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Travel Medical Insurance

As the name suggests, travel medical insurance is meant primarily to cover your medical insurance needs while traveling abroad. It allows you to seek medical care in facilities outside your home country. You need this especially if your current major medical insurance policy will not cover you overseas.

Most policies are for single, defined trips abroad.   However, the frequent traveler can save money by purchasing an annual multi-trip plan.

A good policy will offer you a wide range of deductibles and maximum coverage up to at least $2 million. A broad maximum coverage range will offer you the necessary flexibility depending on your destination. So for, example, if you are traveling to India, where you can find good medical care for a fraction of the price of Western Europe or the U.S., you could probably get away with a maximum coverage of $100,000 or so, depending on the length of your stay. There is no need to pay a larger premium than necessary. In the U.S., however, consider opting for the upper end of the range - $500,000 to $2 million - as medical care is the most expensive in the world (though it varies from city to city). Anything below this, may leave you exposed.

Most travel medical insurance policies will include medical evacuation cover and flight accident insurance in the form of what is called "common carrier accidental death". Some policies may even contain a trip interruption benefit (in case of a death of a family member or natural disaster back home), a common feature in trip cancellation policies.

The following benefits are typical in superior policies:

  • hospital room and board
  • intensive care
  • emergency room
  • medical expenses
  • outpatient medical
  • local ambulance
  • prescription drugs
  • emergency dental
  • emergency evacuation
  • lost luggage
  • accidental death and dismemberment
  • terrorism coverage

Of the four types of travel insurance, medical is usually the most comprehensive.