Richard Hammar, noted attorney and largely considered the expert in church…
For many churches, taking mission trips abroad is a key part of their ministry. Following the Lord’s commandment of The Great Commission, reaching out and providing spiritual and physical support is their mission.
While these areas may include some of the most beautiful countries in the world, they also reveal something not as pleasant: poverty, war, political unrest and hopeless economics with little change of improvement. International travel can be an exciting adventure, but it can also bring many unpredictable situations if you should need medical care while you’re abroad.
Did you Know?
- A ‘typical’ church insurance policy does not cover lawsuits brought against you in a foreign country.
- Most health insurance plans exclude services provided outside of the U.S. Those that provide “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad may not pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States, which can cost thousands depending on your location and medical condition.
You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out before you leave. In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. You can’t simply give them your insurance card and expect it to go through. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to purchase a separate policy for your trip.
International Travel Plans
International medical insurance plans provide coverage to protect churches and schools, their employees and volunteers, on mission trips outside of the United States; with resources that will ease the stress of an unfamiliar culture or medical system.
Special Features of an International Travel Insurance program may include the following:
- Foreign Travel Liability Coverage – $1 million comprehensive liability coverage to protect the financial well-being of the church travelers against lawsuits from foreign claims arising outside of the United States. Domestic General Liability policies cover lawsuits brought within the U.S. borders only.
- Accident & Sickness Medical Coverage- For accidents and illness that require medical treatment, both your employees and volunteers would typically be protected. There are coverage limits of $25,000 with higher limits available.
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment- Employees and volunteers are typically covered with up to $100,000 of accidental death and dismemberment coverage.
- Foreign Auto Liability Coverage – $ 1 million of auto liability is provided for rented, hired, or borrowed vehicles outside of the United States, where domestic coverage’s do not apply. Because American organizations are perceived to have especially deep pockets, the exposure to lawsuits resulting from auto accidents is very real.
- Kidnap, Ransom, and Extortion Coverage – Kidnappings have become an increasing concern for Americans traveling abroad. As a standard part of most policies, coverage up to $100,000 (there are options from $250,000 to $5 million available) would be included to help protect your travelers in the event of a kidnapping. This coverage also provides access to prevention and response efforts coordinated by a leading kidnap and extortion consultant.
- Foreign Travel Property Coverage – Protects your organization’s personal property
- Employers Responsibility/Workers Compensation – If staff members are traveling in a “work-related capacity” it could cause their health care coverage to exclude benefits, since work-related injuries are normally excluded. Addressing these realities, this coverage would assure seamless protection for workers traveling in foreign lands. Coverage limits typically include $1 million bodily injury for accident or endemic illness and medical evacuation/repatriation at $500,000.
- Executive Assistance Service – Provides personal assistance services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help travelers with medical, legal, and personal emergencies. This can also include getting people back to a country that can provide care in an emergency situation, including air flight as warranted.
Let us help you reduce your risks.
Is your organization prepared to handle the potential financial and health consequences potentially associated with traveling abroad? Contact us about an International Package Policy and transfer these concerns so that you may continue to minister to others.
*The features noted above include our most comprehensive international travel policy – ideally designed for the organization with multiple trips planned during a year. If however your trips are few or with limited participation, we can also refer you to a source that provides somewhat similar medical benefits and still with $1 million in liability coverage; at very affordable costs.