Insurance Protection Should Accompany Every Mission Trip
If you are in the process of planning a mission trip for your church group, make sure to think carefully about insurance, safety, and security as you hammer out the details. Extra preparation could minimize headaches when your group arrives on the mission field.
- Include insurance coverage in your mission budget. Most insurance policies only apply within the United States, meaning you will need additional medical and liability coverage for foreign travel.
- Ask for written proof of coverage. It's easy to assume everything is covered when a mission trip organizer says the trip is insured. Ask for proof of insurance coverage and examine the details of what's covered and what's not.
- Make sure you have enough coverage. If you or your ministry leaders are not comfortable with the amount of coverage your mission team member have, you may want to obtain additional insurance.
- Think before driving in foreign countries. The driving environment in other countries is often very different from what we’re use to in the United States. You may be wise to hire a professional driver, native to the mission area, to handle driving duties during your mission trip. Many U. S. churches located near the border with Mexico do not allow their members to drive their own cars into Mexico during mission trips.
- Carefully consider political unrest or threats of violence before a final decision on a trip. Keep an eye on the news and stay in contact with sources near your mission destination. The U.S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs posts up-to-date, area-specific safety information on its website and on Twitter. Security assistance services also are part of some insurance policies. Weigh the risks and consider rescheduling the trip if necessary.
Making mission trip plans months in advance can pave the way for a smoother experience when it's time for your group to pack up and head out. Plan ahead and enjoy your trip.