Much has changed since the dawn of the pandemic, and many of those changes have started to revert back to normal as we’ve begun to learn how to live with COVID-19. One change that I don’t think will go back, however, is how people think about travel insurance. There’s a heightened concern about what happens if you get sick or stuck far from home, and we’ve seen it very clearly in our Cranky Concierge travel assistance business. One thing I’ve noticed is there’s a lot of confusion about what kind of insurance is useful. Let’s try and clear that up.
[Disclosure: This post is part of a long term sponsorship of Cranky Flier by Medjet.]
Where people tend to turn first is to travel insurance, and they aren’t wrong to do that. Travel insurance generally serves two main purposes. First, it will help people get their money back if they have to cancel a trip or if the trip is interrupted… as long as the reason is covered. Second, it will provide medical and evacuation insurance for travelers if they get sick.
On the surface, that sounds great. I mean, it sounds terrible to get sick on the road, but, to be clear, it’s the coverage that sounds great. But it’s also not quite what it’s cracked up to be when it comes to medical evacuation.
Most travel insurance will get you to a suitable hospital, but you don’t get to choose what hospital that is. The insurance companies usually just have a list and you go to the closest one in the country you’re in. Even hospital-of-choice policies typically mean a hospital in the city you’re in, not one at home. Evacuation is possible back to your home, but only if everyone involved deems it medically necessary. I wouldn’t count on that.
This is where medical transport membership programs like Medjet come into play. Medjet provides and pays for all ground and air medical transport to get you moved to your hospital at home, or to a specialty hospital in your own country, just because you’d prefer to be there. There are no medical necessity requirements. In other words, having both types of coverage can be really helpful: travel insurance for getting you to the nearest ER and Medjet for getting you moved home. Medjet can give that peace of mind during a time where everybody is anxious, with one of the concerns being sick in a far away land without the ability to get home. They can even get members hospitalized for COVID-19 moved to their hospital at home.
Medjet’s basic MedjetAssist membership can be bought either for a short term or on an annual basis. Evacuation can be ridiculously costly, so I must admit I was a little surprised when I saw that MedjetAssist is actually not very expensive. If you’re under age 75, an annual MedjetAssist membership with global benefits is $295 for the year. For a family it’s $399, and that’s for 2 adults and up to 5 dependent children.
But wait, there’s more. They’ll throw in a SECOND pillow for freeeeeeee! Sorry, I lost my mind there for a minute. But there is more. There’s another level of membership called MedjetHorizon which is an additional $149 for an individual or $179 more for a family. This helps calm another fear that has plagued travelers lately.
MedjetHorizon includes all the same medical transport benefits, but it also includes security and crisis response. Let’s just say you were traveling abroad in, oh, say, March 2020 and… then the world shut down. MedjetHorizon could help get you out. Not only that, but they can help with legal issues and give access to translators, communicate with people at home, and more.
Not realistic enough? Ok, let’s say your dad is Liam Neeson and you are going to Europe with friends. When you inevitably get kidnapped, Medjet can help the first time, the second time, or the third time. At least, I think it can help the third time. You’ve gotta be pretty dumb to keep getting abducted.
If you’re planning on taking a trip and large amounts of money you’ve paid can’t be refunded if things go wrong, travel insurance is a great idea. But when it comes to medical and security peace of mind, Medjet is the one that can be most helpful.
Learn more, see pricing, and sign up at medjet.com/crankyflier.