Travel planning – protection against illness while traveling

Travel health insurance is an absolute must for travel if you want to protect yourself from getting into debt due to medical expenses. Particularly important is repatriation – this should be classified in the contract as medically reasonable.

Long-term international health insurance is a sensible cover for long trips such as work & travel, semesters abroad or au pairs. The offers for long-term health insurance abroad are very diverse, so a comprehensive comparison is advisable. Here, too, it is advisable to pay attention to the age limit.

Why not take out insurance when booking a trip?

Legacy travel health insurance policies: check which policies you already have and whether it might be worth switching. Ask your current provider if they can renew outdated terms and conditions. If not, a change offers itself.

Offers from the tour operator: Special caution is required for insurances that are offered together with the booking – often a one-year contract has been concluded with one click, which only includes minimal benefits. Foreign travel health insurance should rather not be concluded in a hurry.

Credit card insurance: Travel insurances, which run over the credit card, are often not adapted to current standards. Find out about the benefits included and take out additional travel health insurance if necessary. Especially in the area of repatriation costs, the benefits of the travel health insurance connected to the credit card should be checked. In addition to a costly surgery, the cost of return transportation is also quickly in the five-digit range, says also Urs from the Philippines blog.ch.

Insurance packages: Insurance packages often include unnecessary benefits while allowing for duplicate coverage. Better book the necessary insurances individually.

Insurance through automobile clubs: Insurance policies through automobile clubs often include inadequate benefits, such as coverage for operations up to 13.000 EUR. If complicated surgery is required, these costs will most likely be exceeded, and you will have to pay the difference yourself. Better inform yourself in detail with other providers.

These benefits are the hallmarks of a good travel health insurance policy

  • Your destination is included in the benefit
  • Repatriation is considered medically reasonable (100%)
  • The transport of the patient to another hospital is covered (100%)
  • Hospital benefits included (100%)
  • Repatriation in case of death (100%)
  • Doctor and hospital search included
  • Interpreter service if necessary
  • Child care when parents are sick
  • Parent bed costs covered for hospitalized child
  • Telephone costs for initial contact with the insurance company are covered
  • Temporary dental crowns and dental costs are covered

If these benefits are missing in your travel health insurance, you should think about a change.

Use our travel planning checklist for your trip abroad

If you're planning a trip, there are a few other things to consider besides a packing list for your suitcase that will make your travel planning easier. If you are injured or seriously ill and need treatment, this way you have all the important info at your fingertips.

We have gathered the most important information for safe travel planning from several blogs by experienced travel bloggers. Especially if you are traveling to a country where you are not familiar with or have a language barrier, this checklist can be helpful to print out.

Write out the most important addresses and telephone numbers in the destination country

Many bloggers refer to the German consulates, which can be helpful to you as a German citizen in the respective travel country. If you have a serious problem, which you can not solve alone, or you have problems, you have a contact person to help you. There were already travel bloggers who were looking for a suitable hospital and only got help through the consulate.

The first-aid kit and the travel first-aid kit

In case of minor injuries or illnesses such as diarrhea or other gastrointestinal diseases, there is only one thing that helps – time. Nevertheless, in the opinion of frequent travelers, a good first-aid kit is worth its weight in gold. You have with it known medicines at hand, which you know exactly in your degree of effectiveness. Another tip from travel bloggers: locals often have their own home remedies that can be used, for example, against mosquito or insect bites. Mosquito bites best help. Should an emergency occur, a refreshed first aid training is certainly helpful in addition to a first aid kit.

Vaccinations: Before traveling, find out about diseases in your destination country and, if in doubt, ask your doctor which vaccinations might be advisable for you.

Foreign health insurance: Where the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid, a foreign health insurance may be necessary. This is the case in non-European countries or, for example, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You request the foreign health insurance certificate from your statutory health insurance company. However, this also only covers emergency services. For comprehensive protection, it is advisable to take out travel health insurance.

Traveler's checks: Those who still know payment via traveler's checks from previous trips should look for an alternative payment method, because traveler's checks are no longer available in Germany since the end of 2015. Alternatively, payments can be made abroad using a debit card, credit card or traditional cash. If you are paying in cash, find out about exchange rates in good time.

Supplement – Other travel insurances that protect your belongings

Luggage insurance: A luggage insurance comes in most cases with many conditions – and that at a comparably high premium price. If the theft is really not your fault? Is the proof of purchase still available? What is the value of the product after two years of use? Damages can also be claimed in many cases from the transport companies where the items are lost. For cheaper luggage, luggage insurance is therefore rarely advisable. However, if expensive sports equipment, laptops or the like are taken on vacation, luggage insurance can still be worthwhile. Before one should inquire however with the own household insurance whether the products are possibly also insured on journeys.

Travel cancellation insurance: If you unexpectedly fall ill or have an accident before your trip, you will be glad that you have taken out travel cancellation insurance. This is especially worthwhile for people who travel a lot or at high cost. At best, choose an insurance without deductible, because this often hides a cost trap. With only one journey of approximately 100 EUR in the year you must decide for yourselves whether a travel resignation insurance is worthwhile for you. Caution: Travel cancellation insurances only pay in case of unforeseen events like illness or death. A vacation that you do not take because you do not feel like it will not be reimbursed.

Travel liability insurance: Travel liability insurance makes sense if you do not have private liability insurance in Germany. This often also pays for stays abroad for several months (please check with your own liability insurance)!). If you cause damage to someone else or damage their property while on vacation, travel liability insurance can save you from high costs.

Majorca policy: When booking a rental car for a vacation, the fine print can be too much to bear. Often you arrive in your vacation destination and find out that your car is not insured at all and that the rental car dealer is now charging you outrageous extra costs. The Mallorca policy protects against such experiences, because it applies to rental cars throughout Europe. On average, the insurance costs around 20 EUR per month. However, if you are very careful when booking the rental car, the Mallorca policy is not mandatory for you.

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