When you are traveling outside your home country, you should purchase international travel insurance. Your domestic health insurance may not provide coverage at all. Even if it does, it may not provide adequate coverage and you may be left with a high deductible, co-insurance and out-of-pocket expenses. Of course, it will not cover other travel related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, loss of checked luggage, trip delay and trip cancellation.
Depending upon what exactly you would like to get covered, international travel insurance primarily falls into two categories: travel medical insurance and trip cancellation insurance.
Travel Medical Insurance
International travel medical insurance would primarily provide medical coverage, while also offering other travel related benefits to you while you are on your international trip. There are several market segments for such insurance plans:
Visitors to USA:
Healthcare expenses are very high in the U.S. and without proper visitors insurance, it would be financially devastating if a visitor were to fall sick or get injured. Fortunately, visitors insurance provides much needed medical coverage. Fixed coverage plans provide a fixed amount for each procedure and you pay the difference which can be drastically high. Therefore, we recommend comprehensive coverage plans that provide coverage in terms of percentage (80/20, 90/10, etc.). Comprehensive coverage plans also provide numerous travel related benefits that fixed coverage plans don't.
Travel Outside USA:
Most people who live in the U.S. already have a domestic health insurance plan. However, coverage through that plan may not be adequate when traveling outside the U.S. Medicare itself provides no coverage outside the U.S.
Many people who live in non-U.S. countries who are visiting non-U.S. countries can also purchase travel health insurance.
Schengen Visa Insurance:
For many people visiting Schengen countries, it is mandatory to get Schengen visa insurance before they can be issued a Schengen visa. Fortunately, Schengen visa insurance can be purchased instantly online and you can print a visa letter (confirmation of coverage letter) immediately, which you will need to take to the consulate along with your other documents.
Annual Multi-Trip Insurance:
If you take multiple short trips throughout the year, it is best to purchase multi-trip travel insurance that will cover you internationally throughout the year. Annual multi-trip travel insurance is highly recommended, especially if you are a frequent traveler and travel on a short notice, primarily for business.
Group Travel Insurance:
If you are a group of five or more people traveling internationally, as long as the travel dates for everyone are either the same or pre-determined, you should purchase group travel insurance which would essentially provide the same coverage as individual travel insurance, but it would generally be 10% cheaper.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip cancellation insurance primarily provides coverage for prepaid non-refundable expenses in case you need to cancel your trip for covered reasons. You would insure your trip cost such as airline ticket, tour cost, hotel booking, cruise booking etc. It would also provide you medical coverage and other trip related coverage while you are on the trip. Most U.S. companies provide such insurance only to U.S. residents. However, some products are available to non-U.S. residents as well. You may also consider cancel for any reason travel insurance.