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Top Tips for Buying Travel Insurance

Foreign Hospital, Think about where you're going

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Location Matters

Just as you should check your home health-care plan to see what’s covered overseas, talk to your tour operator or the tourist board about the health-care system in the country you’re visiting. “You may have the right to certain amounts of the local health care,” says the Consumer Federation of America’s Robert Hunter, “but even if you don’t, you can often find care as good as you would get at home, and maybe cheaper.” For instance, he says, the hospitals in South Africa are excellent, but you wouldn’t find the same level of care in Uganda.

Some insurers, meanwhile, don’t even cover certain volatile locations like Myanmar. War, civil disorder, unrest, or epidemics—or even the fear of getting sick—won’t necessarily be covered, says Hunter, and insurers agree (except perhaps with the “cancel for any reason” plans). “The first question to ask,” says Hunter, “is, ‘What is it I’m afraid of?’ Then make sure that’s covered—and get the insurer to put it in writing.”

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