• International Insurance Blog

  • Monday, December 18, 2017

We live in an ever-shrinking world. A journey of a day can take us to the farthest corner in the world. Unfortunately, all this technological advancement means that humans can act as carriers to many kinds of germs and disease-carrying microbes.

A pandemic that started in one part of the world is still threatening people living thousands of miles away in another part. People who have never visited any country outside their own too are at risk from those who did. What we need is an international travel health insurance plan that travels with us, and covers us wherever our journeys may take us; or stays with us if we live overseas for a longer period and still covers us there.

Students who came to study in a country other than their own often have to live with (or in spite of) the local germ population that they may not be immune to. They need an international student health insurance plan that covers their unplanned and usually unexpected medical expenditure.

We all need coverage from the unforeseen events that can often have irrecoverable effects. Health insurance is the easiest way of reducing the risk, or rather buying peace of mind in place of uncertainty.
One of the costliest parts of any medical treatment is the expense for time spent in an ICU (intensive care unit). Every day in the ICU might cost upwards of $1000 and in the final hospital bill it is usually the biggest component. If you would ever need to undergo an operation which requires such care, your international health insurance policy will cover it along with normal hospital room charges along with other expenditures. But, there are a few clauses and policy maximum limits.

The limits to intensive care are set differently in different policies. Some policies set a limit of a dollar amount, say 1 million dollars for intensive care (which is usually the policy limit itself). Such policies might have a limit to each individual component as the policy limit, which means all together cannot exceed a pre-declared fixed number.

There are other international medical insurance policies that set a daily limit, say $1500 per day for intensive care and $600 per day for hospital room. Along with this, there could be a limit on the number of days that can be spent in an ICU or a room, say 180 days or 240 days.

Understand the limits and limitations of a policy before signing on the dotted line, or clicking on the buy button. (Note: All numbers quoted are indicative figures used as examples, and not the actual limits. Limits vary from policy to policy)
Here's the scenario: You are a US citizen who will be residing abroad for a period of more than two years. You already have health insurance coverage in the USA. Since short term travel health insurance usually offers coverage for a period ranging from 5 days to 12 months only you will have to consider long term international insurance.

There are two broad types to choose from. One is medical insurance that covers you both overseas as well as in the USA and/or Canada. The other covers you only overseas i.e. not in USA and Canada. There is a considerable amount of difference in the premiums to make you think before picking one over the other.

If you already have domestic health insurance coverage either through your employer or from elsewhere, you might not need the USA coverage option, saving quite a lot in the premium amount.

Before making a choice, always read the fine print for things like how many visits will be covered, what is the deductible, what is the maximum policy limit, etc. Once all that is clear, only then make a decision.
You planned a trip long back, booked tickets, bought international travel health insurance. Out of the blue, the long planned trip might get cancelled due to an unexpected illness or the tragic death of a loved one or even the menace of terrorism. If the trip was for pleasure, it leaves one bitter; and if it was business, it might have bigger ramifications. But, one way or the other, the money spent on tickets is lost if it was pre-paid and non-refundable.

Or, consider another scenario. You reach the destination. There is another week planned in the itinerary, but something happens and you have to come back home immediately. The already booked return ticket is useless, and you have to book a new return ticket. In other words, the trip wasn't totally cancelled, it was interrupted midway.

How to deal with these scenarios? Simple! Trip Cancellation Insurance to the rescue. It covers 100% of trip cost in case of a cancellation, and 150% in case of a trip interruption (return tickets booked at the last moments tend to be costlier).

Destruction of the Insured's property, or death of a "close" relative are among some of the many covered events. But, a friend's marriage, or your son's baseball game might not qualify. Make sure you ask and understand all the qualifying events.
How many times does it happen? We make a million plans for the trip, take every document, book hotels, arrange rental cars, plan every single place we have to visit and anticipate a great time on that long-awaited trip - and on reaching the destination airport, our bags are nowhere to be found on that carousel. Down come all the plans crashing amidst the reality of the situation.

Did the baggage get left behind? Was it accidentally sent to another country - a few thousand miles away? Was the new camera in that bag? When, if ever, are we going to get that bag back? What if it's just lost, never to be found again? Lots of questions. Enter international travel insurance dealing with trip cancellation having a lost baggage coverage.

This kind of insurance will reimburse loss of baggage up to $2500 (which includes the cost of certain declared items in the baggage). Usually, lost baggage insurance is a complimentary benefit of a trip cancellation insurance, but it is always safe to verify that such is actually the case.

With more and more international flights being booked everyday, there are bound to be manual errors by the airline staff. It is best to stay covered for such an event, along with the medical coverage of a international health insurance.
With the cost of health care sky-rocketing all around the world, one of the most essential items you need to tick off the checklist before commencing travel abroad is international travel health insurance.

As the name suggests, the policy covers medical expenses when the insured is traveling overseas, during the time when his/her domestic health insurance policy generally doesn't offer coverage. Let us try to understand the terms of coverage offered by this policy.

Coverage is available for expenses incurred for visits to doctors; hospitalization, surgery and even prescription drugs. Intensive care is also covered. But there is an important clause here. The injury or illness has to manifest, or show first symptoms during the course of the travel within the period for which the coverage is sought.

According to the terms of most travel insurance policies, any disease/illness that has shown symptoms, been treated or received care before the start of the present coverage term is considered a pre-existing condition and will not be covered. It is necessary to have a clear understanding of this clause while buying travel insurance.

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International Medical Insurance - Short Term
International Health Insurance - Long Term
Trip Cancellation Insurance

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