Why Would I Want International Health Insurance?
If you’re part of the world’s growing population of expatriates – or if you are considering joining it – you have doubtlessly encountered more than a few people trying to sell you some sort of insurance policy. And there are few things that turn us off more than someone trying to sell us international insurance.
Those annoyances are not without merit either. Who wants to pay what could be a significant insurance premium each month, after all? Most people who buy insurance also have a few complaints about their plans. Insurance agents don’t exactly have a reputation for being trustworthy either, as sometimes unrealistic sales targets often force them to fudge the truth a bit (or a lot).
Regardless of any misgivings you may have about insurance, the fact is that if you’re going overseas for any significant period of time, it’s definitely something you should consider. Here are just three reasons you will want to get international health insurance.
1.) Regular insurance plans won’t protect you overseas
One dirty secret of many large insurers is that their plans are often ineffective the moment you move abroad. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from billing you each month. Even diplomats have been surprised to find that their regular insurance policies offer no protection when they are on overseas postings.
While you can get another regular insurance plan in your host country, it’s likely going to offer you coverage in just that country, as well. If you move back and forth between your home and host country frequently, or if your job or lifestyle necessitates travel between several different countries, it’s likely that what you need is international health insurance or expat insurance.
These types of plans are more suited for those who are living long-tem, overseas. Customization is also available to better suit your specific needs as well as those of your family.
2.) Travel insurance is not meant for long-term overseas living
Many misinformed people are often conned into getting travel insurance or some other plan meant for tourists. While these plans are perfect for those spending short amounts of time overseas, they will not typically cover long-term health issues, dental work, or maternity care. Instead, there’s a focus on protection from flight delays, your luggage, and your accommodations, which can be great – but hardly what you need if you’re living abroad for what might be a very long time.
To ensure that you have exactly the type of plan your situation requires, get in touch with a specialized insurer like Now Health International so you can be sure you’re getting an international health insurance plan rather than one meant for tourists.
3.) Foreigners are at an elevated risk from endemic diseases, accidents, and crime
The risks vary depending on the destination, of course. However, certain risks are elevated even in countries known for safety.
Your unfamiliarity with how things are done in your host country can put your life at risk. For instance, the side of the road they drive on in your host country may be different from what it is, back home. This can increase your chances of meeting an accident as a driver or pedestrian. Work safety standards may also differ; making it likelier you will make a serious mistake that can result in injury, or worse.
Endemic diseases are also a serious issue. While the locals may have built up an immunity to local pathogens, your body may take several months to adjust, and you may even suffer debilitating illnesses during your transition period. Coping with this can be especially problematic if you’re uninsured.
Lastly, many criminals in some countries intentionally target foreigners, knowing full well their unfamiliarity with the country makes it exceedingly difficult to get any recourse. Violent crime against foreigners is a serious issue in a few countries, which further highlights the need of international insurance coverage overseas.
Whatever reasons you may have for not getting insurance in your home country, at least try to consider whether it’s worth taking the same risks overseas. It’s also worth noting that many countries will refuse you entry if you do not have an international insurance policy in the first place, so at the very least make sure that whatever plan you get actually gives you the type of coverage you can use.