Protect Mission Travelers with the Right Insurance Coverage

Don't let your insurance coverage stop at the border

During a mission trip, travel insurance can be invaluable. For example, if someone on your mission team were seriously injured in a car accident in a developing country, what would you do?

Medical treatment abroad isn’t always comparable to that at home. You may spend hundreds of dollars—up front—to be admitted to a hospital. Hospital staff may not speak your language, and the doctors may not have the skill, tools, or medication that your condition requires for treatment. These factors can turn even a simple asthma attack into a life-threatening situation.

Many travelers don’t realize that most domestic insurance coverage doesn’t apply in a foreign country. If coverage does apply, travelers are often reimbursed at a lower rate than in the United States. For example, air medical evacuations, which average $35,000, are seldom covered.

Liability coverage is often limited to claims or suits that are brought within the United States. If an accident or injury occurs overseas and the ministry is sued in a foreign court, most domestic liability policies will not provide coverage.

Buying a travel insurance policy that covers these types of expenses not only provides protection but also peace of mind.

Many mission teams don't have the insurance coverage they need to protect them from accidents, medical emergencies, or lawsuits that could occur while they're traveling.

Which Type of Insurance?

Knowing which type of insurance and how much to buy depends on your situation. Foreign medical insurance is a must, but you may want to consider adding foreign liability or trip cancellation insurance. Low coverage limits or high deductibles are options that can help you manage costs, making this type of insurance very affordable. Your agent can discuss various options with you.

  • Foreign Medical Insurance. The right insurance protection can provide a hospital admission deposit, give you access to foreign translators, and arrange for a U.S. specialist to fly to your bedside. It can also help a family member visit you in the foreign hospital and pay for an air ambulance flight to the nearest qualified hospital—even if that means flying all the way back to the United States.
  • Foreign or Worldwide Liability Insurance. This coverage can protect you from liability-related claims about emotional injuries caused by your missionary team. It’s especially helpful if you’re working in an area hostile to Christians or Americans. This coverage should include protection for claims that might result from your mission team’s religious communications or religious activities.
  • Foreign Contingent Auto Liability. Be sure to purchase this liability coverage if your team will be driving rented vehicles or hiring a local person to drive. Having this liability coverage can protect you from legal entanglements in the event of an accident. Since foreign laws differ drastically from American ones, this protection can be vital.
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance. If your travel expenses are high, this coverage may be important. Your expenses will be reimbursed if you cancel your trip for a host of reasons, including sickness, injury, or loss of job.
  • Other Services. Your travel insurance policy may include other valuable services, such as emergency prescription drug replacement, English-speaking translators you can reach by cell phone (24 hours a day), and emergency cash advances. For example, if your wallet is stolen, your travel assistance provider will arrange an emergency cash advance for you, which you can reimburse later.

The last thing anyone planning a mission trip, religious tour, or study-abroad program wants to think about is the possibility of an accident or emergency. Being away from home can be hard enough, but being ill or injured in a foreign country—with little idea of where to turn for help—is a truly frightening prospect. When they leave the country, your travelers need insurance protection and travel assistance that's with them every step of the way.

Brotherhood Mutual offers affordable, one-of-a kind programs that can protect your ministry's travelers when they leave the United States. Learn more about these travel insurance options, and the valuable travel assistance services that can give your travelers the kind of comprehensive protection they need in today's mission environment.