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What Should You Know about Travel Insurance

insurance for international travel
Viola Tsui

Content Editor at Textr

Published Sep 8, 2022

Insurance for international travel is easy to overlook when booking a trip. After all, no one wants to use insurance, and very few people enjoy buying it.

But arranging insurance for international travel is pretty important, no matter where you’re going on your trip. Let’s look at why.

travel insurance

Why is it Important to Get Travel Insurance?

Insurance for international travel covers 3 broad areas, which are:

Medical Cover

Health insurance travel plans are perhaps the most important area, regardless of where you’re traveling. It’s not very common for tourists or visa-holders to get free medical care in any country. As you can imagine, traveling to somewhere like the USA will require extensive travel insurance.

A health insurance travel plan should cover you for accident and injury and medical fees. These could range from emergency room care to prescription reimbursement.

Bookings

The second most important aspect of insurance for international travel is booking and reservation cover. This includes flights and hotels with potential payouts for cancelations and delays.

The exact details will depend on the type of cover you take out, but it should ideally include the ability to claim for rebooking flights and accommodation.

travel insurance

Lost Belongings

Finally, there’s cover for your belongings. It will typically include lost luggage cover, but some plans will allow you to claim for delayed luggage and theft while on your trip. If you plan to take valuable belongings with you (such as a laptop, expensive phone, etc.), make sure you have the correct level of cover.

Does Health Insurance Cover International Travel?

It’s not a given that your health insurance will cover international travel. The best place to start is by checking your policy documents. Alternatively, call your insurer directly and ask.

As you might already know, the wording in insurance documents can be confusing and deliberately vague. So, here are some questions you can ask to get the answers you need:

  • Does my plan cover emergency care, such as accident cover?
  • For any international care, do I need to get second opinions or pre-authorization?
  • Does my plan cover return to my home country if related to an accident abroad?
  • Do you guarantee international medical payments? If so, is there a cap?

You should also ask for some distinctions in your insurance company travelers’ documentation. For example, ask for their definitions of emergency and urgent care. Generally, emergency care is for conditions that could threaten your life, whereas urgent care would be for non-life-threatening illnesses, such as serious food poisoning or a high fever.

Finally, if you have this conversation over the phone, ask for a written copy of the conversation. This is so you can use it as evidence if you need to make a claim.

international travel insurance

What Does Travel Insurance Not Cover?

Before assuming your travel insurance trip coverage will reimburse you for everything, it’s worth noting that some things might not be covered. Some examples include:

Cancelation

Not all reasons for cancelation will be covered by travel insurance. Specifically, you won’t have coverage for foreseen reasons, such as knowing a bad storm will hit your resort while you’re there.

However, you’ll be covered for unforeseen weather events, so don’t worry too much. Policies will have lists of what’s not covered, so check these.

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Pre-existing Medical Conditions

This is a bit of a gray area depending on your insurer. Some won’t cover claims for pre-existing conditions while you’re traveling, although this might depend on what you’re trying to claim for. For example, you might be fine getting a repeat prescription, but your policy might not cover you being flown home due to your illness.

Some companies offer pre-existing condition waivers, but these will probably bump up the price. However, if it means you’re covered for something you expect could happen, it’s arguably worth it.

General Exclusions

As with any other type of insurance, there are exclusions for travel plans. These might include:

  • You changing your mind and canceling a flight or hotel
  • Extreme sports, such as parachuting or bungee jumping
  • Medical tourism
  • Canceling your trip because the weather isn’t good (not to be confused with extreme weather conditions). For example, you go somewhere during monsoon season but don’t like rain.
  • Losses related to breaking the law (e.g., missing a flight because you were arrested).
travel phone insurance

Where to Buy Travel Insurance?

There are numerous options for buying travel insurance, if you don’t already have a policy in place. These include: 

  • An existing insurer – specifically health or home
  • Your bank
  • Third-party insurance companies
  • Online travel websites (some booking services will offer a bolt-on option for your package)

It’s worth checking several insurance company travelers’ plans and comparing their options. Of course, if you need specific cover, look out for this.

Before going on your trip, make sure you take note of your travel insurance phone number. It’ll be worth printing off a copy of their contact information and keeping it with your passport and travel documents. Keep another copy separate in case you lose these documents.

Finally, read the policy document carefully, so you have a good idea of what’s covered before you travel. If you need to claim while traveling, contact your insurer before making any plans or bookings to make sure they’ll reimburse you.

insurance for travel

How Can I Call the Insurance Company When I Travel?

Because your insurance for international travel will likely be with a domestic company, you’ll probably need to make an international call. The easiest way to do this is with an eSIM plan, so you can stay connected and make contact, even in emergency situations.

Textr will soon launch its eSIM plans, which will cover more than 120 countries. It’ll carry a wide range of data plans at more competitive prices than mainstream carriers. This means you’ll be able to get in touch with your insurer without worrying about cost.

Also, you can use the Textr Team app with your eSIM to call and text while traveling. It offers high quality call minutes and texts, and international phone numbers for easier communication.

So, download Textr Team today to see how it can help next time you’re traveling.

insurance travel phone

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