ST. PETE BEACH, FL July 17, 2011 – Having too little medical evacuation coverage during a trip can turn a medical emergency into a significant financial loss. Squaremouth.com, a site for comparing and purchasing travel insurance, recommends choosing the amount of medical evacuation insurance based on the traveler’s destination. “Since the costs to medically transport someone can increase the further away they are from their home, understanding how much medical evacuation is necessary could alleviate many potential financial burdens,” says Sarah Byrne, Marketing Manager at Squaremouth.
So how much medical evacuation is enough? Squaremouth recommends between $50,000 and $250,000 of medical evacuation insurance. The following recommendations are based off the average medical evacuation costs from some of the travel insurance providers available on Squaremouth.com. If an American is traveling within the U.S., $50,000 in medical evacuation should be enough protection, however, if they are traveling to the Caribbean or Europe, they should purchase a policy with at least $100,000 in medical evacuation. Travelers visiting Asia, Africa or the Pacific Islands are recommended to purchase a policy with at least $250,000 in medical evacuation. The more remote the location, or the further away a traveler is from adequate medical facilities, the more medical evacuation may be needed.
“Some policies offer several million dollars of evacuation coverage, however, it is rare for an evacuation to cost more than $100,000,” advises Chris Harvey, CEO of Squaremouth. “Don’t spend more for a policy thinking multi-million dollar coverage is necessary.”
Travelers who do not have enough medical evacuation coverage not only risk a financial crisis, but pose a threat to their well-being. “If you incured an injury or illness in an area with inadequate facilities, you could be putting your life on the line. What if the doctors did not have access to appropriate equipment which would determine the extent of your injuries? Our advice is to buy a policy with medical evacuation, and don’t take the risk,” warns Suzanne Munson, Director of Marketing at Seven Corners, a travel insurance provider.
Although medical evacuation pays for the costs to medically transport a traveler, it is not to be confused with search and rescue. In all but rare cases, local emergency services and the coast guard of the country where the person is injured are responsible for first response. “Most people mistakenly believe medical evacuation insurance will pluck injured hikers off of mountainsides or heart attack victims off cruise ships at sea,” says Harvey. For this reason, it’s important to first dial 9-1-1 or the local equivalent in an emergency, followed by the insurance provider’s emergency assistance number.
Medical evacuation can be purchased as part of a package of benefits within a travel insurance policy, however, travelers are able to purchase policies that only offer medical evacuation. MedjetAssist, Air Ambulance and Global Rescue are a few companies that offer this type of service.
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major carrier. Squaremouth has web sites in the US and UK, and an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St Pete Beach, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.
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Squaremouth offers products from the following travel insurance carriers:
Air Ambulance Card, CSA Travel Protection, Global Alert Admin, HCC, HTH Worldwide, IMG, ITravelInsured, Medjet Assist, MH Ross, Seven Corners, Travel Guard, Travel Insurance Services, Travel Insured, Travelex, TravelSafe and USA Assist.
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Squaremouth compares travel insurance policies from every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth's comparision engine and third-party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com