International medical insurance vs. travel insurance (1)

International Medical Insurance versus Travel Insurance

You have medical insurance which covers even international medical expenses. Will it make sense for you to buy travel insurance even then? Find your answer here.

International medical insurance vs. travel insurance (1)

Rajesh was travelling to Australia for 3 weeks to attend a family wedding. He did not know what type of insurance he needs to get. He always relied on the regular travel insurance plans during his previous vacations. But, this was a longer trip. And, he wanted to explore the international medical insurance options as well. He was not sure about the differences between them. He went exploring.

If you find yourself confused about the type of insurance you need while travelling abroad, come and walk with Rajesh to know more.

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is a general insurance to cover a trip. It covers the financial troubles travellers might face in a foreign land. These troubles may include changes in itineraries, cancelled trips, loss of baggage, loss of travel documents, delayed flights and more. Most travel insurance plans also cover emergency health treatments. A standard travel plan will provide for you to get back to India in case of a medical emergency.

What is International Medical Insurance?

International medical insurance allows you to get treatment outside India. The standard health plans do not provide cover beyond Indian borders. But, consider you are in a foreign land, either on vacation or work. If you get sick, an international health plan will help you get the needed treatment in that country. It is ideal for travellers who plan for a long stay in their destination country.

What Are the Main Differences Between Them?

A few differentiating factors are as follows:

  • The scope of Cover: Both these types of insurances provide health cover. But, a regular travel insurance plan will provide a smaller cover, enough for emergency treatments. An international medical insurance plan offers a higher coverage. Your hospital stays, ER expenses, maternity and childbirth costs, cancer treatment and rehabilitation expenses get covered under international health insurance.
  • Type of Cover: A travel insurance plan provides a larger variety of cover. You can make claims for lost baggage, trip cancellations and even rental car damages under a travel plan. But, an international health plan only provides cover for health issues. Keep this factor in mind when selecting the type of insurance you need for your travel.
  • Expense: Healthcare costs are higher in developed countries in the world. Thus, international medical insurance is more expensive than the regular travel plans. These plans offer a comprehensive coverage against many illnesses. And, you must pay a higher premium as compared to a regular travel insurance plan.
  • Compulsion: Travel insurance is compulsory if you visit some countries. This means that you won’t get a visa unless you buy a travel insurance plan. So, travel insurance is compulsory while international medical insurance is optional.

Which Plan Should You Choose?

There is never a fixed correct answer to this. Insurance requirements vary from one person to another. You must see what your needs are. First, check the duration of your trip. If it is a short trip, a travel insurance plan should suffice. A longer trip would warrant an international travel insurance plan. Also, check to see the other types of insurance you already own. Check whether your existing health plan has provisions for overseas treatments. If yes, you need not buy a separate international medical insurance plan. Analyse your own needs first. Buy insurance for the best possible cover.