Is Travel Medical Insurance an Expense or an Investment?
Many travelers wonder and ask the same question: “Is travel medical insurance an expense or an investment?” And their answers to this same question varies according to their own principles, beliefs, and even misconceptions. Let this article enlighten you to the real facts behind what travel medical insurance is all about and determine from there whether travel medical insurance is indeed an expense or a wise investment.
Millions of people travel to other countries, cities, or states every day. Out of these human traffic in the airport, bus terminals, seaports, and train stations, only a few percentage are shielded with travel medical insurance. It is fortunate that a huge percentage of the number of travelers arrive at their destinations safe and sound; however the other side of the coin unfortunately experience either a medical mishap or health emergency. And while the huge portion of travelers thank their angels for having a safe trip and confirm that they really don’t need insurance, the other small portion of travelers regret not having gotten travel medical insurance.
Is Travel Medical Insurance an Expense or an Investment?
Good for you if you were part of the huge percentage, but what if you become part of the small percentage of travelers that experience mishaps and emergencies? What is your protection? Now ask yourself again,
Let us understand the meaning of the words expense and investment first to really know the difference between the two.
Definitions of Expense and Investment
According to a basic dictionary, the word expense simply means money spent for an item. Meanwhile, accounting dictionaries define the word expense as an outflow of money as payment to an individual or company for an item or service.
The word investment means an allocation of money with a certain expected benefits in the future. Other financial dictionaries define it as an acquisition of a financial product that promises positive returns in the future.
The above stated definitions show the main difference between what an expense is and what an investment is. An expense is a one way flow of cash, meaning there is no expected monetary return in the future. For example, buying food in a restaurant is an expense or buying clothes in the department store. An investment is two way flow of cash, meaning there is an expected monetary return in the future. For example, depositing money in the bank that will earn monthly interests or buying stocks that can earn dividends in the future.
A Closer Look at Travel Medical Insurance
It is better to understand what travel medical insurance is all about so that travelers, like you, can see what good and what kind of protection it can give you. First of all, travel medical insurance caters to individuals, families, and even group of employees who travel to a foreign destination for a given period of time. This kind of insurance gives safety nets to said individuals who travel to another country where their local HMO’s do not and cannot comprehensively cover. Travel medical insurance covers expenses directly related to medical emergencies and medical evacuations; although there are some policies that can also include trip cancellations, luggage damage, or even property loss. Ultimately, though, travel medical insurance focuses on the insured medical well being.
You might be wondering whether you need travel medical insurance if you have a clean bill of health. The answer to your question is healthy individuals get sick too. Furthermore, you would not want to get sick or be in a medical emergencies while in foreign land and without any extra cash with you. It is during such medical emergency that your decision to get travel medical insurance can be deemed the right choice. If course it is better to have insured yourself and not be in a situation where you need to avail of its benefits, but it is always best to be two steps ahead of possible situations.
Take the case of the Schengen group of countries; one of the requirements needed to secure a Schengen visa is to have travel medical insurance. Regardless whether you are personally insured in your home country, the Schengen area adamantly requires all foreign visitors to have a Schengen-compliant travel medical insurance that is in line with the requirements set by the embassy. You might think that the embassy is just doing this to earn extra money, but the Schengen area does not offer travel medical insurance. You must secure one from a private insurance company. This means that the requirement is not to earn extra money but to make sure that visitors have enough medical coverage to prevent individuals from actually spending a lot for medical bills.
Who Needs Travel Medical Insurance?
Any traveler has the option to get travel medical insurance. Whether you are staying in a foreign land for 24 hours, 72 hours, or even longer, you have the possibility of incurring medical expenses during times of illnesses, medical emergencies, or worse accidents. If you currently are maintaining a personal insurance from a company in your locality, check if your policy has travel medical insurance coverage in a foreign land. If there you have coverage, check the amount of coverage and see if the coverage is enough should you have a medical emergency in another country. However, usually, local insurance policies do not cover foreign travels which is why you would probably need to get a separate insurance policy for that. Should you have a local HMO card or a health card, you also need to check its coverage value when used in another country.
Is Travel Medical Insurance an Expense or an Investment – The Verdict
The question still remains to be answered. And while, yes, securing travel medical insurance has its costs, it also promises a future benefit in cases medical or travel emergencies. For this reason, travel medical insurance is considered an investment. And what is this investment for, you might ask? It is for your own safety and well-being. Remember, your greatest asset is yourself; therefore you should invest on yourself to increase your value.
Throw yourself the question once again, “Is travel medical insurance an expense or an investment?” and know that what you are investing on is yourself and even your family.