International Travel Insurance
Explained

If you've done any research on purchasing international travel insurance, you know there are multiple types of policies and plans, each with a variety of options, add-ons, and combinations for coverage.

When considering insurance for travel, it’s important to know the different kinds of coverage, and how to choose the correct plan to meet your needs and travel style.

It's also important to understand how the decision not to purchase travel insurance could affect your trip and your finances, if you lose your luggage, have a health-related accident, or your tour company defaults and leaves you stranded overseas.

No two travel insurance plans are exactly alike.

And whether you buy travel insurance online or directly from an agent or carrier, it's important to compare travel insurance policies, costs, inclusions, and benefits, so you know the international travel insurance you buy is the best plan for you and your particular travel situation.

Passarelle Bridge Luxembourg circa 1860


How To Choose The Best Travel Insurance Plans

There are three primary [or standard] types of travel insurance coverage you should consider first, when planning a trip overseas: 

  1. Medical Travel Insurance,
  2. Trip Cancellation Insurance, and
  3. Travel Baggage Insurance.

You can purchase these different types of plans separately, or combine them into a comprehensive travel insurance plan, depending on your need and situation.

Most travel insurance plans have options you can either add on or purchase individually for specific activities or personal situations.

Add-ons can include such diversified coverage as ski travel insurance, adventure travel insurance, visa compliant insurance, business travel insurance, or student, family, and senior travel insurance.

Usually the best travel insurance plans are a combination of the 'standard' types of coverage [as noted above] into a comprehensive travel plan, with or without added options.

There are numerous sites where you can buy travel insurance online, as well as educate yourself about the types of coverage and benefits of international travel insurance. 

These are insurance aggregator sites, who offer a variety of policy types and plans from well-known, reputable travel insurance companies:

Here, and on subsequent pages [see list of articles below] we explain the primary types of international travel insurance you should consider with a synopsis of points to look for, when deciding to buy travel insurance for your overseas trip. 

The purchase of international travel insurance is a personal choice, and should be fully considered as to the possible impact on your peace of mind and the financial impact on your travel budget, should something untoward occur when you're traveling overseas. 

We hope these explanations help you decide whether or not to purchase travel insurance for your overseas trip.

The Most Important International Travel Insurance

The most essential international travel insurance to consider is medical travel insurance.

The obvious purpose of this coverage is for you to be able to access and pay for medical attention you might need due to an accident, injury, or unexpected illness while traveling in Europe or anywhere overseas.

Before you buy medical travel insurance, check with your private health insurance provider to see if you’re covered for overseas travel.

This will depend not only on your travel destination, but your planned activities, your age, and the condition of your health.

If your private medical insurance covers you overseas, then any international travel insurance you purchase will most certainly be secondary coverage.

What this means is, you’ll most likely pay for services at the time of treatment, then file for reimbursement with your primary health insurance provider, when you return home.

This can also be true, when purchasing medical travel insurance, but it isn't always the case.

With a bit of digging you can often find medical travel insurance that pays direct. This will prevent you from going out of pocket for a medical emergency or illness during your trip.

Do some research for travel insurance online and look for medical travel insur-ance with primary coverage.

Unusual German Tower

Also look for the inclusion of a 24 hour access number that offers help and information, if you have questions or need to use the insurance.

This service acts is a kind of insurance concierge to help you with everything from locating doctors and medical facil-ities in the area you're traveling, to understanding how and when payments or reimbursements are handled.

Medical travel insurance primarily covers health issues of an emergency nature.

In most cases, complications that arise from a pre-existing condition are not covered, unless you purchase pre-existing condition travel insurance.

But depending on when you buy your policy, and the insurance provider you buy from, you can often add coverage for a pre-existing condition, either as a policy add-on or as separate coverage for an additional fee.

Some medical travel insurance may even include dental coverage for accidents or emergencies. This is seldom standard in the majority of international travel plans.

But if it's something you’re interested in, do your research with the online travel insurance aggregators mentioned above to see if they represent a carrier who offers it.

Whatever your need for medical travel insurance – or even if you’re inclined to shrug it off as unnecessary – take the time to understand how it will impact you, if you purchase it, or if you don’t.

Never rely on the sketchy insurance coverage offered by overseas tour operators, cruise lines, or independent travel agents.

While their intentions for selling travel insurance plans may be legitimate, their main objective is the hefty commissions they receive from selling the policies. 

Do your own research.  Compare travel insurance plans. This is your health and safety we’re talking about. 

The decision whether or not to purchase international travel insurance is your responsibility. 

Not a marketing ploy you should bargain away.






For more information on international trip insurance, please check the following pages:

How to Buy Travel Insurance, where to get it, who to buy it from. Beware insurance sellers, who can neither advise you or explain the benefits of travel insurance plans. 

Trip Cancellation Insurance protects you, when you pay up front, but are unable to travel. Learn which travel insurance plan you need, if you have to cancel your trip.

Consider both Trip Interruption Insurance and Travel Delay Insurance for your overseas trip. Travel with peace of mind, for pennies a day.

Buying Travel Baggage Insurance is a smart move to protect your travel possessions. While airlines offer meager coverage, you're only protected for your flight - not your entire trip.

Travel Insurance Cost is determined by what, when, and where you buy.  Review your travel insurance plan for need vs. value, and consider com-prehensive travel insurance over individual plans.

Buying Travel Insurance For Europe is not a clear-cut choice. Consider the possibilities for harm or loss, before making your decision whether or not to purchase European travel insurance.


Return to Understanding Overseas Travel Insurance


Travel Tip

Every international travel insurance plan has restrictions and limitations.  It’s up to you, the purchaser, to read the policy certificate before you buy and make sure you’re buying travel insurance that offers the correct cov-erage for your personal travel situation. 

Look for policies that offer a 'review' period. If you decide the policy is not what you want or need, as long as you haven’t traveled or made a claim against the policy, you can request a refund.


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