Travel insurance: what to look for?

Regardless of the season, most of us have a desire to go on vacation. And during the New Year holidays, this desire becomes simply irresistible! Wherever you go to a foreign tour or to the ski slopes, do not forget about the important "talisman" of your future travel insurance.

Not all of us know that insurance is not a simple formality, but a very important component of the “travel suitcase”: it can help, perhaps, in the most difficult situation with health problems. It is thanks to the good choice of insurance to prevent many troubles.


Travel insurance is only needed for the sole purpose of solving possible health problems while traveling. If, for example, in Ukraine and the CIS countries most of the issues can be solved in a “manual” mode (you just need to remember to save money and take it with you), then in Europe, the US or China you cannot hope for this option. Moreover, when applying for a visa to any of the countries, insurance will be required.


The principle of travel insurance is simple insurance company organizes and pays medical assistance to the policyholder in case of health problems arising during the trip. Another option is possible when the insurer compensates the client for the costs of treatment that he incurred while traveling. It is necessary to understand that the organization of medical care is not engaged in the insurance company itself, but in its partner, the service of assistance that the insured calls for health problems. For example, some insurance companies work with several such services depending on the countries and directions of travel. It is the employees of the assistance service who advise, organize the assistance and accompany the client.


I must say that if you are traveling under a voucher or accompanied by a travel agency, then most likely your insurance issue has already been resolved. As a rule, it is solved formally, to obtain a visa at the embassy. But I am sure that this is not a reason not to understand the nuances, but also to rely on formal insurance. Many of my friends and colleagues in the insurance market buy an insurance policy for travelers on their own, instead of or in addition to the policy that is already included in the package from the travel company.

Perhaps I would give 5 basic tips for those who choose travel insurance for themselves.


Tip 1. Check if the insurance matches the selected country of travel.

If you get a visa, be sure to check out the list of accredited insurance companies at the embassy. If the insurer is not listed, its insurance will not be accepted.

Tip 2. Choose the right policy type.

It is very important to choose the right type of policy, based on the regularity and length of trips abroad during the year. The simplest solution is a one-time policy for a specific number of days. The ideal solution for those who go just on vacation. But there are also policies that cover a certain number of travel days per year, regardless of when you go abroad. There are “unlimited” solutions to travel for a whole year, and the insurance will be valid. Naturally, such options will be more expensive, but for avid travelers, this is fully justified, all the more it is not necessary at every trip to think about purchasing insurance. For example, one of our regular customers makes an average of 20-25 trips per year, each for 3-10 days, including work abroad and vacation tours. In this case, the annual policy cannot do!

Tip 3. Pay attention to the amount of insurance coverage.

It is set in euros or dollars. As part of this amount, the insurance company undertakes to pay for the prescribed drugs, as well as medical services rendered to you by medical institutions and specialists. As a rule, when traveling to EU countries, the standard insurance amount that the embassies require when issuing a visa is 30 thousand euros. The responsible insurance companies have a peculiar principle: the more exotic and remote the country the client goes to, the more substantial the sum insured we offer him. For example, when traveling to Thailand or Mexico, it makes sense to choose coverage of 60 thousand USD. What for? Because getting high-quality medical care in these countries is not an easy and very expensive task. On the Internet, you can find a lot of cases of experienced tourists who are faced with this problem.

In addition to the sum insured, it is worth remembering about the franchise. A franchise is a part of the cost of medical care that the insurance company will not pay.

So, if the insurance program provides a deductible of $ 50, and in the local hospital you have been rendered services for $ 200, then the insurance company will only compensate $ 150.

The higher the deductible, the cheaper the insurance is the obvious pattern.

Tip 4. Ask about what you are protected from insurance.

To do this, you need to consult with the manager in detail, or even better, carefully read the documents that you will be given when you make policy. There is a clear dependence of the cheaper the insurance, the fewer health problems it covers.

The cheapest options include only emergency medical care and the elimination of pain. I strongly advise you to read the section separately.

"Exceptions" in the insurance contract to understand when insurance does not work. For example, if you go on vacation to a ski resort and plan to ride injuries while playing sports should not be on the list of exceptions! Surfing, rafting, parachuting, diving, skiing about all the extreme plans need to tell the insurer and extend the standard policy you need coverage.

Tip 5. Do not neglect additional services and programs.

A full insurance program, in addition to medical services, provides for the cost of an interpreter, the cost of telephone calls in the service, and other important options. So, if you are traveling with children, it is important that the option of paying for the flight for a child be included in the insurance, if you suddenly have to be treated abroad, and the children have to return home before you have completed the treatment.

You can also include additional options in travel insurance, namely:

  • Accident Insurance. There is an additional fixed payment for injuries or disability of the insured as a result of an accident.
  • Baggage insurance. Tourist luggage during flights and not only can be lost in this case will help this option. Baggage will be reimbursed by the insurance company
  • Insurance against the impossibility of travel. If the trip is canceled for reasons stipulated by the insurance contract, you will be reimbursed for its cost. A typical example is the health problems of a tourist or the embassy’s refusal to issue a visa without explanation.
  • If you are driving your car, it is important not to forget about the Green Card. If a driver abroad becomes the culprit of an accident, the insurance company will pay damages to the injured person instead of him. However, without the Green Card, none of our fellow citizens will be let through at the border.

What important we have not asked you yet?

There is a very significant detail: in order to expect the insurance company to pay for your treatment, all actions must be coordinated with it through the help desk, which I have already mentioned. Insurance company managers always warn customers that their first action in case of health problems is a call to the helpdesk. If you are treating yourself without warning the insurer, it is possible that he may refuse to compensate you for costs when returning to Ukraine, even if you keep all the receipts and receipts for medical care.

Practice shows that it is in vain: it is much easier to buy insurance (its cost is usually 3-4 times lower than when traveling abroad) than to take additional “financial reserve” in case of health problems, or to look for a hospital yourself in some unfamiliar village. Insurance here will be useful.

Just do not be afraid to use it and get only positive impressions from trips and travels!