Leaving Japan? 6 Myths About International Travel Insurance

newsonjapan.com -- Dec 01
Japan is one of the oldest civilizations and has always had a reputation for its perfect mix of western modernity, distinctive culture, and unique eastern traditions.

The country’s spirit of equality and harmony, mysterious charm, and modern comfort attracts many newcomers every year.

However, it’s worth mentioning that more people are leaving Japan than those coming into the country. The year 2020 saw the country’s population shrink by 0.38 percent (483,789) to 126.65 million, the biggest decline since 2013. The mysterious charm of the Far East may be drawing people into the country every year, but Japan’s lifestyle is certainly not suitable for everyone.

The reasons people are leaving are subjective. For resident foreigners, it might be the inability to adapt to Japan’s lifestyle and culture, inability to learn the Japanese language, homesickness, or unfavorable living conditions. For Japanese nationals, it might be to work overseas, a business tour, an opportunity for higher education, or a family trip to explore a new destination.

Whatever reasons you have for leaving Japan, you need international travel insurance for protection against a number of risks you’re likely to be exposed to while on your trip. You should, however, be careful not to fall for any of the following international travel insurance myths.

Myth #1: Purchasing Travel Insurance Is a Very Costly and Complicated Process

You’ve probably seen ads on various media platforms promoting international travel insurance as a must-have for anyone going on a long trip overseas. Many people view this as a marketing tactic to convince travelers to spend money on something that’s expensive but offers little to no value on their trip.

The reality, however, is that most travel insurance plans are very affordable and can be purchased online in a couple of minutes. Plus, having one can be a life-saver, especially when something goes wrong on your trip.

An international travel insurance plan is worth an extra couple hundred dollars when compared to what you might pay to get health treatment abroad. Also, when compared to any trip interruption expenses and emergency evacuation costs you’re likely to incur while on your trip.

Myth #2: You Need to See a Japanese Doctor

It’s not uncommon for travelers to get unwell while on their trip overseas. Healthcare in most western countries is expensive, and having a good international travel insurance plan can help you cover all the medical expenses you might incur abroad.

However, many people believe that travel insurance isn’t worth having due to unknown hospital locations and language barrier problems they’re likely to face when in need of healthcare services overseas. These are just misconceptions. Your native or fluent language may not be Japanese but that doesn’t mean you won’t find good hospitals where you can receive treatment in case you get sick.

The idea that you must get medical treatment from hospitals in Japanese couldn’t be further from the truth. Many good hospitals and healthcare providers overseas are equipped with high-end Japanese translation technology that allows for multilingual communication. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about encountering language barriers when communicating with physicians and hospital staff, just as there are patient-centered Japanese translation services in most Western hospitals.

Myth #3: You Only Need Travel Insurance When Taking Adventurous Trips

Most of the people going on a trip overseas look forward to exploring their new destination— which may involve indulging in high-risk adventurous activities. If this is what you’re planning to do, buying international travel insurance will be a must so you’re covered in case of an injury.

However, it’s important to note that people don’t get injured or face emergency situations just through high-risk adventurous sports. The possibility of a complicated emergency situation or something going wrong when abroad happens more often than most people believe. You’d rather be prepared and safe than sorry. An international travel insurance plan can save you from the various risks that you’re likely to face.

Myth #4: You Don’t Need Travel Insurance If You’re Going on a Short Trip

You’ve probably read stories of people who encountered disaster while on a weekend getaway across the border or a quick business trip abroad. The truth is that you never know when you’ll find yourself in an emergency situation. The best you can do is to plan to be ready for them.

Even if you’re leaving for a one-day business trip to another country, be sure to buy travel insurance, so you’re covered in case of an accident, illness, or a natural calamity. Don’t leave the country unprotected. The last thing you want is to spend your short trip paying costly medical bills instead of having a good time and building memories with family or friends.

Myth #5: You Don’t Need Travel Insurance Since You Already Have Medical Insurance

If you already invested in a medical insurance plan, that’s excellent. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re fully covered against emergency medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, and every unfortunate event that may happen anytime, anywhere. Your domestic medical insurance might not necessarily cover your hospitalization and medical treatment costs in another country.

With an international travel insurance plan, you can rest assured that high-quality medical treatment will be available on your trip. Plus, you won’t have to worry about unpredictable and unforeseen situations such as trip interruption, trip cancellation, baggage delay, and lost luggage as they’re all covered.

Myth #6: The Airline Has You Covered

Unless you’ve got someone who’s willing to offer you accommodation, there’s a good chance you’ll need to book a vacation rental or hotel for the day you arrive at your new destination. A flight delay could easily leave you with a wasted reservation—which most people might assume that, once you provide proof of your hotel booking, the airline would offer a refund. Things don’t happen that way, though.

The best the airline might do, in the event of a delay, is to get you on the next available flight. However, if the delay is extremely long, and your travel schedule is affected, there’s no guarantee that the airline will cover your incurred reservation costs. Having an international travel insurance plan, on the other hand, succeeds where the airlines fail.