A LoyaltyLobby reader left us a question regarding travel insurance that I would recommend for someone traveling to Southeast Asia.
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Here’s the question from the reader:
Hi John, can you write an article on the health insurance you used and recommend for each country: Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam?
It is basically impossible to have a general suggestion of what travel insurance you should have because there are a few issues to consider:
1. Your country of residence
2. Continuous Insurance or Per Trip
3. Worldwide or Regional Coverage
4. What Included? (Health, Disruption & Baggage)
5. Coverage Amounts
6. Service Network
Many insurance products are only available to purchase from your country of residence. You must decide if it is beneficial to have continuous coverage (it makes sense if several trips per year).
The yearly insurance products tend to be relatively inexpensive in Europe, and many associations have a general policy for all of their members (trade unions).
You have to pay attention to how long the insurance is valid for on each trip. They can be as short as a couple of weeks to months.
I would think that the most essential part of travel insurance is the health coverage and what coverage limitations there might be.
Also, you should pay attention if you need to contact the insurance company FIRST before seeking help. They may have contracted specific doctors and clinics at their most used locations and have direct billing set up. This is also to control their costs.
Some insurance products may have countries excluded from their policies based on the travel advice (do not recommend travel) issued by respective governments.
If you rely on an insurance product provided by a credit card, you need to see if all or some of the trip expenses must be paid using it.
I have had insurance policies of varying kinds, from a single trip to one that was valid continuously without a need to return to Finland.
As some readers have probably seen from the Thailand Pass application examples I have published, my current insurance is a by-product of having an American Express Platinum Card for the Finnish market.
You can see the primary coverage areas on the letter that I have now attached to the application twice.
Benefits of my Amex Axa Travel Insurance in Brief:
What does the insurance cover?
See the insurance terms for definitions of insurance coverage.
Summary of travel insurance
Medical treatment and costs when traveling abroad
You will be reimbursed for any necessary medical, surgical and hospital expenses caused by an illness or accident while traveling. Compensation for permanent inconvenience or death caused by a travel accident is € 75,000.
Cancellation of the trip
If your trip is canceled, postponed or you have to cancel it altogether, you can be reimbursed up to € 6,000 for unused travel tickets and accommodation.
Interruption of a journey
The interruption of the trip will be reimbursed for the reasonable costs of returning home (and continuing the trip) as well as up to € 6,000 for unused tickets and accommodation.
Personal luggage, money and travel documents
Up to € 3,000 will be reimbursed for lost, stolen or damaged personal luggage, money or travel documents during the trip.
Additional travel, food and accommodation expenses of up to € 200 per person will be reimbursed in the following cases: delay in departure due to an accident or incident, delay in flight, train or ship, overbooking or delay in connection more than 4 hours.
Compensation 400 € / person if the luggage is more than 4 hours late and an additional 400 € / person if the luggage is more than 48 hours late.
Car rental – theft, damage and liability
Compensation for up to € 75,000 for a stolen or damaged rental car (including any deductible).
Compensation and legal costs for damage to another person or property, up to a maximum of € 750,000, will also be reimbursed.
Legal and liability insurance
If you are sued as a result of an accident while traveling, you will be reimbursed up to € 25,000 in legal costs and damages.
Compensation is up to € 1,000,000 for damage to another person or their property.
I have used travel insurance probably dozen times over the past 20+ years that I have been roaming around extensively. I tend not to bother to get reimbursed for all eligible medical expenses unless the sums are significant enough.
It has saved me a few thousand bucks twice, once in LA when I had trouble with my tonsils and in Rio de Janeiro, where I got a pretty bad infection and had to see various doctors 20 or so times.
Just to remind our readers that you need to file a police report if something is stolen because you probably need to attach this to the claim