deductible. And if it is the same or cheaper, the financial losses are fully borne by the tourist. This scheme is the least common.

The best option for a policy is, of course, without a deductible at all. In this case, this column simply does not exist, and your guarantor covers all costs within the limits specified in the contract.

Insured events

Travelers who are “lucky” to get into an insured event know very well: choosing the right insurance is only half the battle. You also need to behave correctly with assistance when you call on the phone and talk about what happened.

If it turns out that you started to get sick at home and this has nothing to do with the trip, they will not pay the expenses.

Here are the cases in which the standard policy does not imply reimbursement of treatment expenses:

  • the chronic disease has worsened and planned care is needed;
  • became ill on the plane;
  • contracted the virus during an epidemic in the country;
  • violated the doctor’s instructions;
  • have received sunstroke or heat stroke;
  • were injured at a rally, during hostilities or under other force majeure circumstances;
  • were injured during outdoor activities: they sailed on a boat, rode elephants, went down to caves, walked along a route in the mountains, etc.;
  • injured under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • did not comply with traffic rules or other safety rules.

No matter how comprehensive your health insurance is, you need to take money in reserve for a trip. And it doesn’t have to be cash. The money that you keep in the “Online piggy bank” on the “Halva” card from Sovcombank is always available for withdrawal. At the same time, they accrue a pleasant percentage.

Additional options

Almost all of the above can be added to travel insurance as part of extended packages or individual options. The only question is the price. The cost of insurance, which will include payments in case of injuries during the campaign and search and rescue operations, can be 3-5 times more expensive.

It is worth thinking carefully about what additional options you really need. It depends on where you’re going.

Resting in the resorts of Egypt, the tourist runs the risk of scratching on corals, stepping on a sea urchin, poisoning with food. All these costs will be included in the basic insurance for traveling abroad.

But what if you overheat in the sun and get a heat stroke? Or even worse – flew from Sharm el-Sheikh to Luxor to see ancient monuments, and the plane made an emergency landing in the desert?

Search and rescue operations are not included in the basic policy, but they can be included in the list of additional services.

Travelers who go to ski resorts, hiking or surfing will not hurt to take a closer look at special packages that include a set of options for fans of active and extreme recreation.

Types of insurance in tourism may include expenses for:

  • treatment of injuries received in the mountains, fishing, rock climbing, water sports, on vacation in the water park, etc.;
  • high-tech operations – up to organ transplants;
  • treatment of exacerbation of chronic diseases: allergies, diabetes, etc.;
  • therapy for sunburn and heat stroke;
  • search and rescue operations;
  • orthopedic and other medical devices;
  • being in the hospital of an adult, if a child is being treated;
  • compensation for the loss of personal belongings, regardless of the circumstances;
  • legal assistance;
  • civil liability (if the damage was caused by you).

PICTURE Source: unsplash.com

An important point: if you are traveling in Russia, you should still take care of extended insurance. Yes, the compulsory medical insurance policy will be accepted in any corner of the country. But it does not include all types of medical services.

Riding on Sheregesh, away from megacities, you are unlikely to be able to quickly find a clinic where you will have an MRI or angiography. It may take a long time to wait for the ambulance to arrive. And there may not be free coupons to the right specialist in the coming days.

When buying a standard policy for traveling in Russia, you can be sure that all medical care will be provided in a timely manner.

The amount of coverage of medical services in the Russian Federation is usually within 300 thousand rubles. Vacationers with children often choose an extended program with an increased amount of payments up to half a million rubles.

In addition, it is recommended to consider purchasing an extended policy in the following cases:

  • travel to Asia, Africa, South America, etc.;
  • rest in ski resorts;
  • hiking and extreme sports;
  • the presence of chronic diseases (for example, allergies, asthma, emphysema, diabetes);
  • Family trips with children.

India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bali – it’s not only the warm sea and the gentle sun. But also specific spicy food, unusual heat, exobacteria and local fauna up to snakes and scorpions. A rich excursion program, elephant rides in the jungle, scuba diving and ziplining increase the risk of injury.

The set of options that you should add to your insurance depends on your plans. Continuing the conversation about Asia, if you plan to rent a motorcycle, scooter or bicycle, check if there are options such as “Outdoor Activities”. In India, for example, there is often very dense traffic on the roads, traffic rules are ignored as much as possible, and there are often no traffic lights at all – therefore, injuries due to road accidents are extremely high.

Options such as “Extreme rest” can imply not only full coverage of the cost of any treatment, but also additional items. For example, payments if you drowned a professional camera or iPhone during a three-day kayaking trip.

Premium medical insurance for the trip gives even more preferences. You can choose expensive clinics from the list and be treated by the best specialists. Yes, the cost of such insurance for traveling abroad will cost a pretty penny, but your family members will be protected as much as possible.

You can calculate how much insurance will cost and what options should be included. To do this, just go to the website of any major insurance company. Usually, there is a handy calculator on the main page.

This concludes our material. Let your travels be not only bright and memorable, but also safe!

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