Missionary Insurance- Why is It Important to Have?
Have you ever wondered why missionary travel insurance is important?
Well, here’s why:
There’s a story going around of a young family who left the United States for a missionary trip to Zambia in Southern Africa. A small community in Zambia was in desperate need of a new school, and this family fit the bill in order to help build the school. The young father was a contractor and he had the skill sets needed to help this community grow. So the mom and dad, and their two sons, packed up and off they went.
A little time passes and the school was really coming along. The foundation had been laid, the walls were constructed, and it was time to lay the roof. The father was on the roof, and like any young son who wants to be like his dad, the father’s young son climbed his way up to the top of the roof.
I bet you can guess what happened next.
For a split second, the father took his eyes off of his son, and the young boy fell off the roof, breaking both of his legs. You can only imagine the questions that run through a father’s mind in that moment. Where do you take your son? Are there hospitals in Zambia- hospitals without dirt floors and skilled physicians? If so, how do I get him there? Will he be okay?
Important things, like missionary health insurance, can be overlooked, or considered unnecessary when in fact, it is not unnecessary at all. Missionary insurance might actually be the most important thing you purchase for your trip.
As a long term missionary myself (fresh off the mission field), I understand the importance of having missionary insurance. I’ve seen unexpected accidents and illnesses and personally recommend no one travel overseas without coverage. In fact, let me give you a few reasons why I think missionary insurance is necessary.
4 Reasons You NEED Missionary Insurance:
1. Unexpected things happen, even when you’re careful
A friend of mine, who lived in Thailand with me, got extremely ill within the first month of arriving in the country. It turns out that he had contracted Dengue Fever, a sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitos in tropical countries. He ended up spending several days inpatient at a private hospital. Getting Dengue fever was out of his control, and completely unexpected, and a weeklong hospital stay isn’t necessarily cheap, no matter what country you reside in.
2. Your local insurance may not cover out of country illnesses and injuries, or it may have a maximum dollar limit
I can’t tell you how many times I received phone calls working in health insurance customer service from clients who had been travelling and had required emergency care. Oftentimes without the proper documentation we weren’t able to process the claim, and other times, if it hadn’t been an emergency situation, the claim wasn’t covered.
3. IMG offers a translator to help you understand the medical care you’ll be receiving
While living in Thailand, I had a friend that ended up in the hospital several times for accidents. The last time he was in the hospital, he had a broken hand, but the doctors didn’t cast it fully. They attempted to explain to us why they weren’t casting it fully, but it was extremely hard to understand their, at times, broken English. Having a translator, especially in an emergency situation, can make all the difference when understanding your care.
4. Medical evacuation is covered under most plans
In the unlikely event that you are injured or ill and the facility where you are located cannot treat you at the standard of care required, you will be airlifted to the closest network hospital where you can receive the treatment you need.
Luckily for the little boy who had fallen off the roof, his father had purchased IMG missionary insurance before they had left the United States. The father was able to call IMG and receive evacuation for his young boy to a qualified surgeon to repair his broken legs. IMG did it all on the behalf of the family. All the father had to do was comfort his son, IMG did the rest.
The odds of falling ill or being seriously injured while on a mission trip are low, however, the peace of mind that you will be covered if something were to happen is invaluable.
Planning on travelling overseas and need missionary insurance?
Sign up for an IMG international policy today, or contact one of our representatives.