5 min read

My Experience Using Travel Insurance

Written By: Rayleen Silva

Jennifer Luu, a recent graduate from Cal State Northridge studied business management in South Korea and of all the memories she made while living there, there is one she isn’t likely to forget.

She had always admired South Korea and dreamed of visiting, and finally, at the age of 26 she had the opportunity to go. Not only was she going to South Korea, but she was going to spend an entire year studying there. Being in South Korea had brought her tons of new experiences, friends, and injuries.

The Injury

Luu was just about to go to the restroom in her apartment when she slipped and did a split.

“I did like a split, but I can’t really do a split so my knee was kind of bent and I injured it,” Luu said.

At first she thought she thought she could treat her injured knee with ice packs. However, once her friends showed up and saw her injuries she quickly realised she was going to have to see a doctor.

The Emergency Visit

Going to the hospital in another country is not something travelers think they will have to do, but she was lucky. She had completely forgotten until her friends reminded her, but she had travel insurance since Cal State Northridge included it in the study abroad package. So she called the travel insurance company at 2am to let them know she would need coverage.

All she did was explain what happened, let them know what hospital she was going to, and then wait for them to send the hospital the necessary paperwork so she wouldn’t have to pay. However, when she got to the hospital she felt the workers were rude to her because she was a foreigner.

“The attitude was not helpful at all. We were trying to ask for information-- where to go-- you know, and they were like ‘eh.’ So we had to figure that out pretty much by ourselves,” said Luu.

Looking back on it she thinks it was because she went to one of the most well-known hospitals in South Korea, as it was the closest to her, so they must have been busy and not as concerned with her knee injury.

The Coverage

Due to it being 2am the paperwork didn’t send as quickly as she expected so the hospital staff were insisting she pay 200,000 korean wons (roughly $200 USD) just to be admitted. In total she waited around an hour for the paperwork to go through from the insurance and be seen.

While the hospital staff were rude to her initially she claims the doctors were kind and did a wonderful job. She ended up having a torn ligament and only paid $25 USD for her medical record to bring back home. Luu admitted that she probably should’ve gone to a small clinic because they may have been a bit more patient, but either way she is very thankful she was covered.

“Having it there makes you feel safer. If I didn’t have the insurance and I were to go to the hospital the total amount I would have paid would be more than 2,000 dollars [USD].”

Luu mentioned how one of her other friends she studied abroad with had travel insurance as well, only she never had to use it. The point she was trying to make is that you never know. No one ever expects to go to the hospital but it is better to be covered than to have an accident and end up being charged thousands of dollars in medical bills.



About the author:

Rayleen is currently a student studying Journalism at Cal State University, Northridge. Her passion lies with social issues, using writing as a medium to contribute and learn more about what communities are facing.