You might be surprised how many church-based mission groups and short-term projects go overseas without basic protection against injury or sickness. Or hoping someone else will pay for it.
Would you be surprised to know that up to 75% of short-term missionaries and travelers go overseas without insurance? That if they got hurt or injured in a car accident, that they would have to pay upfront for medical treatment (even in countries with nationalized health care)? That AMEX won’t be accepted? That domestic health insurance won’t pay or reimburse unless you are in network or at risk of dying? Most short-term team leaders and church missions chairmen do not and that is a huge problem. Keep reading…
According to a Princeton Research Survey, only about half of the survey respondents said they had a pretty good idea of what travel insurance covers, while 49% admitted to being unsure of what travel insurance covers. (Read more at: Thepointsguy.com/2013/06/national-travel-insurance-survey-results-who-buys-it-and-is-it-worth-it/)
While a credit card may pay to replace a missed flight, good luck at getting them to pay to set a broken arm or the hospital fees if someone has a kidney stone attack while ministering overseas.
Many others are confused over flight insurance or trip cancellation insurance since those can also rightly be called travel insurance. And depending on non-refundable up-front trip costs, trip cancellation insurance might be necessary, but understand that trip cancellation is to help you get back some of your money if you can’t go on a trip, not usually protect your health when on a short-term mission trip.
All this confusion is one reason many churches and teams work with Good Neighbor Insurance to help recommend the right policy to their teammates or church members. That way, for around a $1-2 a day depending on age, they can rest assured that their members are protected and that they are not putting anyone at risk if something terrible were to happen. Some teams will build the cost of short term travel medical insurance into their overall trip costs. That is also a wise decision. Either way, Good Neighbor has been helping thousands of church mission projects and missionary sending agency teams every year for over 17 years now. Along with serving non-profit agencies, social good businesses, and other expatriate travel, mission trip team travel insurance is one of our areas of expertise.