Planning a missionary trip in the near future? Here’s what you should know about missionary travel health insurance before you pack your bags.
13 May 2010
Depending on how often you travel for missionary work, you may purchase a single-trip travel insurance plan or an annual plan for multiple trips throughout the year. Whether you’re traveling for a short missionary trip or on multiple trips all year long, a travel insurance policy can protect you from unforeseen events that could cost you a significant amount of money.
Some of the unexpected things that can go wrong on a missionary trip include the following:
The jeep you are traveling in plunges into a deep hole in the road and you suffer a concussion and a broken leg – missionary workers often travel to areas that are remote and don’t have a lot of public services, so it’s important to ensure that if you are injured, you can be evacuated to where you can get medical attention.
You are working deep in the tropics and come down with Dengue fever – when you need medical care – especially when you are a medical care provider – time is of the essence. The quicker you recover, the quicker you can return to your important work.
Working on a water project in Peru, you get word that your daughter back home is ill – when you have to abandon your trip for a covered reason like the illness or injury of someone close to you, will you have the help you need to schedule an emergency flight home and the funds to pay for it?
You’ve purchased your plane tickets, updated your passport, and got your shots, but the trip is cancelled due to government travel restrictions – even missionary trips sometimes get cancelled. Can you afford to lose all the money you’ve spent or would you rather get a refund and save it for a later missionary trip?
You arrive safely with your mission group, but several bags are missing – when you’re in a foreign country and your bags are lost, will you have the cash on hand to replace those items?
As a frequent missionary traveler, you want to leave your family safe – when traveling in dangerous regions of the world, it’s important to make sure your family will have the funds they need if you don’t make it back in one piece.
You know the area you are visiting is dangerous and you want to be sure your family is spared the expense and complications of returning your body home – because missionaries travel to some of the most dangerous and remote areas of the globe, treating illnesses and helping relieve the burdens of poverty, they are at greater risk and need repatriation coverage.
What coverage do you need as a missionary traveler?
Evacuation coverage provides the coordination of and payment for medically necessary evacuations. (Review the details of evacuation coverage.)
Medical expense coverage provides the information and the funds necessary to secure your medical treatment at a local medical facility. (Review the details of medical coverage.)
Trip interruption coverage provides the funds to help you return home. It also provides funds to return to your missionary work within the itinerary dates when the danger has passed. (Review the details of trip interruption coverage.)
Trip cancellation coverage provides reimbursement for your pre-paid non refundable trip costs when your trip is cancelled for a covered reason. (Review the details of trip cancellation coverage.)
Baggage coverage provides a certain amount of reimbursement for lost, stolen or destroyed luggage. (Review the details of baggage coverage.)
Baggage delay coverage provides a certain amount of reimbursement, allowing you to purchase necessary clothing and personal items until your bag can be located and returned to you. (Review the details of baggage delay coverage.)
Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage provides a lump sum payment to you or to your family if you are disabled or die on your missionary trip. (Review the details of AD&D coverage.)
Repatriation coverage ensures that your family won’t have to pay the funds or work the government and transportation system to get your body returned home for burial if you die on your trip. (Review the details of repatriation coverage.)
Travel assistance services ensures that you have someone who can help you navigate tricky travel emergencies like cancelled flights, locating a hospital, replacing a stolen passport. (Review the details of travel assistanceservices.)
When should you buy your travel insurance?
Purchase your policy just after making your first trip payment. In some situations, this timing is important because some benefits:
pre-existing medical condition waivers,
‘cancel for any reason’, and
‘cancel for work reasons’
are only applicable if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days (usually 10-15) from making your initial trip deposit. Plus, you’ll benefit from the longest period of cancellation coverage.