Don’t Forget to Budget for Travel Insurance

About 1 in 5 insured ministries files a claim

Just one minor oversight in the mission budgeting process can cost your ministry thousands of dollars. When budgeting for missions, weigh the cost of buying travel insurance versus the cost of an injury. With one-in-five odds of a loss, it’s not a matter of “if” something will happen; it’s a matter of “when.”

1 in 5 Odds

One in every five ministries that buys mission travel insurance will file a claim for medical or travel expenses, according to Brotherhood Mutual claims data. That means two in 10 short-term mission teams will have someone fall ill, get injured, or lose something valuable on the trip. Travel insurance can help resolve many of these issues.

Our claim experience shows that short-term missionaries routinely get hurt, and churches often pay the bills. Imagine the impact of one traveler being hurt in an auto accident. If trauma care isn’t available nearby, medical evacuation could be required. That service alone can cost $50,000 to $100,000.1,2 When a $30-$60 policy can help volunteers overcome a variety of difficulties, including medical evacuation, it makes good financial sense for every mission-sending ministry to budget for travel insurance.

Travel Insurance Offers Confidence

With the right travel insurance plan, you can send missionaries around the world with confidence. Brotherhood Mutual partners with Fly for Good to offer ministries comprehensive and affordable travel insurance policies through Faith Ventures®. Coverage plans are designed to help individual or group travelers who run into unforeseen injury, illness, losses or delays. Plans offer primary coverage, which eliminates both delays and debates over which insurer will handle a claim. If a traveler runs into problems in the mission field, a call to Faith Ventures’ 24/7 travel assistance service can start the recovery process.

A Faith Ventures policy can help:*

  • Reimburse medical expenses for injury and illness.
  • Provide accommodations when travel is delayed.
  • Locate emergency medical and legal services.
  • Assist with lost, stolen, or delayed baggage.
  • Offer translation services.
  • Pay the cost of emergency medical evacuation.

Insurance Costs Less Than Airline Baggage Fees

You might think that short-term missionaries don’t buy travel insurance because it’s too expensive, but that’s not the case. For $30, a traveler can protect a single trip lasting up to 60 days. That’s two months of coverage for less than you’d pay to bring a heavy suitcase onto a flight. Travelers can insure multiple trips in a single year for less than $70. Some policies, including those from Faith Ventures, require no deductible. That means travelers who file a claim must pay nothing out of pocket until the policy limits are exhausted. They also avoid filing costly claims with their primary health insurer.

Scrutinize Mission Travel Insurance

Before buying a plan, read the details carefully to ensure that you’re getting what you’re paying for. Many travel health policies offer secondary coverage, which means your primary insurer would pay the first part of any claim. Your supplemental travel policy would only pay the remainder. In some cases, that’s nothing. If you’re going to the trouble of buying insurance, pick a plan that delivers maximum value.

Travel Confidently with Faith Ventures

Many short-term missionaries who have chosen Faith Ventures praise its customer service and hassle-free claims experience. It’s easy to obtain, too. Simply visit and select “Insure Your Trip.” Read the options and pick the right plan: Basic ($30), Plus ($47), or Premium ($67). Mission leaders can buy a group policy covering the entire team or require every traveler to buy an individual policy. In either case, it’s easy to sign up. Enter a few pieces of information and download an e-card. Or opt to have a card mailed to you. That’s it. You’re insured. With Faith Ventures’ 24/7 travel and medical assistance, short-term missionaries can go into all the nations and share the gospel with confidence.

Budgeting for Missions?

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Jonathan Haward
President and Founder, Global Infusion

“My father suffered a heart attack while in the mission field. He needed to get to a large hospital for bypass surgery and that involved van, ambulance, and plane rides. I flew from Texas to India and spent 11 days with my dad. I kept asking the hospital, ‘Do I have to sign anything? Do I have to do anything?’ The answer was always, ‘No. Your insurance company’s taking care of it.’”


*Certain restrictions and exclusions apply to travel insurance policies, and coverages may vary in certain states. Please refer to policy documents for detailed terms and conditions.

1. “Check Your Health Insurance—Are You Covered Abroad?” Your Health Abroad. U.S. State Department. Last updated September 13, 2018.

2. Stoney, Rhett J. “Travel Insurance, Travel Health Insurance, & Medical Evacuation Insurance.” Chapter 2, CDC Yellow Book 2018. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.