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J. Honsaker: Why buy travel insurance?

December 6, 2018

Editor:

I am trying to decide whether buying travel insurance is a complete waste of money. During the fall of 2017, while visiting Canada for a few months, I experienced severe pain in my abdomen. I was rushed to the emergency department of a hospital, and on the same day had surgery for a badly infected gall bladder. The surgeon and supporting staff at the hospital during my three-day stay were wonderful, and the accompanying bill was reasonable — $12,000. Before leaving the United States in April of 2017, I had purchased travel insurance through a local agent. In November of this year, over a year after the surgery, I received a letter saying my insurance claim was denied because of a “preexisting condition.” Apparently, “any injury, illness, sickness, disease, or other physical, medical, mental or nervous disorder, condition or ailment that, with reasonable medical certainty, existed at the time of application or any time during the three years prior to the effective date of this insurance” disqualifies you from being covered.

Consequently, the question is what does insurance cover? It appears from this policy that it would only cover you if you were involved in an accident of some type because almost everything else could be considered preexisting. The policy I purchased should have been sold as accident insurance and not travel insurance. In summary I am very disappointed in my insurance agent for selling me such a poor policy, and I would like all of your readers to be aware of how important it is to obtain the right insurance coverage.

J. Honsaker

Lake Havasu City

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