Statistics from insurance reports indicate that the medical care administered to children is 15 times greater, when compared to adults during foreign trips. An increased rate of demand for medical care is often attributed to individuals within the age group of 0 to 6 years. Occasionally, 11 to 16% of insured children request assistance from medical institutions. On the contrary, the proportion of adult foreigners does not exceed 1.0 to 1.5% within the same period.
Children are greatly influenced by change in environment and weather conditions, and they have a higher tendency of being exposed to problems of catarrh, gastrointestinal disorders and traumas of certain degrees and allergies. For instance, children traveling to parts of Europe stand the chance of having cough, catarrh, flu or pneumonia during winter. They are also exposed to diarrhea, nausea due to intake of strange food or drinks. Besides, children are often predisposed to both minor and major degrees of injuries as a result of their playful, agile and curious nature. Aside from this, most children are very hyperactive and they could inadvertently inflict injuries or damage to third party's property.
Fortunately, children travel insurance is capable of covering several conditions that may be experienced by children in the event of a trip. There are no clear-cut procedures for obtaining the children’s insurance policy. However its acquisition requires a clear understanding and envision of events that should be covered, and potential risk that should be avoided. The selection of a suitable children’s travel insurance requires the consideration of the child’s predisposition to certain diseases which may be congenital or non-congenital.
Several insurance companies offer children’s travel insurance policies that differs in terms of insurance coverage list, premium, compensation amount, available options and other factors. In general, the children’s travel insurance covers medical and non-medical risks. Hence, it is recommended to include the following groups of risk, when acquiring this policy. These medical and non-medical risks includes:
Children may exhibit reactions to the intake of unfamiliar products like fruits or vegetables during a trip. An abnormal reaction can also be triggered in children by common allergens like insect bites, water and certain kinds of exotic flora, etc. It is difficult to predict how children will react to allergens during the trip, especially under normal condition.
Some insurance companies offer the coverage of dental care as a separate standard packages. These packages usually cover the treatment of natural tooth as a result of accidents; and also, the package handles the provision of painkillers and filling of natural tooth in cases of acute inflammation.
Insurance companies place additional limits on the compensation of expenses associated with dental care. These additional limit can be between150-200 USD. More details on these limit can be obtain through this link.
Several insurers consider an excessive exposure to the sun as a negligence on the part of the insured, hence; insurers do not consider the coverage of sun burns because it is self-inflicted. In addition, when selecting the insurance policy, the following options should be included to provide supplements.
Exacerbation of chronic diseases
If a child is suffering from a chronic disease, it is necessary to do the following:
- Consult the physician to seek expert opinion about the possibilities of a trip.
- A certificate indicating previous diagnosis and recommended treatment procedures. If the chronic illness persists during the trip, the certificate will serve as a reference for simplifying diagnostic procedures. Such certificates will not be a criterion for providing adaptive treatment. During a trip abroad, it is necessary to stop an asthma attack, exacerbation of chronic pancreatitis and chronic pyelonephritis. Several insurance companies impose limits on the compensation amount required to remedy the exacerbation of chronic illnesses. 90% of insurance companies have additional limit for this option. Hence, it is necessary to make adequate inquiry on this issues.
Children are very playful and active, they ride bicycles, roller skates and skateboards, and as such; these exercise can result in accidental fall and various degrees of injuries. It is necessary to envisage and include these risks in the insurance contract. For instance, while travelling with children, it is expected that they will not be engage in any form of quite rest during a picnic at the beach or some other recreational centres, rather; they will play hand ball or run around. In such case, they may experience certain degrees of injuries ranging from broken jaws to broken limbs. The expenses will be borne by the child’s parents, if they fail to include this option. In such situation, the insurer has every right to deny coverage of expenses, if the risk of a sport injury is not included in the policy.
The inclusion of this option is highly recommended because, several situation beyond the control of the insured may prevent him/her from travelling on the scheduled date. And children are frequently subjected to these situations compared to adults. Sudden illness, accident, death of close relative or an involvement of a parent in a legal proceeding can prevent the child from travelling on the scheduled date. For instance, a fever, flu or accidents may cause a child to postpone a trip on or two days before the scheduled date.
Several insurance companies provide compensation for this case in various ways:
- Payment of the insured sum to every family member that failed to travel.
- Payment of the insured sum to one parent and the child in question.
- Payment of the insured sum for the child alone.
Some insurance companies provide compensation for the expenses associated with spending additional time beyond the planned period due to occurrence of an insured event. For instance, if the insured postpones the trip due to food poisoning on the scheduled day of the trip, it will require the insured to spend 3 more days after the doctors’ recommendation. In such situations, the insurer will cover the expenses on feeding, accommodation and plane ticket back to the country of permanent residence, provided this option is included. This is also applicable to an accompanying person, who may be a close relative with consent from the parent of the affected child.
The insurance company may deny compensation for any claim that is made without an cancelling the trip. Hence it is advisable to cancel the trip at least two days in advance for any convincing reason. And keep proper documentations and records that servs as vivid proof.
Legislation of several countries stipulate that the parent is responsible for any harm caused by a child below the age of 18 years. In such situations, the personal liability insurance protect the interest of the parent and child, especially when the child damages a third party’s property inadvertently. For instance injuries inflicted by the child in a cricket or soccer game; or even the damage of a third party’s wind-screen or side mirror, will required tremendous support from a personal liability option, provided this option is included in the policy document.
This is another important option which ensures protection of the child’s expensive property in the course of a trip, from damage and theft. These properties may include strollers, clothes, toys and books. This also applies to edible items, especially when the child is under a specific type of diet. Insuring properties like baby carriage may require about 2000 Usd.
- In addition to the emergency medical care provided by standard medical insurance policies, it is recommended to pay attention to the following:
It is much easier and convenient for children to receive medications when accompanied by their parents to the clinic. This can be very helpful in situations of language barrier. Insurers determine the age of the child and birth certificates indicating the relationship between parent and the child in question. Several insurance companies will not be responsible for covering the expenses of individuals above 16 years of age, except they are covered by the regular travel insurance.
A suitable children’s travel insurance should handle the evacuation of the child when the child’s parent is hospitalized. It should also be able to cover the evacuation of the child back to his/her country of permanent residence in cases involving the death of a parent. Insurers consider the age of the child as a criterion for extending such coverage. Hence, the insurers reserve all rights to deny such a service if the child of the diseased is above a certain age.
- Provided the child is traveling independently, it is necessary to budget for the cost of a third party trip in case of an emergency by including such an option. The third party may be the parent, guardian or a close relative of the child. This option can be implemented only if the child travels without any form of accompaniment. Otherwise, the insurance company reserves the right to deny the arrival or residence of the third party.
- The insurers should be able to cover Compassionate visitation. Children may visit Parents, guardians or other close relatives . In such circumstances, if the child is within the age range of 3 to 17, and the insurance will cover the expenses associated with transport and accommodation, provided such situation is envisaged and included at the stipulated payment.
Choosing an insurance company?
When accessing the quality of an insurance, it is necessary to consider two driving factors, namely:
The rating and reviews of the insurance company should be considered. It is important to seek the opinions of experts and clients in this aspect. The list of covered and uncovered risks should be scrutinized to determine its suitability for the child. Emphasis should be laid on the basic terms and condition of the insurance. Will it include medical, sports, personal liability and baggage insurance, trip cancellation and dental care? And the limits placed on compensation.
Third party companies
This involves the health institutions, which the insured will be sent to in the case of an emergent situation, and the expertise of specialist assigned to take care of the insured. The speed of processing the insured’s application in respect to certain events. The amount of compensation for expenses on treatment or hospitalization of the insured.
It is very difficult to obtain information about the reviews and ratings of hospital independently, therefore it is better to consult an expert in relation to reviews and official ratings, while considering the credibility of third party service companies. Such information can be obtained from specialist and individuals who have received medical services in the aforementioned institutions.
Recommendations for parents
- Travel along with the child’s vaccination card and medical records.
- The parents should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for children travelling to countries belonging to the European Union prior to departure from the country of permanent residence.
- Upon arrival, parents should scan the main page of the passport, as well as the page with stamps on entry / exit. This information can be requested by the assistance company when applying in advance. Hospitals may not treat foreigners except the present the aforementioned travel document together with the insurance policy.
- In case of an emergency , contact the customer care of the insurance company. Describe the circumstances of the insured event and symptoms in detail. Inform the customer care about any contraindications, to prevent complications due toam adverse medical procedure.
- Independent treatment can be started only with the consent of the customer care. Otherwise, a potential refund will be refused. In order to receive compensation in full, keep checks, a doctor's opinion and medical reports. These documents must be signed and stamped.
- If a child needs to take medications, it is necessary to have an original doctor's prescription translated in the countries official language. In Europe and the United States, it is difficult to purchase any medicine for even a mild headache without doctor’s prescription.
- Use monologue or a notes to explain the state of the child to the doctor, if you don’t communicate in the countries official language. Or request assistance from a local who is willing and able to provide instant translation of the child’s condition to the doctor.