What is Travel Medical Insurance and Why Do You Need it?

What is Travel Medical Insurance and Why Do You Need it?

When you’re travelling abroad, whether for a short vacation or an extended exploratory trip, it’s important to organise international travel medical insurance. Having adequate coverage for travel and medical-related scenarios protects your health and finances.

Purchasing travel medical insurance can be a complicated process due to the vast array of options available. Every insurance provider offers a unique range of policies relating to travel, health, or both, and choosing the best one for your needs is a complex decision.

In this article, we’re going to cover what travel medical insurance is and why it’s important to purchase this type of coverage when you’re travelling abroad.

What is Travel Medical Insurance?

You might hear travel medical insurance referred to as travel health insurance or health travel insurance. They all mean the same thing, and they refer to a type of legal coverage that protects you in a range of travel and health-related situations.

To explain what travel medical insurance is in more detail, let’s break down each component of this type of insurance individually. Note that you can purchase each type of insurance separately, but it’s often cheaper to choose a combined policy that offers both travel and medical coverage.

Travel coverage

Travel insurance protects you in the event of unexpected travel-related problems. Although every policy is unique, and you can often customise the features of your chosen travel insurance plan, basic policies cover you in the following situations:

  • Cancelled or severely delayed flights
  • Lost, stolen, or damaged luggage
  • Disruptions to your travels due to natural disasters or political or economic unrest in your destination country
  • Coverage for emergency medical treatments during travel

If you experience any of the above unforeseen circumstances when travelling, your chosen insurance provider may cover some or all of the costs associated with resolving these issues.

Medical Coverage

Health insurance protects you when you get injured or fall ill. If you need medical treatment, whether routine or emergency, whilst you’re travelling abroad, having an active medical insurance plan enables you to access local hospitals and primary healthcare facilities.

In many countries, you would be unable to access healthcare services in your local area as a traveller or ex-pat if you don’t have health insurance in place. Alternatively, you might be able to receive medical treatments but would be expected to pay for the costs of your care if you don’t have medical coverage.

With medical insurance, you may also be able to access emergency healthcare services, which is essential if you’ve sustained a serious injury and need immediate treatment. You can also access better quality facilities than those who don’t have medical insurance as a tourist or ex-pat in the country.

Many medical insurance providers also offer enhancements or add-ons to their existing policies, which is ideal if you have a rare medical condition and require regular treatment for it or if you’re currently pregnant and will need maternity care whilst travelling abroad.

What Are the Benefits of Having Travel Medical Insurance?

Regardless of how long you’re away from home, you can benefit from having travel medical coverage. Let’s look at these benefits in more detail to discover why you need to purchase travel medical insurance when you’re in another country.

Peace of Mind

Getting travel medical insurance offers peace of mind so you can enjoy your travels as much as possible. You can travel from place to place knowing that you have financial support if your travel plans are cancelled or changed or if you need to access healthcare facilities whilst abroad.

Having peace of mind enables you to get the most out of your trip. You can travel like a pro, make new memories, and meet new people without the scary thought of having no insurance coverage during your time away from home.

Legal Requirement

In many cases, having travel medical insurance is a legal requirement when you’re travelling to another country. The exact regulations vary across borders, but in general. It’s a good idea to get coverage before you head off on your travels to ensure you are protected in unexpected scenarios.

Reduced Costs

Although you need to pay a premium to have a travel medical insurance plan, the total price you pay for coverage is often much less than the costs associated with resolving travel or health-related issues out of your own pocket.

Rearranging travel plans and paying for the costs of medical treatments or surgeries can cost thousands of pounds or dollars in total. With travel medical insurance, you won’t be expected to pay for all of the associated costs yourself. Instead, your insurance provider will cover a proportion of the costs (the exact amount they cover depends on the details of your policy and your chosen voluntary excess).

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