When you’re heading off abroad then you will no doubt have a checklist of things – essential stuff – that you need for your journey and eventual stay overseas. Things like:

  • foreign currency
  • temperature-appropriate clothing
  • passport
  • travel plugs
  • toothrush
  • medication (make sure you check the legality of any prescription meds in your destination country before you go)
  • sunglasses
  • mobile phone & charger

But do you make sure you have travel insurance? It’s easy enough to get travel health insurance, you can purchase it via provider websites – and it is also inexpensive. So you’d assume that every single person who went abroad would have the  appropriate cover. In my view, it’s not even simply about ensuring that if anything happened you’d get eligible treatment – it’s about relaxing and having peace of mind, and getting on with enjoying the holiday or trip.

But a survey carried out this year actually indicates that fairly large numbers of people go abroad uninsured – around 20% in fact. This isn’t necessarily down to a reckless attitude towards health and wellbeing – in fact, in many cases people mistakenly believe that if they were to fall ill overseas that the government would cover the costs.

The same thing goes for longer trips abroad such as when people are on overseas assignments for work, although rather than travel cover being required, international health insurance means getting the required level of medical treatment you’re eligible for under the policy your purchase.  It’s important to check out the health care system of the country you’re going to, as there can be big differences between places – and often it’s mandatory to have health cover. An important point to note about overseas health insurance is that most policies mean you are covered for medical evacuation. This is important since it can be massively costly – as the stories of those uninsured (who had to shell out for it themselves) will tell.

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