Understanding Travel Insurance
A travel insurance primer from TravelInsuranceCenter.com
Traveling can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be expensive when the unexpected occurs far from home such as sickness or injury, travel delay, baggage loss, or worse. In the past decade, medical costs have increased dramatically worldwide and even countries with subsidized National Health plans now demand payment in full from foreign visitors for medical services rendered. At the same time travel suppliers such as airlines, and tour operators worldwide have made cancellation policies more restrictive, so if you have to cancel a trip it's likely that a substantial portion of your pre-paid travel expenses will not be refunded, and if you have to interrupt a trip mid-way, the last minute, one-way economy fare return-flight is now likely to be more costly than ever. Moreover, the reality of global terrorism, increased travel industry bankruptcies, global economic instability, and the overall unpredictability of life today causes many people to seek ways to minimize the unique financial risks associated with travel.
As a result, savvy travelers purchase travel insurance in order to protect against the potentially staggering financial costs resulting from crises such as the cancellation of a big trip due to death or illness of a family member or a required emergency medical evacuation.
Basic Plan Types
There are many types of travel insurance and choosing the right plan can be confusing. Becoming familiar with the basic types of plans and the specialized terms will make it easier to compare plans, and ultimately choose the right plan for your needs. TravelInsuranceCenter.com breaks down travel insurance into five major categories:
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
International Medical Insurance
Emergency Medical Evacuation.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance pays the insured or its beneficiary a substantial lump sum benefit when an accident results in death or the loss of a body part. Often people think travel insurance means flight accident insurance. Flight accident insurance is a type of AD&D that pays a benefit only when an airplane accident results in death or the loss of a body part. Common Carrier AD&D is a type of AD&D that pays a benefit only when an accident involving a common carrier results in death or the loss of a body part. Finally, the broadest type of AD&D is 24-Hour AD&D which pays a benefit when any accident results in death or the loss of a body part so long as the accident occurs during a covered trip.
Accidents due to terrorism may or may not be covered depending on the policy. Acts of war and nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks are usually excluded, but policies that waive the exclusions can be purchased at a considerable cost.
Trip Protection Plans typically reimburse your non-reimbursed travel expenses if an emergency (death, sickness, airline strike, travel company bankruptcy, etc.) occurs right before or during your trip causing it to be canceled, interrupted or delayed. Often these plans include travel assistance services, coverage for lost or damaged baggage, as well as minimal coverage for incurred medical expenses. Although the maximum benefit limits for medical expenses may be relatively low, often there is no deductible or co-pay. Usually, travel protection plans are sold on a per-trip or single-trip basis but some plans can be purchased on an annual multi-trip. Annual multi-trip travel protection plans offer all of the benefits of single-trip protection plans except annual multi-trip plans almost never cover trip cancellation.
Travel protection plans offer good protection for international and domestic travel when your trip cost is substantial. The medical expenses coverage can save Americans money when illness or injury occurs while traveling within the US, especially when your primary health insurance coverage is an HMO or PPO. Travel protection plans cover increased "out-of-pocket" expenses that result from higher co-pays and deductibles because you're "out-of-network."
International Medical Insurance is medical insurance designed to reimburse you for medical expenses incurred when you are traveling or living in a foreign country for two weeks to two years. Maximum policy coverage levels can be substantial enough (more than US$1 million if desired) to cover major medical expenses such as emergency surgery and extended hospital stays. The "American-style" of international medical insurance coverage is subject to the specified deductible (excess in the UK) and coinsurance or copay. Plans may include emergency evacuation, reunion, and repatriation benefits, as well as AD&D and travel assistance services. The plans allow you to choose the maximum policy coverage level and deductible, which affects the premiums, giving you more control over costs than is the case with travel protection plans. Some plans are renewable up to a maximum of 24 consecutive months.
Cigna Global Medical Insurance Plans
Creating a comprehensive, tailored plan with Cigna Global Health Options is simple. It’s flexible, so you can choose and pay for only the cover you need. Cigna International Medical plans comprise of three levels of cover: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each plan includes International Medical Insurance. Choose from two areas of coverage, depending on needs and location: Worldwide including USA and Worldwide excluding USA.
In addition, you can select optional modules, including: International Outpatient; International Medical Evacuation; International Health and Wellbeing; and International Vision and Dental which enables you the flexibility to create an expat health insurance plan that suits your unique needs.
As well as this, Cigna offers a wide range of cost share and deductible options on International Medical Insurance and International Outpatient, allowing you to tailor a plan to suit your budget.
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The Value of Cigna Global Medical Insurance
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has 60 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 30,000 people, plus a network of more than 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists.
Cigna’s full-time, clinical team is led by physicians. They have years of experience in dealing with varied and unique clinical and service situations worldwide. Their vast experience means they provide high standards of healthcare, regardless of where you are in the world.
Cigna Expatriate Medical Insurance
Cigna’s coverage is an ideal solution for expatriates and global citizens who are working abroad for a year or longer. The individual expat medical coverage we provide will cover you while abroad and everywhere else in the world you may travel to, including back to your home country.
Cigna’s Global Health Mission
Everything we do is around our mission to help improve your health, wellbeing and sense of security.
Cigna’s Customer Care Promise
· You can seek help for free any hour of the day or night.
· You can talk to the right person at the right time. The Cigna Customer Care Team will direct your call to one of their healthcare experts.
· You will have instant and easy access to healthcare facilities and professionals around the world.
· On the rare occasion you have to pay for your treatment directly, you’ll be reimbursed, wherever possible, within five days of receiving your claim.
· You can receive payment in over 135 currencies.