Anything can happen along the way. Travel insurance abroad will help you feel more confident even when traveling to the most remote countries. Of course, whether or not to apply for it, everyone decides for himself, although in some cases it is mandatory, for example, for applying for a Schengen visa.
In this post I will tell you how to choose the right insurance for traveling abroad, what are the nuances, and how to buy it online.
Packaged tourists do not particularly think about travel insurance, because the price of the tour usually includes basic travel insurance. When an insured event occurs, problems often arise, because few people read this agreement trying to figure out what is included and what is not.
In independent trips, you are fully responsible for your vacation, and it is worth taking the choice of insurance seriously and spending half an hour of your time.
So, for starters, let's figure out what travel insurance is:
For travels in Russia - theoretically an ordinary medical policy (OMS). But if you know firsthand about free medicine in Russia, then I recommend issuing another special traveler policy. Especially if you plan to climb mountains, visit remote regions, and so on.
For traveling abroad, you will need the so-called insurance for travelers abroad (VZR). It can be basic, which includes emergency care, or extended.
You can add many options to the advanced one: accident insurance, loss of luggage, civil liability, injuries when practicing active sports, toothache, loss of documents and much more.
How does the travel insurance system work?
You buy a policy from an insurance company, but direct assistance on the spot will be provided not by it, but by an assistance company. That is, when choosing insurance, pay more attention not to insurance, but to a specific assistance (service company).
Before buying, read reviews on the work of various service companies in the country where you are going.
An insured event is a sudden illness on the territory of the policy. In other words, the exacerbation of chronic diseases and the consequences associated with it, the insurance will not pay you, if you do not include this point in addition.
A deductible is an amount less than which an insurer may not pay. For example, you have a franchise of $ 50 registered for your policy, the temperature has risen on vacation, and you went to the doctor, which cost $ 45. This amount will not be paid to you, but everything that is more than $ 50 is required. Experienced tourists choose insurance without a deductible.
Sum insured - the maximum amount that the insurer will pay for you. Typically, this is $ 30,000, $ 50,000, $ 100,000.
How is the sum insured paid:
There are two types of insurance compensation: service and compensation.
Service - when you call for assistance when an insured event occurs, they agree with the hospital, transport and generally resolve all issues, the insurance directs money to the hospital directly. Now this is the most common way.
Compensation - when you pay for yourself, collect all documents and checks, and upon returning home you will be reimbursed this money.
Obviously, the first option is much more convenient for travelers.
What is usually included in basic health insurance?
For different companies, the list may differ, but as a rule, this is:
Medicines prescribed by your doctor
Transportation to the doctor,
Payment of communication costs,
What options can be added to the policy?
You can take the cheapest insurance - it is suitable for submission to the consulate for a visa, but no more. Many important options are often paid extra. It could be:
Accident insurance. Reimbursement of expenses related to trauma in case of accident, rehabilitation expenses even upon arrival home.
Liability insurance. Compensation for damage to third parties, for example, if you broke a family vase in a rented apartment and the landlord asks for damages.
Leisure. If you are going hiking in the mountains, go surfing or skiing, even on a banana and a jet ski.
Riding a bike . If you plan to ride a bike and suddenly get into an accident. Be sure to wear a helmet, have category A rights and do not drive while intoxicated, otherwise the insurance will pay out.
Travel Insurance. If the trip is unexpectedly canceled, you will be reimbursed. For example, you got sick, a subpoena came from the military registration and enlistment office, to the court. it will be necessary to confirm the reason with documents.
Payments for flight delay. If the flight is delayed (more than 4 hours) or canceled altogether.
Baggage insurance. If things are lost somewhere at the dock, you will receive $ 300 -1500 $ (or depending on the contract) in excess of the amount that the airline pays (usually it is only $ 20 per kg).
Search and rescue operations, helicopter evacuation. If you plan serious expeditions and ascents.
Help with alcohol intoxication. The insurance company ERV has this option. If you know your penchant for drinking :) The rest of the insurance will not pay anything if the presence of intoxication is confirmed.
What else to look for when choosing insurance?
Many insurance policies do not apply if you bought them already in the insurance territory. Be careful and arrange in advance, from home.
Choose only proven and reliable insurance companies and assistants, read reviews about their work in your country of vacation. Reliability rating can be viewed on the website of the expert company " Expert RA ".
The policy is valid only in the country that is indicated in it. The exception is All World policies. But in Iran, upon arrival at the airport, for example, it is mandatory to have a policy specifically for Iran, the whole world will not work - everywhere there are subtleties.
The cost of insurance is affected by the country of travel (there are countries with different levels of medicine and its cost), duration of stay (the longer the period, the more expensive), the insurance amount and the number of additional options included.
What to do when an insured event occurs?
First and foremost, keep calm. Read the contract in advance to know in which cases you are entitled to help, and in which not. Print out the policy, and also save an electronic copy on your smartphone.
Immediately call the phone number indicated on the policy. The operator will pick up the phone, he will need to describe the situation and say the policy number. It happens that the insurance immediately sends to the hospital, sometimes you need to wait a while until they decide.
Important: coordinate and clarify all your actions with assistance. Do not buy medicines on your own, do not go to the hospital yourself. A letter of guarantee will be sent to the hospital, upon arrival, make sure that they received it.
Do not leave your passport as a deposit and do not pay money; for any contentious situations, call the insurance.
Be sure to check that your SIM card works in roaming or buy a local one, so it will be cheaper to call.
How and where to buy travel insurance online?
By analogy with airline tickets and hotels, insurance is easiest to find on the aggregator website, which compares the offers of many insurance companies. There you can buy a suitable option online. Electronic policies have the same power as ordinary paper, they are accepted at the consulates when applying for a visa. Just print out the policy and put your signature.
We usually use the site Compare.ru to search for insurance for yourself, family and friends.
Step 1. Choose a country of travel, dates, number and age of tourists. Click on "Show Results".
Step 2. Select the insurance amount and additional options. For example, I included riding a bike, cycling, and riding a banana or in a water park. Plus, you can check the box, for example, in the "Exacerbation of chronic diseases", if you have them. The cost of policies is automatically recalculated.
Step 3. Compare insurance offers. Pay special attention to the rating among experts and customer reviews and to the assistance company, it is with her that you will have to deal with if something happens.
Decryption of rating:
RuAAA - the highest level of reliability,
"RuAA +, ruAA, ruAA-" - a high level of reliability,
"RuA +, ruA, ruA-" - a moderately high level of reliability,
“RuBBB +, ruBBB, ruBBB-” - moderate level,
“RuBB +, ruBB, ruBB-” - moderately low.
You can immediately read the insurance rules, I recommend that you carefully read.
Step 4. If everything suits you, click the Buy button, fill in the tourist data and pay with a credit card. The process is no different from other online purchases.
That's all. Be healthy and safe travel!
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