What incoming Verto families need to know
If you’re still on a wave of excitement from signing up for your Verto semester, we know insurance probably isn’t the most exciting thing on your mind. It’s an important part of any travel plan though, so we have you covered with a breakdown of everything you need to know!
What is Travel Health Insurance and why do students need it?
Traveling involves new places, new people and new situations. Travel Insurance provides coverage that helps protect your travel experience against trip interruption and cancelation. Travel Health Insurance provides coverage for any new health issues that arise while traveling, replacing lost medications, or ensuring transportation home if there is a serious injury.
Verto staff will always be on location to help students navigate any type of incident– insurance is merely there to protect families from a financial burden which could arise.
What type of policy do students need?
Students must have Travel Health Insurance. For Verto Hawaii students, they can continue to use their family policy that covers them in their home state. A quick call to make sure that the provider knows that the student will be traveling, and where they will be traveling, can ensure their coverage. Students are also able to contact Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to get Travel Health Insurance coverage if there is not a home insurance option.
CISI provides Travel Insurance coverage to Verto Hawaii students as part of the Hawaii tuition and program. This coverage helps in the case of an unexpected situation causing a delay or deviation from their travel plans, lost or damaged baggage, or the need for evacuation from the location due to a natural disaster or crisis. There is no cost to Verto Hawaii students for this Travel Insurance.
To reiterate, Verto Hawaii students already have Travel Insurance included in their program through CISI. However, students must be sure that they acquire Travel Health Insurance independently.
What steps should students take in case of illness or incident? How do they use insurance?
If a student is sick or an incident occurs, their first step is to notify their Verto staff. Student Life Coordinators are on the ground with students and will be there with them to navigate any situation which arises. Students should carry their health insurance card with them as proof of coverage. It is also encouraged to keep itemized receipts for any services they want the insurance to cover (ranging from an x-ray, to a hotel room, to clothes bought when luggage was missing) and any related documentation (like medical records, referrals, prescriptions, etc.). We highly recommend that students take photos of any receipts, documents, or other relevant paperwork in case they lose originals during their travels.
Students should contact their insurance and begin filing a claim within 1-3 days of the incident or of seeking medical care.
What systems does Verto have in place in the case of illness or incidents?
Verto staff are well-trained and well-equipped to help students navigate medical needs or other incidents. Student Life Coordinators are on the ground and accessible to students 24/7; they follow specific protocols and escalation processes for any possible situation that could arise.
Verto is well positioned with local partners in every Verto country location who are ready to help connect our teams to any resources or assistance they may need.
Our in-country staff and partners are in constant communication with our management in the U.S., including our Vice President of Programming and Operations, Director of Health, Safety and Risk Management and Director of Student Affairs. All of our protocols include processes for communicating with families at home and Verto is committed to transparent and effective communication. If you are curious to learn more about how Verto handles crises, read about how we navigated the Covid19 pandemic here.
The Verto Bottom Line
Student safety always remains a core focus on all Verto Education semesters, and we take intentional and pre-determined steps to ensure students’ utmost safety and success on our programs.
The process of supporting each student’s safety begins even before students step foot on an airplane– all students fill out a health history form so that staff can gain context on students’ unique needs and determine how to best support them from the get-go. Throughout the semester, students work with their program leaders and professors to better understand how they can act as safe and responsible travelers and how to maintain self-care while abroad.
While the locations, program focuses, and individual experiences of each Verto semester are different, attention to detail, participant safety, and commitment to student wellness are not. You can read more about our commitment to safety here.
We hope this article clears up any uncertainties you might have about travel insurance. If you have any remaining questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Student Success Coach at any time.