Do I Need Travel Insurance?

So, you’ve just booked your first flight abroad. Or, maybe you’ve traveled internationally heaps before. Whatever your level of experience, you must always be prepared for when things don’t go as planned. Yeah, an accident, crisis, theft, or illness (just to name a few). Cause, you know, things happen.

I once lost my passport in Turkey, currently a Level 3 Travel Advisory according to the US State Department (plus, it’s never a good time to be floating around ID-less). It was really scary. I couldn’t fly without it, even within the country.  I thought it had been stolen, and I felt so vulnerable, trapped and alone.

While I eventually (believe it or not!) got it back, it really got me thinking: what if it had been worse?

What if rather than lost (and returned by some very nice Turkish people), it had been stolen?  What if I had had to make the 3 hour drive through the Turkish countryside, alone, to get to the US embassy to replace it…and something had happened to me along the way?

travel insurance

Christina was the real MVP- helping me fill out all of the paperwork to rush a passport at the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

Or what if, rather than lose my passport, I’d gotten seriously ill or injured?  Or gotten detained, or caught up in political unrest, or a natural disaster, or…HOW AM I prepared for bigger (badder) things that can happen while traveling in areas that may not be, well, 100% “safe”?    Who would I call for help?  Or, worse, if I just disappeared, or were hospitalized and unable to communicate, or make it home on my own, who would my parents call for help??

While I usually do take out travel insurance, to cover things like cancelled (expensive) flights and basic medical care in an emergency, as I started researching, I discovered: travel insurance isn’t actually enough.  If I’m hospitalized in what they consider an “acceptable hospital”, they won’t move me.  I’m stuck there.  I don’t know about you, but if I’m really sick, I want to go home.  And it doesn’t have much security / safety coverage, if any.   I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but horrible things happen all the time while traveling.  I’m more aware of this now than I ever have been. But I found a solution.

travel insurance

It’s called Medjet.

Medjet is an Air Medical Transport and Travel Security Membership Program. Mouthful? Sorry about that, but that’s their specialty.

Picture this: if you are injured, local emergency services likely will take you to the nearest ER. If that facility cannot treat you, your travel insurance will likely get you transported to the next nearest “acceptable facility”, if that’s what is “medically necessary”, and that’s likely where you’ll stay.  Stuck in a facility that may or may not be “acceptable” for you. Acceptable in terms of cleanliness, quality of services, language barriers between patients and doctors, and the risk of capping out on your travel medical insurance benefits.

What is Medjet?

If you are hospitalized and a member of their MedjetAssist® program,  will get you all the way back to your own hospital at home, regardless of whether the facility you are in is “acceptable” or not and regardless of whether transport is “medically necessary” or not. Regardless of if you are traveling nationally or internationally! Mind blown, right!? Prior to learning of this service I had no idea something like it existed. But I am so happy it does!

As a Medjet member, if you are hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, Medjet will arrange transfer to your home country hospital of choice, regardless of medical necessity. If you need transport, there are no additional costs other than what you paid for your membership. No claims forms, no surprise bills, no insurance hassles. With medical transport costs ranging from $30,000 to over $150,000, why risk it?

travel insurance

What is MedjetHorizon?

MedjetHorizon is Medjet’s elevated Medical Transport, Travel Security & Crisis Response Membership. Not only does MedjetHorizon include all of the benefits of a MedjetAssist membership, it also includes worldwide travel security, crisis response and evacuation services.

MedjetHorizon members have 24/7 access to a travel security network for in-country response to a wide range of safety concerns and threats while traveling including terrorism, natural disaster, political threat, violent crime,  wrongful detention and more. With the world we live in today, these safety concerns are all too real.  Even in places once considered “safe.” MedjetHorizon can respond as soon as a member feels uneasy; there is no need to wait for government issued hard triggers or evacuation orders, which most travel insurance policies must wait for. For me, this is so important.

travel insurance

Why is air ambulance and crisis protection necessary?

I feel like we are constantly limiting where we travel because the state of the world isn’t the best. Having Medjet is peace of mind when it comes to planning trips to, I’ll just come out and say it, the Middle East (Note: always check https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/ when planning a trip abroad, — Medjet can’t protect you in places that are at Level 4: Do Not Travel).

While parts of the Middle East are considered ‘unsafe,’ by many, — I can’t tell you the number of looks I’ve received after saying I want to travel to places like Jordan or Jerusalem — the architecture and the experiences are as beautiful and unforgettable there as anywhere.

I realize this kind of service might sound slightly aggressive. And expensive.  And honestly at first glance it seemed over the top. But then I got to researching it, and with memberships starting as low as $99, I came to the conclusion that it is a very small price to pay considering if I were to ever be in an emergency (which let’s face it could happen anytime, anywhere), and I needed to be transferred back home from being abroad, the price could be upwards of $150,000. Who has $150,000 in spare change hanging around the house? Probably no one that is reading this and DEFINITELY not me. Nor my parents (and that wouldn’t really be fair for my travel accident to be their respon$ibility, now would it?).

All I know is I’m glad I discovered it, and I want their MedjetHorizon membership.  It’s $419 for an entire year, as many trips as I want to take ~ and it’s going to be a lot LESS on CyberMonday because they’re having a sale (Medjet.com/Cyber).

Things to know & tips:

This is medical transport coverage SEPARATE from your travel insurance.

Like any insurance, Medjet must be enrolled in prior to travel.

Make sure they cover the location you’ll be traveling…if they don’t, I’d honestly reconsider traveling there!

travel insurance

This post is written in partnership with Medjet. As always, my opinions are my own.

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