Vacationers need to be better prepared for health-related injuries, researchers say

Photo (c) Jovanmandic - Getty Images

Consumers should ask their insurers what exactly is covered in the event of an accident while traveling

Ever been hurt while you’re on vacation? Most people have, but it’s usually no more than a twisted ankle or a trip to an immediate care center to fix you up after you impaled your hand while you were loading marshmallows on a stick.

But there’s some folks -- we’ll call them “adventure seekers” -- who tend to take things further than a casual walk in the woods. A new survey finds that nearly half of those adventure seekers have been injured while on a trip (or know someone who has.) Another 20 percent of them have felt like they were actually going to die at one point during one of their adventure-prone getaways.

Going somewhere over the holidays?

If you’re someone headed for the slopes of Colorado or the hills of Costa Rica over the holidays, it might be smart to check out some new findings gathered by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian Life). The survey results could save you from paying some unexpected expenses.

The findings show that 60 percent of American travelers qualify themselves as adventure seekers. Unfortunately, that title could come with some consequences. Seventy-five percent of the injuries that happened while respondents were on vacation required medical attention; however, only 20 percent of participants felt they were financially ready to cover any out-of-pocket expenses related to those injuries -- whether it was a trip to the emergency room or an immediate care center.

"As more Americans pursue adventure travel, accidents are likely to happen, so they should be prepared for unplanned expenses from injuries requiring medical attention," said Marc Costantini, Executive Vice President, Commercial and Government Markets, Guardian Life.

"The high cost of medical care, particularly for those with high deductible health plans, can be offset with accident insurance and help people reduce financial stress."

Forewarned is forearmed

You might be thinking, “Oh, nothing like that would ever happen to me,” but if those findings raised an eyebrow, it would be smart to take some time to ask yourself these expense-related questions before you take your next vacation:

  • Do you have an accident policy that would cover -- at least partially -- extra, out-of-pocket expenses if you get injured while on vacation?

  • If you do have an accident policy, are you aware of everything that the policy covers? This could include unexpected injuries, deductibles, rental or personal vehicle problems, accidental death, emergency evacuation, or pre-existing conditions. It’s also important to know if your policy covers only you or everyone in your family. 

One of the more important “what if’s” concerns driving. With some 22 percent of all Americans’ vacations being road trips, and taking into account the sheer volume of traffic on U.S. highways, there’s a heightened possibility that something might go wrong while on the open road.

With holiday travel season quickly approaching, ConsumerAffairs recently researched which states are the best and worst to drive through (sorry, South Carolina).

While it’s not necessarily cause for alarm, it would be smart to double-check your insurance policy to see if the things that make a road “bad” -- debris, potholes, illegible street signs, etc. -- are actually covered if one of those winds up as the cause of an accident.

Quick and easy. Get matched with a Home Security partner.