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What is a travel health insurance policy?

Daniel Walker
Licensed Insurance Agent for 15 Years

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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What is a travel health insurance policy?A travel health insurance policy is simply an insurance policy that provides for medical insurance for you, and named family members, when you are traveling outside the country. You can however, get such coverage for domestic travel, but it is less critical.

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Often purchase of travel insurance is done when you are making travel arrangements, but policies purchased directly from insurance companies are much more inclusive and therefore, a better choice.

Reasons You Should Carry Travel Health Insurance

Travel health insurance is the most important type of travel insurance to carry. While so many of the “emergencies” we encounter while traveling are little more than inconveniences that cost us time and money, medical emergencies are often true emergencies. They can cause a variety of problems, especially serious financial difficulties that result from the high cost of medical care and the added complications associated with such situations.

Having a medical emergency can prevent you from getting home in a timely manner. Special arrangements may also be needed, including medical evacuation. You can also have a variety of other problems that result from being hospitalized like loss of personal effects, additional accommodations for members of your party and so much more.

If you are in another country, your regular health insurance plan will likely only cover a part of your expenses, if at all. Travel health insurance will cover above and beyond anything your regular health insurance covers, and will provide for many extra things that regular health insurance does not cover. Getting hurt or sick in another country can be financially devastating if you are not prepared. Travel health insurance provides the peace of mind you want when traveling.

What Travel Health Insurance Covers

Travel health insurance covers a variety of things including:

  • Cost of medical treatment
  • Trip interruption or cancellation
  • Evacuation or repatriation
  • Death, injury or disability benefits in the case of an accident
  • Repatriation of remains
  • Funeral expenses overseas
  • Return of a minor child
  • Delayed departure
  • Delayed luggage
  • Loss of personal property and/or money and travel documents, due to theft or other covered perils
  • Curtailment
  • Rental car damage overage and personal liability
  • Legal assistance
  • Emergency travel assistance and concierge services

The things that are commonly excluded by such plans are illness or injury due to drug or alcohol use and pre-existing medical conditions. War or terrorism may or may not be covered depending on the plan. Pregnancy coverage varies also depending on plans.

Optional coverage is also available at varying costs for things such as pre-existing conditions; participating in higher-risk sports; traveling to countries that are deemed high risk; kidnap and ransom insurance; and higher benefits for accidental death and dismemberment.

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Purchasing Travel Health Insurance

As with any type of insurance purchase, when you are in the market for travel health insurance, it makes sense to shop around and compare the differences between quotes from different insurers. You should get a variety of quotes so that you have the best chance of finding the best price on the best coverage possible. A free online quote tool can provide you with the quotes you need to get started.

Once you have the quotes, you need to compare them based on price and coverage first. Be sure that you are dealing with comparable levels of coverage. Watch for exclusions and other variations on any quotes that are significantly lower than others. When you have narrowed down your choices, you will need to compare the companies.

Insurers differ greatly in their rates, the service they provide and their financial stability. Therefore, compare them in all areas. You can learn a lot about the service they give customers by doing an online search for reviews on the insurer. You can also get the details of complaint frequency by contacting your state department of insurance which keeps data available on such things.

To find out about how financially stable an insurer is, you should get the company’s rating from one of the independent insurance ratings firms. A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s and Weiss Ratings all assign letter grades to insurance companies worldwide, based on how capable they are of meeting present and future financial obligations. The better the grade the more stable the insurer is.

Input your zip code in the online insurance quote tool to get started. Before you know it, you will have a variety of travel health insurance quotes to compare and contrast, so you can find the best deal possible on you travel health insurance needs.

Enter your zip code now to get online travel insurance quotes today!

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