How to prepare for sickness on foreign trips
To ease the ouch of mind, body, and budget, we sought advice from travel medical experts on how to navigate international health-care systems as foreign and chaotic as Bangkok's street-food scene.
On the comments page of InsureMyTrip.com, a travel insurance aggregator, travelers gush about how travel medical insurance gave them "peace of mind." In the first 100 of 1,466 responses, not a single person related a negative story involving an injury or a claim. Nor did anyone complain about wasting money for an unused service.
"There's the ease, and then there's the cost control," said Bruce Kirby, president of the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. "The premiums are so small because the occurrences are so small."
When you travel without insurance, you have to pay for all medical expenses out of pocket - sometimes up front, in cash. In the case of an evacuation, which can cost several thousand dollars, those pockets had better be coal-mine deep. Travelers with insurance, by comparison, don't have to worry about smashing the piggy bank for massive expenditures. Depending on the plan, the company will dip into its own coffers and cover your bills like a generous benefactor.