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5 Common Scenarios Where Visitor Insurance Can Come in Handy for International Travelers  

5 common scenarios where visitor insurance can come in handy for international travelers

When it comes to going to an international destination, you spend a lot of time planning and organizing the itinerary, the places you want to visit, the food you want to try, and the things you need to buy. However, buying a travel insurance policy is one crucial factor travelers often ignore. In addition, predicting unfortunate situations or emergencies like hospitalization, flight delays, accidents, and even lost passports is hard.

So, why is it important to consider a travel insurance plan before planning your next international vacation? Some common scenarios may tell you why you need a robust insurance plan.

Scenario 1: You fall sick or injure yourself abroad.

Let us assume that you are traveling to the US and suddenly fall sick and need to be hospitalized. You can quickly spend anywhere close to 20,000-25,000 USD or more for a two-day hospitalization depending upon the seriousness of your injury or illness. You must pay from your pocket if you are not covered under a travel insurance plan. Medical treatment costs are higher in the US, and it can put you into financial debt. In fact, treatment and hospitalization fees can be ten times higher than in some countries. Therefore, it becomes crucial to buy a travel medical insurance policy.

Scenario 2: You are a 60-plus individual traveling abroad.

As you grow older, you are exposed to more risks and injuries. You can fall sick easily or injure yourself. This scenario would leave you with two possibilities: a) use a health insurance plan to cover the eligible medical expenses, or b) be willing to take risks and bear all the medical expenses. Older adults tend to have pre-existing health issues, which may lead to a situation where you need treatment. Make sure you buy a plan that covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions, as no visitor insurance covers pre-existing conditions.

If there is a sudden onset of an illness with no initial symptoms and needs immediate medical attention, depending on the plan you opt for, your insurance plan can cover the treatment and hospitalization. The insurance plan cost for senior citizens is more due to the risks involved. Investing money in buying a plan is wiser than paying millions of dollars in medical care and treatment.

Scenario 3: You come abroad for higher studies.

Students traveling abroad are exposed to various risks, including falling ill or misplacing their baggage. Hence, they must consider a health insurance plan to ensure hassle-free educational tours and studies. International students come to the US on J, F, M, and other visas. Students on J-visas must follow US State Department’s insurance requirements before entering the country. If they fail to maintain the requirements laid down by the government, their visa can be revoked.

However, international students on F and M visas do not have to follow any State Department’s rules. Instead, they must consider their school’s / universities’ insurance requirements before enrolling in the session or training programs. You can buy a health insurance policy from outside only if the institution has the waiver form options. However, the plan must match the school’s requirements.

Scenario 4: You want to take part in high-risk sports.

If you are a thrill seeker and want to participate in adventure sports, you must consider buying a health insurance policy. Visitor insurance plans do not cover extreme sports, but you can buy adventure sports coverage by paying an extra premium. You would be covered for medical treatment and hospitalization if you suffered an injury while participating in adventure sports activities. In addition, your plan can cover your evacuation to the nearest qualified medical facility for advanced treatment if needed. Remember that not every plan covers sports, and it is essential to read the brochure before buying a plan.

Scenario 5: You want emergency medical evacuation.

Suppose you are trekking in a forest and injure yourself. The nearest medical facility is in the next city, and you must visit the emergency unit to get yourself treated. You can use your plan to get yourself transferred from a remote location to the nearest medically qualified facility for better treatment. Visitor insurance plans cover ambulance transfers from a remote location to a city where you can find all the facilities. Air ambulance transfer can cost you around $20,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the location, which you can save if you buy a plan.

Why should you consider buying coverage?

  • Medical treatment in the US is more expensive than in most other places worldwide.

Unless you have set aside a large amount of money to cover potential medical expenses that could occur during a visit to the US, it could be financially devastating for you or a family member to become seriously ill or hurt during a trip. Depending on the extent of the injury or illness and the type of medical treatment needed, you could be financially responsible for a hefty bill.

Know more: Why is healthcare so expensive in the United States?

  • With a visitor insurance plan, you pay a small price for coverage that protects you if you become sick or injured while traveling.

You invest a small payment (the premium) in covering a significant medical expense later. Therefore, when you review pricing for visitor insurance plans, you will find it very economical. Also, you can find choices of comprehensive and fixed-benefit insurance policies. The comprehensive plans are on the higher side but offer better protection. In contrast, the fixed benefits plans are budget friendly and come with defined sub-limits for the benefits.

The fixed benefit Visitor insurance plans typically provide scheduled benefits that pay a stated dollar amount for each type of medical treatment or service you receive. For example, a physician’s non-surgical or urgent care visit may be limited to $75 per visit and cover up to 10 visits per illness or injury. This means the plan will only pay up to $75 per visit, even if the medical provider bills you a higher amount.

In addition, insurance is provided per injury or illness, and there is an overall medical maximum limit you can choose for this. For example, if you select a $2 million medical maximum, that is the most your plan will pay for all medical expenses related to that injury or illness. You can customize the plan by choosing the maximum benefit limit for sicknesses or injuries and the deductible.

  • Without insurance, a traveler may not seek the treatment they need for fear of having to pay a large bill in the US.

In such cases, this could be disastrous if you wait to return home and receive the necessary care. Depending on the nature of the injury or illness, waiting to receive necessary medical treatment could have serious and long-term effects.

  • Many visitor insurance plans include travel assistance services.

With a plan from Visitor Guard®, you receive assistance from our team and get 24/7 by calling the assistance number on your card. This benefit helps international travelers to the US who need assistance navigating the medical system. Our team helps travelers every day because they understand the types of concerns when traveling. The team can also help you choose the right plan before going on a trip.


Visitor travel insurance is an essential aspect for international travelers. It is a clever idea to buy one for your family and friends if they are visiting the US for a temporary stay or visit. The general idea behind any insurance is to pay a small amount upfront to protect against a potentially significant and unexpected loss that could occur later.

Travel is fun – it is filled with surprises and adventures! However, it can be incredibly stressful when unforeseen events throw you off your guard, especially when you are away from your home. You can take as many precautions as you want, but it can never be enough to guarantee your safety in a foreign land. This is why signing up for a travel insurance plan is the most sought-out step to look out for before planning an international holiday.

Do you need a comprehensive visitor insurance plan? Contact us.

Chiranth Nataraj

Chiranth Nataraj

Travel Insurance Expert

Chiranth Nataraj is a licensed insurance agent and the principal at, an independent insurance agency that provides visitor insurance to customers across the United States and the world. With over 20 years of experience, Chiranth has been instrumental in educating the travel community, new immigrants, the international student community, and foreign governments about visitor medical insurance to cover medical expense risks. He has built a team that strives to make the preferred choice for travelers, exchange visitor organizations, and international universities. His insights and expertise have made him a popular industry voice, and he is often featured in USA Today, Forbes, Washington Post, and many more.


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