Having the right type of insurance when heading on a trip abroad can mean the difference between traveling with confidence and worrying about potential costly expenses. But there are many types of policies available, so how can you know how each type differs and which is right for your needs? It is important to understand the differences between trip insurance, travel insurance, and global medical insurance before planning your next international trip.
Trip Insurance: Trip insurance helps cover the expenses related to a trip in the event that something unexpected happens. For instance, let’s say you miss a connecting flight to your end destination because your original flight was delayed. After all, less than 80% of flights in 2017 depart on time. Then because you miss your flights, you wind up missing a night or more of hotel expenses that you have already paid for. Trip insurance can help recoup that.
Or imagine that you have a cruise planned, but the cruise is cancelled due to a hurricane. Again, trip insurance can save the day by allowing you to recover the costs of the cruise tickets and related expenses. Considering that the average cost of a cruise starts at $50 per person per day, that is a significant amount to save.
Travel Medical Insurance: Like a trip insurance plan, a travel medical insurance plan is designed to save you from potentially exorbitant costs during a trip. But rather than focusing on the cost of travel itself, a travel medical insurance plan focuses on the cost of healthcare should medical needs arise on a trip.
While you may have a comprehensive medical insurance plan in your country, there is no guarantee that the plan will be honored in other countries. In fact there is a very good chance that it will not. And if it is not, then you could be faced with hundreds of dollars in medical expenses on the low end, and thousands on the high end. If your medical treatment requires you being sent back to the United States, the cost of medical evacuation could be $50,000.
If that is a risk you are not comfortable taking, then travel medical insurance is an investment you will likely want to make.
Global Medical Insurance: How then does a global medical insurance plan differ from a travel medical insurance program? After all, both are created to help cover medical costs while you are overseas. The big difference though is that while a travel medical insurance policy is designed to protect you while you are temporarily traveling (perhaps for work or business) the global medical insurance policy was designed with the expatriate in mind.
So if you are living abroad or staying abroad for a long period of time, this is the type of insurance policy you will want to look into. This means that not only will you be able to obtain affordable medical care in the event of an emergency while living abroad, you will also be able to enjoy in your home country as well.
Preventative care like periodic checkups are covered under this type of plan. Dental care, prescription medication, and maternity-related care are other examples of non-emergency needs covered by a global medical insurance plan.
This plan type will help ensure that you can maintain good health while living abroad.
Even though these three types of coverage have very similar names, the truth is they are very different in regards to what types of coverage they provide. In order to understand which one is the best fit for your unique needs as a traveler, you will need to ask yourself questions such as:
- How long am I traveling abroad for – short or long term?
- Do I have an insurance policy that already covers me in the country I am visiting?
- Am I seeking a policy that covers me for medical emergencies only, or I am looking to secure a plan that offers coverage for preventative procedures, regular office visits, prescriptions, and more.
These are just a few of the considerations to keep in mind. If you begin thinking about which type of insurance policy you need by answering these simple questions, you will find it easier to reach your decision. Remember, making an educated purchase of the right type of travel insurance will save you money in the long run!