Author Topic: Travel insurance  (Read 433 times)

Hula Hoop

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Travel insurance
« on: December 21, 2018, 05:59:43 AM »
I was just wondering what the general mustachian opinion on travel insurance is.  We live in Italy and don't have private health insurance.  We just use the public system, which is very inexpensive, and if we have to go private for whatever reason, we just pay out of pocket (private costs are cheap here -for example I need to get a mammogram soon and it will cost 80 euros privately and another 40 euros for the visit with the gynaecologist).  When we go to the US, we always get travel insurance so that our health care is covered as (as we all know!) health care prices are insane there.  But when we travel to places other than the US- for example we just got back from a few days in Ireland - we don't bother with travel insurance.  My friend told me that we are crazy as "what if something happens while you're away?" 

Ireland is a bad example because it's in Europe so we'd be covered for emergencies if anything were to happen health wise through their reciprocal agreement with the Italian health authority but what about when we travel outside Europe?  For example, a few years ago we went to Thailand and didn't get insurance.  I've read that health care in Thailand is cheap and good but my friend said "but what if you need to be medivaced home?"  We have also been to Australia, which has a health care agreement with Italy which means that any hospital treatment would be 100% covered.  But my friend said "what if you had had a dental emergency while in Australia or needed Xrays?"  Those would not be covered she said so we're crazy not to get travel insurance.

My philosophy is that usually it's better just to take the risk (apart from travel to the US of course!) and if the worst comes to the worst we would just pay a few thousand for health care.  We have savings so this would not be a problem.  Do others agree with this?  Do other mustachians get travel insurance when traveling to non-US destinations?  Is my friend right that we are crazy to not get travel insurance whenever we travel anywhere?

SnackDog

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Re: Travel insurance
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2018, 07:01:07 AM »
You definitely need travel insurance if you will not be covered for hospitalization and medivac by your own country plan.  Accidents happen on vacation and the financial consequences can be terrible.  That said, the insurance seems pricey so not all purchase it.  Read your policy or call your insurer to see how you will be covered.

On a related note, be aware that the less developed the country, the more prepared you need to be and this can include having a fair amount of cash on hand to pay doctors.  A American friend of mine nearly died in South Africa (month in the hospital) and was saved by travel mates who were able to get cash to pay for a doctor, etc.

SquashingDebt

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Re: Travel insurance
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2018, 10:43:03 AM »
My employer-provided insurance package also includes travel insurance (of the emergency evacuation costing $20k type).  I also pay for my travel with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which includes the same sort of travel insurance.  Between the two, I think I'm covered for catastrophic-type events and will self-insure for the rest (small medical issues requiring a doctor visit, etc.).

Not very helpful since I'm a US citizen so the context is pretty different.

I did buy a trip-specific policy before when I wasn't covered by the two policies described above.  It was only about $30 and well worth it for peace of mind.