Finding the most suitable policy to cover your next trip can be tricky. It may be hard sometimes to understand the differences between the many travel insurance programs.
Choosing the right travel insurance program will give you peace of mind and therefore you need to make sure that you have the coverage you need for the type of trip you go on.
Diving trips are basically a regular trip or vacation, however, the main activity of diving requires some additional insurance benefits that will cover diving specific scenarios, like treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.
Why should I make sure to travel with insurance?
In the event of serious injury or illness, insurance payouts can run into the hundreds of thousands of US dollars. An uninsured traveler will be at the mercy of the local medical system and the traveler’s credit card and bank. Medical treatment in some regions and specifically diving related medical treatment can be very expensive. An uninsured person will need to pay out of pocket, sometimes upfront, and that could be a problem.
Emergency medical coverage is most important, and when dive-traveling, medical coverage should pay for treatments in hyperbaric chamber. Different insurance policies have different terms and conditions so reading the fine print of each program is highly recommended. Coverage for medical evacuation is also very important and should include all types of evacuation.
Other important benefits for a travel program are coverage for trip cancellations, interruptions and delays. Such coverage will protect your investment in case you need to cancel your trip due to various reasons, or cut your trip short in the middle.
Of course, a 24/7 emergency hotline should be available to you when traveling.
Choosing the right level of coverage
Different programs offer different levels of coverage. When traveling to remote destinations or to a destination with an expensive medical system be sure to choose a program with high medical and evacuation coverage so that you are fully covered. Choosing a primary policy (vs. secondary coverage) will ensure that you will be eligible for admission guarantees, payment in real time to medical providers, fast claim processing and a clear claim history with your medical provider back home. Furthermore, make sure to choose the trip cancellation coverage that matches the full cost of your trip, so that in case of a cancellation or interruption, your investment will be covered in full.
Insurance premiums are calculated based on the level of medical coverage offered, duration of travel and cost of trip. The age of the traveler might affect the premium as well with some programs. Its important to consider additional programs and coverage options that are offered during the enrollment process, which might provide you with a more comprehensive package of benefits for your upcoming trips.
If something happens
When travelling, keep the emergency number you received handy. You can also program the phone number into your cell phone to make sure you have it at all times. Make sure to have your policy number and know the name of your travel insurance company. You can call the emergency help line for assistance. You can call for help even if your case is not a medical emergency and you simply require travel assistance due to an interruption, delay and more.
Filing a claim back home is generally straightforward – you’ll need to submit some forms, so keep receipts, get police reports, evidence – everything you can to support your claim. If the claim is investigated and accepted, normally you will be reimbursed within a few weeks. If not, an appeals process is always available.