Kylie Stine | Jul 24, 2020
Or strolling along the sandy beaches of Spain? Or, how about sipping on expensive champagne in Paris?
If you don’t have travel insurance, then you may have to keep dreaming.
Italy, Spain, and France are all Schengen nations, which are European countries that allow tourists to easily travel between them. Other nations under the Schengen agreement include Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Greece, just to name a few. All of the Schengen nations require visitors from these countries to have travel insurance before entering the country. Other countries such as Thailand, Cuba, and Ecuador require all visitors to present proof of travel insurance upon arrival. The U.S. Department of State has international travel information on each individual foreign country’s requirements. Before you travel anywhere, visit the U.S. Department of State website to find out if your destination requires visitors to have trip insurance.
While information varies and can sometimes be confusing, the U.S. Department of State explicitly states, “The U.S. government does not provide medical insurance for U.S. citizens overseas. We do not pay medical bills. You should purchase insurance before you travel.”
Awareness of these international guidelines is essential to a well-planned and worry-free vacation, and yet there are still so many people uninformed about the need for travel insurance.
As long as tourism continues to increase, the amount of nations that require visitors to show proof of travel insurance is likely to follow. Why? Countries are tired of accounting for unpaid medical expenses that result from treating foreigners. Oftentimes, countries won’t even treat patients unless proof of payment is given. Making travel insurance mandatory alleviates any hesitation to treat foreign patients, which in turn can offer travelers invaluable comfort and security when faced with an unexpected medical emergency in unfamiliar surroundings.
Keep in mind, travel insurance is not synonymous with a travel visa. A travel visa is documentation that allows someone to enter and remain in a country for a period of time. Sometimes they are attached to a passport, and sometimes they are issued separately. Travel insurance, however, is coverage for emergency situations, from travel delays to trip cancellations and from broken bones to accidental death.
For 25 years, Seven Corners has communicated the importance of trip insurance, whether trip protection or travel medical plans, when traveling. In doing so, we have provided services to millions of clients. Now, however, countries themselves are beginning to realize the criticality of mandating trip coverage.
Similar to purchasing a rental car or converting currency, these kiosks will allow travelers to quickly purchase plans when they arrive in a foreign airport. Sounds good, right?
Because travel insurance is a necessity in these countries, travelers have no choice but to purchase it. If you wait until you arrive at your destination to purchase coverage, your only option is to purchase what is offered at the airport. This means that the providers could offer you bare minimum coverage at higher prices, and you’re also crunched for time and forced to make a hasty decision. In turn, when you opt out of being proactive, you subject yourself to making a reactive choice.
If you choose to be proactive and purchase travel insurance early, however, you have control. You can shop around, compare plans and prices, and see which plan best fits your needs. Because you are not pressed for time, the pressure to purchase whatever appears first on the screen is gone. You have a voice. You have the reins.
Seven Corners offers a variety of trip protection and travel medical plans that best fit your needs. Here, we believe customers come first, and we own the solutions to our customers’ needs. Our team of specialists is trained to help connect and provide you with the optimum coverage for each and every trip you take.
Take Darryl, for example. He and his wife, Nancy, recently took a trip to China. While in Beijing, the couple took a tour of the Temple of Heaven. As the crowd started to move and Darryl got lost in a sea of tourists, he was pushed through a threshold and fell about a foot to the ground, landing on hard concrete. His leg went one way and his foot went the other, and suddenly his femur was shattered.
The tour guide called an ambulance for Darryl, and as soon as they arrived at the hospital, the staff asked how he and Nancy planned to pay for his treatment. Without travel insurance, Darryl and Nancy may have been required to pay out of pocket — and if they couldn’t, it’s possible Darryl may not have been treated. Thankfully, the couple purchased a trip protection plan with Seven Corners before they headed to China.
Darryl was in immense pain and thought he was going to die. It was his daughter who reminded him that he had people fighting for his care and safety. While on an international phone call together, Darryl’s daughter reminded him he had a team of helping hands at Seven Corners working to get him the assistance he needed. Defying geographic, cultural, and language barriers, Seven Corners spoke directly with doctors and Nancy so that Darryl could be taken care of and return home safely. Two weeks after surgery, Darryl was well enough to travel. Seven Corners flew a nurse to accompany Darryl and Nancy and monitor his condition as they flew home.
Because Darryl and Nancy researched and bought travel insurance before they left for their trip, they prevented their unexpected surprise from turning from bad to worse.
“For such a small amount of investment, you cover what could be a huge loss,” Darryl said. “After this experience, I wouldn’t think of traveling without travel insurance.”
Kylie Stine is a current Butler University student studying Strategic Communication and Spanish with a minor in International Business. Aside from school, Kylie is passionate about traveling, music, writing, and ice cream (depending on the day, not necessarily in that order).