Nowadays, in the times of too much GTC gibberish, people are tempted to choose insurance providers just because of the price. Most insurance providers offer pretty much the same services, there are still a few things to take into account. You wouldn’t be the first one to experience a nasty surprise.
So, the first thing I want to say is read the terms and conditions! No matter how boring or annoying it is. You don’t want to realize your insurance only covers half of the costs for transportation back home, when you are already lying in the hospital.
Here are the most important things to check when choosing your insurance provider.
- Insurance sum: A longer stay in a hospital can cost more than 100.000 €. Transportation back to your homecountry can cost a high five digit amount. Check if the insurance sums are realistic.
- Deductibles: Check if your insurance provider is only cheap because you have to pay high deductibles in case something happens.
- Deposit: Usually the hospital demands its money immediately and won’t wait until you settle things with your insurance provider. Be sure to choose a provider who pays immediately and doesn’t make you pay in advance. If there are any problems with the hospital you want those problems to be your insurance´s problems and not yours.
- Coverage: What is included? Do you have an 24 hour hotline, are sport accidents and working accidents included aswell? Do you need to pay for dental treatment or medicine yourself?
- America/Canada: Only relevant to people not living in the United States or Canada of course. Some providers charge extra if you want to travel America and Canada aswell.
- Coverage in your homecountry: Usually long term health insurance providers do not cover your country of residence. In case you need to be transported back into your homecountry, because of medical reasons, you need to cover costs in your homecountry yourself.
Don’t save when it comes to your health insurance. We all had to go through the annoying process of comparing insurances, but it’s definitly worth it. Most likely nothing will happen and you’ll just enjoy your trip, but as already mentioned, you don’t want to argue with your provider if something happens. A respectable long term health insurance will cost around 30 € a month. Be carefull with everything that is far below.
I chose the STA Travel health insurance since it included luggage-, civil liability- and even stuff like a bicycle insurance for just 600 € a year. The best thing was that you got the money back in case you came home earlier. Unfortunately they changed things recently so I can’t recommend them at the moment. I will inform myself again sooner or later and then update this post.
As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!
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