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Insurance to Israel

Israel

Israel experiences a large influx of tourists and pilgrims annually. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, approximately 2.3 million tourists visited Israel in April 2017, this indicated a 38% rise in tourism compared to the previous year in the region.

As more people travel to Israel, it should be noted that health care cost can be high for foreigners, especially when they travel without insuring their trip to Israel. Hence it is wise to purchase a suitable travel insurance policy to mitigate unpredicted expenses associated with the risk of sudden illnesses, accidents and other unforeseen events that may occur during the tourists’ trip.

General Information about insurance to Israel

While travelling to Israel, foreigners will require two major types of travel insurance policies which depends on the amount of trips required within a year. The following types of travel insurance are:

  • Single Trip insurance;
  • Multi Trip insurance;
  • Family plan.

What options are included in the Travel insurance policy?

The travel insurance policy offers the coverage of travel related expenses and it also includes other additional options which could be medical or non-medical. These options are included in accordance with the traveler’s lifestyle and envision of future events during the trip.

The medical insurance option provides coverage for expenses involving sudden illnesses and injuries. In situations of illness or injury the option provide coverage for the following:

  • Consultation from authorized medical experts at hospitals within the insurance company’s network;
  • Medical prescription offered by either a general or specialist Physician;
  • Coverage of ambulance expenses during emergencies;
  • Repatriation back to the foreigner’s country of residence;
  • Provision of pain relievers for dental injuries.

The insured might not be able to proceed with the trip on the scheduled date of departure, due certain circumstances beyond control. The following instance may necessitate the cancellation of a scheduled trip:

  • The Insured may be declared medically unfit for the trip;
  • The sudden death of the insured’s family member;
  • The Israeli authorities might refuse entrance into their region until certain issues are resolved;
  • Sudden change of itinerary as a consequence of the airline’s present condition.

Note:
These events will be covered provided the following conditions:

  • The insured includes this option in the travel insurance policy;
  • If these events occurs after purchasing insurance policies document;
  • The insured actually cancels the trip and provides proper documentations which indicates such cancellation.

This option provides coverage for expenses and inconveniences arising from the loss or damage of an insured traveler’s valued property, in accordance with the insurance terms and conditions. For instance, the insured may lose luggage containing clothes, passports, credit cards and medications or certain kind food items, especially when such an individual is under a specific diet, due to health conditions. In such cases, the travel insurance will provide compensation if this particular option is included in the insurance policy. The insurance company will compensate the insured by recovering a certain percentage of the initial cost of purchasing the lost or damaged property, considering deprecation of the properties. For instance, the insurance will not pay the initial amount of purchasing a properties of certain age.

If this option is included in the travel insurance, it will protect the interest of the insured by covering the expenses and inconveniences confronting the insured as a consequence of inflicting pains or causing an inadvertent damage to third party’s property, or falsely being detained. The insurance company will provide a means of resolving such issues through its network of expert advocates. For instance, the insured tourist may damage an artifact by mistake, or might be charged for misconducts at some sacred centers.

If this option is included, the travel insurance will cover any case that may cause the delay or postponement of the insured tourist’s journey as a result of certain conditions, shortly after acquiring a ticket to Israel. When a travel delay is experienced, the insurance will compensate for any inconveniences warranting accommodation, feeding and subsequent transportation required to proceed on a planned trip, provided the insured documents these expenses.

The insurance will cover or protect the insured from the following situations:

  • Delay of more than five hours of an initially booked transportation;
  • Cancellation of an initially purchased ticket;
  • Overbooking a pre-booked transportation.

If the insured intends to partake in certain exercise during the trip, it will be advisable to include the sport insurance option. For instance swimming, climbing hills, playing cricket or football might warrant the inclusion of this option.

This insurance provides coverage for expenses associated with catering for unexpected events that may confront the tourist or pilgrim while travelling to Israel or residing within the region during the entire period of the trip. This particular insurance covers accidents that directly results in the following cases:

  • Death or permanent disability without pre-existing conditions;
  • Injuries like loss of limbs, loss of extremity or loss of sight.
  • The insurance company’s liability shall not exceed a certain amount in the stated events.

What are not covered by the insurance policy?

Insurance companies will deny coverage in the following cases:

  • The insurance company will not be responsible for covering medical expenses or compensation associated with cases of suicide or deliberate self-inflicted injuries;
  • False declaration of health status. If the insured provides wrong information about his/her health condition, the insurance company will refuse subsequent coverage. Hence, it is better to present valid information about insured’s health condition, even when these issues are confirmed after purchasing the insurance policy. For instance if the insured is diagnosed of a terminal illness that was not stated initially, the insured must inform the insurance company in order to prevent denial;
  • Pre-existing conditions are not covered by several insurers, and only a handful of these insurers would cover pre-existing conditions at a high premium. Fortunately, tourists, pilgrims and other foreigners with temporary residence permit can benefit from Clalit, Leumit, Maccabi and Meuhedet, irrespective of pre-existing conditions, age and health conditions;
  • Accidents caused as a result of drug abuse or alcoholic intoxication will be treated as deniable by the insurance company;
  • Expenses associated with treating menstrual abnormalities, impotence and birth control and artificial insemination will not be covered by the insurance;
  • Trips to regions experiencing civil unrest, state of emergency due to act of terrorism, natural disasters or epidemic outbreak;
  • Travelling for the purpose of medical treatment. Such programs are covered by organization providing medical tourism;
  • Your insurance coverage will fail if the accidents are experienced as a result of your fault. For example, if you don’t pay attention to risk reports and updates provided by your insurer.

Actions taken in times of distress

  • During emergencies or distress, the insured is expected to dial the insurance company’s customer care number provided the insurance document;
  • The insured shall narrate and explain all details and symptoms to the insurer’s customer care agent;
  • The agent will direct the insured to the address of the nearest recommended hospital within the insurer’s network;
  • Medical bills should not be paid without written consent of the insurance company, unless the insured is in a critical medical condition requiring immediate attention;
  • The insured must provide insurance card to the proper medical staff in the hospital, and consult the recommended physician;
  • The insured must go to the recommended pharmacy with the doctor’s prescription.

Note:
Keep all receipts, schedule dates and transportation documents indicating expenses on treatment, medicine, medical procedures, surgeries and transportation.

Cost of medical Services

The cost of acquiring medical services in Israel is cheaper than other medical services offered in Europe and the United States. This reduced cost of health care services in Israel is attributed to the possession of advanced health technology facilities, and the fact that the Israeli health care sector is heavily funded by revenues generated from progressive taxation and increased rate of medical tourism. Medical tourists from Europe, Russia, neighboring Cyprus and the United States leave their various countries to receive quality and affordable medical services. Reports cited in Wikipedia revealed that the Israeli health care offered health services to about 30,000 medical tourists in 2010. In fact, patients without insurance in the United States may spend approximately $120, 000 for a heart bypass surgery, compared to Israel in which similar medical procedure would cost approximately $30,000.

The following are cost of some medical procedures in Herzliya:

Medical Procedures
Approximate Cost ($)
Consultation of Specialist
Over 500
Hospitalization per day
Above 965
Rehabilitation Service per day
Above 150
Dialysis
Above 750
Blood test and Urinalysis
Above 175
X-ray
Above 140
Replacement of Heart Valve
Above 33,000
Removal of Cataract
Above 6,500
Oncological Procedures
Approximately 14,000 - 32,000

Emergency Contact Numbers

In times of distress, the insured in advised to call the following free numbers below:

Description
Services/Numbers
Police
100
Ambulance (Magen David Adom)
101
United Hatzalah Emergency Help
1221
Fire and Rescue Services
102
Israeli Electric company
103
International committee of Red Cross Emergency Contact Number and Locations in Israel
Location
Contact Number
Tel Aviv
(+972) 35 24 52 86
Jerusalem
(+972) 2 59 17 900
Gaza
(+972) 8 2828 874 or (+972) 8 2822 644/5

Safety

The Center for Disease Control warns tourist and pilgrims traveling to Israel against the following diseases:

  • Hepatitis A
    A deadly disease transmitted through intake of contaminated food and close contact with contaminated feces, blood and body fluid of an infected person. It can be prevented by receiving Havrix (GlaxoSmithKline) vaccine.
  • Hepatitis B
    This disease is also deadly and it’s transmitted through unprotected sex, infected needle, and contact with body fluid of infected person. It could be prevented by the Engerix-B (GlaxoSmithKline) vaccine.
  • Rabies
    A fatal disease that is transmitted through mammal bites from dogs, cats, bats and wolves. Travelers intending to partake in lots of outdoor activities in remote area should beware of bats and wild dogs.
  • Typhoid
    Another deadly disease that is caused by intake of contaminated food and water. Can be prevented by avoid the intake of contaminated food and water.

Weather, Climate and Seasons

The northern and coastal regions of Israel are characterized by Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and cool rainy winters, while the southern and eastern parts of Israel are characterized by arid climate.

The following seasons are predominant in Israel:

Seasons
Period
Rainy
1October to May
Snow falls
December to March

Terrorism

There are tendencies for occurrence of attacks in Israel and other occupied Palestinian territories. This could be as a result of increased tensions, due to attacks from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Hence, such interactions between the Gaza and the Israeli security forces may increase the occurrence of retaliatory attacks by Terrorists in Israel. Tourists, Pilgrims, foreigners and other residence should be vigilant.

The table below presents a summary of terrorist activities in 2017:

Date
Place
Incidents
8th January 2017
Armon Hanatziv, Jerusalem
A lorry was driven into a group of Israeli Soldiers, killing four and injuring several others
14th April 2017
Sultan Suleiman street, Jerusalem
Stabbing attack which claimed the life of a british national
23rd April 2017
Atarim Square, central Tel Aviv
Stabbing incidents in which four Israelis were injured
14th July 2017
Hallem Al sharif, Temple Mount
Two police officers lost their lives in a shooting incident
21th July 2017
Halamish settlement, West bank
Three Israelis lost their lives in a stabbing attack
17th September 2017
Umm al-Fahm
Three Israeli Arabs were arrested and prevented from carrying out similar attacks to Temple Mount Attack