Start talking about anything even remotely related to the topic of travel insurance and odds are the conversation will be short. This is not something that travelers dream about, plan for or share with their social networks. No one we know of has a scrapbook of insurance mementos picked up along the way or has written a song about it. To many travelers, travel protection is an annoying, unnecessary expense. Still, have a situation while traveling where we need it, and all of the sudden the cost seems a trivial matter.
In the past, Gadling has reported on the difference between travel insurance, which covers monetary damages, and travel protection, which provides immediate support and assistance in an emergency. We explained how insurance that covers medical evaluation could help avoid a $100,000 airfare too. Our friends at airfarewatchdog have a nifty chart explaining the difference between three major players in the travel assistance game, OnCall International, Medjet Assist and AirMed.
Traveling to any place on the planet to hike, climb, ski or scuba dive? These plans have you covered.
Any of those companies will transport travelers from anywhere in the world back to a hospital or medical facility of their choice. Prices run between $55 and $115 per person for a short-term plan and annual plans are available for those who travel extensively.
But what if travels take you camping, biking or skiing somewhere around North America, on a cruise to the Caribbean, Bermuda or Mexico? For you, there may be similar coverage at a fraction of the cost.Another company, SkyMed, covers just the USA, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas with short-term plans as low as $9 per day.
Important to adventure travelers, SkyMed uses mostly medically equipped and staffed jets, and other fixed-wing aircraft appropriate for the type of airport or landing strip available. Should the situation call for a helicopter, they have those too.
I learned about travel protection about this time last year, avoiding a $2500 cruise ship medical center bill by having similar protection with an annual TravelGuard policy.
In the video below, a hiker in Wyoming with a broken ankle sits waiting for help to come.
We do not want you to be in this situation.
[Photo credit - Flickr user slworking2]