Local News

Travel Insurance Could Mean Extra Protection When Overseas

Posted July 12, 2005 6:41 a.m. EDT

— No one goes on a trip to a foreign country expecting a medical emergency, or in the case of two Tennessee girls, being victim to a terrorist attack.

But if you are hurt overseas, chances are your insurance will not cover you, resulting in medical care that can be very expensive.

That is why travel agents and online vendors sell extra medical coverage and evacuation insurance to help you get back home.

Katie and Emily Benson, who were on a London subway when a bomb exploded last week, were flown to Duke University Medical Center for treatment. Their doctor, Dr. Greg Georgiade, says their story is a prime example of why travelers need trip insurance.

"If you go somewhere, you better have an exit strategy," Georgiade said. "Most of us don't have evacuation insurance."

"It's very cheap for what you get; it gives me a lot of peace of mind," said Chrissy Pearson, who works for the North Carolina Department of Insurance and knows just how important it is to have coverage wherever you are.

She and her husband have been to Ecuador, Romania and Trinidad.

"We took our first trip overseas just after 9/11, and we were very concerned about terrorism," Pearson said. "We're traveling to places that are a little bit risky and places that could possibly be lower on the end of medical facilities that you have available to you."

Cary travel agent Jill Fuller says few people ask about travel insurance, which usually covers everything from trip cancellation, to emergency medical care and evacuation.

"You never know when something tragic is going to happen to you or someone you love," Fuller said. "Trip insurance is as essential as packing your luggage."

What you will pay for this type of insurance depends on where you are going, your age and the cost of your trip. You can pay as little as $25 and as much as several hundred dollars.