Insurance on the road
Written by: René Jakl
Photo by: Ivan Malý
These days, hardly anyone dares to go abroad without health insurance. Just a broken leg with a small operation and two days hospitalization could cost as much as CZK 400,000 in the USA. The following brief information may be useful for you, whether you have just returned from vacation or you are planning one soon.
It might sound like a banality, but the most important thing to know is if you are insured and against what. Many people think having a credit card account containing travel health insurance is sufficient, but for the most part, this coverage is likely to either exclude some common activities such as alpine tourism and skiing, or the settlement limitations are not high enough. American Express and Diners Club cards, which provide high quality insurance, are exceptions.
You could also be insured already without even knowing it. Either your local health insurer has a private contract with a foreign partner in the place of your destination, or insurance is guaranteed through international bilateral agreements. For example, such agreements have been made with the U.K., Poland, and Hungary, as well as such countries as Afghanistan, Yemen and Mozambique. However, experts recommend not relying too much on international agreements. Theoretically, insurance for the cost of treatment is not necessary in a country where the medical care is less expensive than in the Czech Republic. The domestic health insurance office is always obligated to provide its clients with financial compensation in the amount equal to what the treatment would cost here. So if you decide on classic, additional insurance with a broker, it is always worth it to carefully read the terms and conditions, even if it is three pages of fine print. Special attention must be paid to the various exceptions and limitations (only Allianz offers travel health insurance without limits).
Besides insurance for health care costs, brokers also offer insurance in the case of death or permanent injury. Insurance on your own health is certainly the most important, but don’t forget that it is possible to arrange additional insurance against other risks related to traveling. Baggage insurance, liability insurance and cancellation insurance are among the most common.
The article was prepared with the use of information provided by Internet Info, which operates Měšec.cz