Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Excess Travel InsuranceThe term excess in travel insurance can mean one of two things: either the deductible that you have to pay before your insurance starts paying or the payment of your medical bills after your primary insurance pays.

When it comes to travel insurance, neither one of these term relationships applies more than the other, which is why it is important that you understand the terms of your travel insurance policy.

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If the term excess refers to the deductible that you have to pay for your travel insurance, then it is very simple. You choose a deductible between $250 to $1500 and that is the amount of money that you have to pay out of pocket before your travel insurance begins to pay for your care.

Choosing the right deductible is important because your deductible is part of what keeps your overall premiums low when you purchase travel insurance. It is also important to know what you can afford to pay out of pocket easily; otherwise, you could be in a bit of a pickle if you travel outside of the country.

You see, there are some countries with laws in place that allow debtors to keep you from leaving the country if you owe them any money. For example, in the UK, if you incur debt while gambling, they will hold your passport until that debt is paid off. This practice applies in many countries when it comes to your medical care.

If you get sick or have an accident, in most cases you won’t have any trouble getting care. In fact, in many countries, if they realize that you are an American, you may end up getting better care because they will assume you can afford to pay for it or that you have insurance. If you choose a $1000 deductible, and you can’t afford it, you could be detained until the money is paid. This is very important to keep in mind when you travel.

What is the other use of the term excess in travel insurance?

If the term excess references the payment of leftover bills after your primary insurance kicks in, then it works like this. Your regular health insurance provider is billed for the care that you received while you were traveling. Once your insurance company covers everything that they are going to then your travel insurance company gets the rest of the bill to pay.

This type of coverage is very beneficial if you are traveling between states and have to visit a hospital that is out of your approved network. Some insurance companies simply have no flexibility on their network terms. If, however, you are traveling outside of the country, then you need to ensure that your primary insurance provides you with medical care. Many do these days, but there are those that don’t, so understanding your policy is the key.

You can choose not to have a deductible if you choose excess insurance rather than a full travel insurance policy. This type of policy is typically very affordable, around $43 for every month of coverage that you need, so a deductible really isn’t necessary to save money unless this amount is still too high for you.

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Do you really need travel insurance?

There are sure a lot of opinions out there as to whether you need travel insurance. Part of the problem is that, for many years, there were charlatans at the airports waiting for you to board your plane, playing on your fears of crashing, of illness and so on while you traveled while in the meantime selling insurance that was virtually worthless.

This isn’t the case anymore, however, and many reputable insurance companies offer travel insurance. The question is: if and when do you actually need it?

What you may not realize is that there are several different types of travel insurance, from health insurance to baggage insurance and pretty much everything in between. In this instance, we are talking about medical insurance travel coverage.

If you don’t have health insurance at all, or if your health insurance will not cover you out of the country, then travel insurance is a wise investment. As mentioned before, you could end up being detained in a foreign country if you need medical care but don’t have the money to pay for your medical bills.

You can choose medical evacuation and reparation insurance if you have health insurance that doesn’t cover you in a foreign country. If you choose this option, however, then you will be stabilized in the country you are in and then you will be evacuated to the nearest US hospital. If you have long-term business in a foreign country, then this may not be the right option for you.

The bottom line is that you have to consider:

  • Your current financial situation
  • Whether you have other medical insurance
  • Where you would want to receive care if you become ill or injured while traveling outside of the country

In the US, you have fewer things to consider, especially if you already have health insurance.

Where can you purchase travel insurance?

Travel insurance can still be purchased at the airport, but this isn’t going to be your best or most affordable option. If you already have health insurance, check with your health insurance carrier to see if they provide travel insurance. Purchasing a policy from a company that you already carry coverage with could mean that you pay less for the policy.

In addition, this same theory applies to your auto insurance. Many auto insurance companies offer travel insurance so ask for a quote from them as well.

If you don’t have these options, then pretty much any insurance company will do. There are, however, many companies that strictly provide travel insurance. It is very important that you compare the prices between companies, both traditional insurance providers and travel insurance companies. The prices are going to vary and you want to get the lowest price. Using our free quote tool can help you to do just that!

Can you save money on travel insurance?

Much like traditional health insurance, your overall health will affect the cost of your travel insurance. If you have a pre-existing condition like a family history of heart problems and are overweight, your risk of a heart attack actually increases with the stress of travel. This means that you are going to pay more than someone who is healthy and that has no history of health problems.

If you know far in advance that you are going to travel and that you will need travel insurance, then take the time to exercise and get healthy. This could save you a lot on your travel insurance costs.

In truth, travel insurance isn’t terribly expensive, but it can get expensive fast if you have medical issues that could be exacerbated while traveling. Getting that under control before you buy could equal big savings.

Shopping around is going to be your best bet when it comes to saving money. As mentioned above, there is more than one option when it comes to purchasing travel insurance so checking the rates between these types of companies will ensure that you get the lowest rate.

Try our free tool to get your savings and travel insurance quotes today!