Planning an international mission trip can be a challenge. With flights, customs, and security concerns, there’s so much to keep in mind when traveling overseas, especially with a group. The last thing anyone planning an international trip wants to think about is the possibility of an accident or medical emergency. But a little forethought and preparation can help you and your team focus on ministry, instead of worrying about the potential of sickness or accident.
There are numerous things you can do to increase the security of your mission team. An emergency ID kit can be essential in the event of a lost or stolen passport and is simple to put together. Make a photocopy of the data page of your passport and write down the addresses and phone numbers of U.S. embassies and consulates in the countries you plan to visit. Place this information, as well as two recent passport photos, somewhere separate from your passport.
If the option is available, book non-stop flights to increase security and avoid delays. Be sure to leave a copy of your travel itinerary with family or a secretary or assistant; someone at home should always know your schedule when you’re out of the country.
Make sure to see your doctor six to eight weeks before your trip to ensure that you have all the necessary vaccinations and are aware of any potential health issues that may affect your travel abroad. If you take any prescribed medications, make sure that you have enough for an extended stay, as well as a copy of your prescription.
When it comes to being safe in a foreign country, a good practice is to maintain a low profile. Don’t dress loudly or in a way that would draw attention and avoid wearing any valuable jewelry or watches. When making purchases, avoid displaying credit cards or large amounts of cash.
Know the location of the U.S. Embassy and find out what services or advice the officials there can provide. Listen to local advice from guides about which areas are safe and which to avoid. If you find yourself in an area where you feel unsafe, walk quickly but not hurriedly and try to appear as if you know where you’re going.
Medical treatment in other countries is not always comparable to that at home. A variety of circumstances, such as a lack of proper tools and medications, could quickly turn a simple illness into a life-threatening situation. If your team is in a remote area, suitable medical facilities may not be available, requiring transport by ambulance or helicopter, which can lead to even greater expense.
While some insurance companies may provide coverage for international medical care, it is generally very limited and may only cover injury, not illness, and most policies do not provide coverage for general liability or automobile coverage if your church is sued due to an accident.
Unfortunately, many travelers are unaware that most domestic insurance coverage does not apply in foreign countries. As a result, many mission teams don’t have the insurance coverage they need to protect them from accidents, medical emergencies, or lawsuits that could occur during their travels. That’s why short-term travel insurance can be invaluable during a mission trip.
Like all types of insurance, travel insurance is something you hope you never have to use. However, short-term insurance for mission trips offers a safety net if the unexpected happens.
Mission Assure, a product provided by AGFinancial Insurance Solutions, provides short-term insurance at an affordable price. Unlike other travel insurance programs that require large premiums, the Mission Assure policy offers full coverage for a low per-person, per-day premium. At just $2.50 per day for domestic travelers and $4.50 per day for foreign travelers, Mission Assure is an affordable alternative to high-premium travel insurance programs. We are able to offer this preferred pricing because it is part of the larger Assemblies of God travel insurance program.
For more information about Mission Assure, click here or contact AGFinancial Insurance Solutions at 866.890.0156 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to view our Risk Management Resources to learn more about how you can protect your ministry.