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How does Travel Medical Insurance work and Why It Is Essential?

How does Travel Medical Insurance works and Why It Is Essential?

Are you going on an international trip for the first time? A vacation to a foreign land sounds exciting, but many overlook the chances of meeting unfortunate events. You can be sick or badly injured or be taken to a nearby care unit.

Among all this, you can have language barriers and take care of the medical expenses. This is where travel medical insurance comes into the picture. It helps you to stay prepared.

What is travel medical insurance?

Travel medical insurance is a package that offers medical cover when you are traveling to a new country. The sole reason to buy a travel insurance policy is to protect you as your standard health insurance will not work outside your home country.

A travel insurance plan can keep you protected whether you are going abroad for studies, work, or leisure. This is ideal for people who are looking for short-term medical coverage.

Travel medical insurance pays for an emergency that may occur during a trip and subsequent stay. From unexpected illness or injuries, the policy can cover you financially up to the plan limits. You may be covered for bills like doctor visits, ambulance service, treatments, lab tests, x-rays, drugs and medicines, and more.

How does travel medical insurance work?

If you are wondering how does travel medical insurance works, you are at the right place. In most cases, travel insurance provides cashless claims if a network provider is used. If you pay upfront you can submit a claim for reimbursement. When you file a claim, you can submit your bills along with the completed Claims form so that the insurer can verify them and refund you the amount per the policy coverage.

So, how does this work? Suppose you choose a policy that includes trip cancellation benefits. However, just before the departure, you are diagnosed with pneumonia and are advised to cancel the vacation. When you try canceling the trip bookings, he/she may say that it is too late for a refund. This is where the trip cancellation insurance can help you.

Without travel insurance, you would lose a lot of money if you fall suddenly sick on vacation. Fortunately, some serious illnesses can be considered a covered reason for trip cancellation, which means you can be refunded for nonrefundable trip costs. You need to show the required documents and file a claim.

If you pay upfront for being treated when you are traveling, you receive the reimbursement money via check. The insurer can pay your bills upfront without you paying for the high costs e.g. for emergency transportation or treatment. 

Why is travel medical insurance essential?

It covers medical emergencies

When you purchase a travel medical insurance policy, it covers your medical bills up to your chosen policy limit. The insurer can reimburse the costs up to the particular limit, as mentioned for the treatment of a covered medical or accidental event. Most insurance providers have a PPO Network with a list of hospitals, Urgent Cares and doctors where travelers can avail of treatment.

It can cover the risk of travel

Based on the plan you opt for, travel medical insurance can assist with travel risks like loss of personal belongings, passports, and baggage. Covering these risks is like an additional layer of protection against financial losses. For instance, if your flight gets canceled for any reason, a travel insurance plan can compensate up to a particular limit. Without a policy, you will lose thousands of dollars during the trip.

It covers trip disruptions

Trip disruptions mean you may cancel your trip due to different reasons. Your travel medical insurance can cover cancellations, bookings, and others, providing a level of compensation.

It covers medical evacuation

If an accident or medical emergency requires you to be moved from the scene of incidence to the nearest qualified medical facility, you will be provided with an emergency ambulance. Worrying about the expenses should be your least concern because the policy can take care of the costs.

It provides assistance

No matter what problems you face, your insurance provider can offer you many types of assistance. They provide the proper guidance to file your claims and help you find hospitals to get treated. As long as the plan is valid, the provider can help you in time of need.

How to get most of the travel insurance?

Don’t wait much longer to buy a plan! Once you’ve decided where to go and made all the arrangements, you can go ahead and buy a policy. The earlier you get one, the more significant is the coverage window. If you need a trip cancellation plan, make sure to buy it within 14 days of making your initial deposit.

Read the brochure. If you’re not completely content with the plan, don’t purchase it. If the plan is initiated, the premium will be nonrefundable. There can be lots of doubts and queries about how does travel medical insurance works; don’t fret. You can reach out to an insurance company for help.

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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