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Travel health insurance is a necessity. Don’t leave home without it. However, there are surprises in store if you need to use it to pay for medical services. Here’s a case study that illustrates the point.


Sue is 62 years of age. She and her husband were vacationing in Florida when she developed a severe abdominal pain. She went to the local hospital where she stayed over night. The doctor examined her. She had a CT of her abdomen. They started an IV but did not run any solution. She stayed in the ER overnight. Her pain settled. She went home in the early morning.

She had given the hospital her travel insurance policy and the contact information. However, 6 months latter she learned that she was responsible for the $10,000 bill. Her husband who is an experienced insurance advisor and she did not realize when they bought their annual travel insurance plans that the insured must report in to the travel insurer before any trip to answer some questions. Without reporting in, the insurance is null and void. The result is that this couple is responsible for the $10,000 bill.

This is an important point to remember because most insureds who purchase annual travel insurance plans assume that they are good to go for the year. Not many insureds realize that they might be required to “report in” before their trip or the travel health insurance is null and void.

Many travel health policies do not require the “reporting in” before you travel. These insurers ask that you “report in” if you need to access medical care while travelling.

So read the fine print and enjoy the travelling.