Missionary Travel Insurance: Why Do I Need It & What Does It Cover?

May 22, 2017

When you think of an exciting overseas adventure, travel insurance may not be the first thing that comes to mind. It’s important, however, because everything doesn’t always go as planned. Your travel insurance plan could save you a lot of money if something goes wrong while you’re overseas.


Why do I need missionary travel insurance?

When you’re overseas, you’re completely out of your element. If you’re injured, your baggage is lost, or your flight is canceled, fixing the problem may not be as simple as just heading to the hospital or contacting an airline. You may be in serious trouble and facing some pretty outrageous expenses to remedy the situation. That’s why you need insurance. With the proper coverage, you can fix the situation—get medical help, get to safety, replace stolen items—and the expenses will be taken care of. At the very least, it’s important to feel at ease, knowing that you’re covered in the face of trouble.


What does missionary travel insurance cover?

Most travel insurance covers five main areas, or at least gives you the option of covering these five main areas:

  • Medical expenses – While your existing medical insurance probably covers some things, it’s a good idea to get supplemental medical travel insurance. Often, in emergency situations or serious situations that require an overnight hospital stay, hospitals will work with travel insurance carriers but not with overseas insurance carriers. That means you’ll have to pay up front, and you’ll have to wait for reimbursement when you get home. Also, your medical insurance may not cover you if you’re visiting an “At-Risk Nation.” Check with the US State Department site for a list.
  • Evacuation – Medical evacuations are extremely expensive. If you require a medically equipped private jet it gets even more expensive. Medical evacuations will get you as far as the next suitable medical facility, so it’s important to have this insurance if you’re traveling to a remote area.
  • Trip cancellation & Interruption – Trip cancellation can be expensive, and the more things you’ve booked (accommodations, transportation, activities), the more expensive it will be. Between the time you book your trip to the actual travel date, anything can happen—illness, layoff, a death in the family, or you just wake up late and miss the flight—trip cancellation insurance can save you a good chunk of money in the end.
  • Baggage – Baggage is lost all the time. The airline may say that your checked baggage is covered, but it’s not a good idea to take their word for it. Of course, the best insurance is to not bring jewelry or other expensive items overseas, but in the case of medical travelers, you may be required to bring expensive equipment. If it’s lost, baggage coverage will cover the cost to replace it. There are limits, however, so make sure the limits are set high enough to cover what you’re carrying.
  • Flight Insurance – This is essentially life insurance that covers you while you’re on the plane. It’s great for you family in the event of a plane crash, but statistically, plane crashes are so rare that it really isn’t crucial to have.


As with any type of insurance, there’s a pretty good chance that you won’t have to use missionary travel insurance. However, if a problem arises before or during your trip, it could save you hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars. Whether you use it or not, your travel insurance is sure to give you a little-added peace of mind to make your trip more comfortable.