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Student Travel Insurance vs. General Travel Insurance: Which One is Right for You? 

Student Travel Insurance vs. General Travel Insurance: Which One is Right for You?

Student travel insurance is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of students studying abroad. On the other hand, general travel insurance, also known as visitor insurance, is designed to provide coverage for individuals of all ages and travel purposes. Let us find the differences between the two and understand which one is suitable for you. 

Table of Contents: 

What is Student Travel Insurance? 

Student Travel Insurance plans are designed to protect students studying in the US and going abroad. These plans are made for both US citizens/residents who are traveling outside the US or taking study trips inside the US. 

Studying abroad brings a lot of growth and opportunities, but if students are not financially prepared, they can face a lot of challenges, especially during a medical emergency. These student travel insurance policies offer a safety net to the students, offering different medical and travel benefits during their temporary stay outside their country/state of residence or citizenship 

What is General Travel Insurance? 

General Travel Insurance or Visitor Insurance is designed to protect travelers outside their country of citizenship or country of residence. These plans act as a safety net for non-US citizens visiting the US. It helps cover medical emergencies, illnesses, and accidents that might occur during your trip. Without it, unexpected healthcare costs can be overwhelming. These plans offer peace of mind and financial protection, allowing you to enjoy your US visit without worrying about medical bills. 

Comparison between Student Travel Insurance and General Insurance 

Plans Student Travel Insurance Visitor Insurance
Ideal for ,US-and Non-US students travelling for study tours abroad, as well as students who are travelling outside their state of residence. Non-US citizens/residents travelling outside their country of citizenship or country of residence and /or coming to the US for a brief stay. Ideal for family, parents, relatives, leisure travelers, students, businesspeople, green card holders, and more.
Policy maximum Coverage begins at $50,000 and with options up to $2 million or more. Some plans provide trip cancellation insurance as well. Coverage begins at $50,000 with options up to $2million or more.
Deductible $0 to $5,000. Deductibles can be annual or per incident. $0 to $5,000. Deductibles can be annual or per injury sickness.
COVID-19 Most plans include coverage for Covid. Most plans include coverage for Covid.
Pre-existing conditions Most of the plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. Some plans may cover only the acute onset of pre-existing conditions. Trip cancellation plans may waive the pre-existing conditions if the plan is bought within the stipulated time after making the trip payment. Review the brochure for details. Not covered. Many plans include coverage for the acute onset of non-chronic pre-existing conditions with pre-defined limits and age. Review the brochure.
Pregnancy Few plans offer pregnancy coverage with a pre-defined schedule of benefits. Review the brochure Maternity and pregnancy are not covered under any of the visitor insurance plans. Some plans like Safe Travel USA Comprehensive and Atlas Travel include some coverage for anew complications during the first 26 weeks (about 6 months) or pregnancy.
Trip Cancellation Insurance Plans like iTravelinsurance can provide trip cancellation for students who are US citizens and residents Most visitor insurance plans for non-US citizens and residents do not offer coverage for trip cancellation but provide medical insurance coverage.
Optional benefits Some plans offer coverage for Adventure sports, Chaperone Rider, Cell phone protection, AD&D and more. Some plans offer coverage for Adventure sports, AD&D, Cell phone protections and more.
Best Sellers Study USA Patriot Group, Atlas Group, iTravelinsured, Patriot Exchange. Safe Travel Comprehensive, Patriot America Plus, Safe Travel Elite.


Can I purchase a student travel insurance plan if I have existing coverage through my university or academic institution? 

If the University or academic institution’s insurance plan does not provide coverage in the country/area that you are traveling to, you might have to have student travel insurance. Some universities or academic institutions may offer their own insurance plans for students studying abroad. Students can choose to buy a plan that meets the institution’s insurance requirements from a third-party insurance provider if the institution has waiver options. 

How do I choose the right student travel insurance plan? 

When choosing a student travel insurance plan, consider factors such as coverage benefits, coverage limits, premiums, deductibles, provider networks, and policy terms and conditions. Assess your specific needs, travel plans, and budget to determine the most suitable plan for your academic experience abroad. 

Can I cancel my student travel insurance if my plans change before the policy’s effective date? 

Most insurance providers allow policyholders to cancel their student travel insurance before the policy’s effective date either for a full refund of the premium paid or with a cancellation charge. However, cancellation policies may vary among providers, so it is essential to review the policy terms and conditions regarding cancellations, refunds, and any associated fees. 

Can I extend my student travel insurance if my academic program or stay abroad is extended? 

Extensions may be subject to certain conditions, such as applying before the original policy expires and paying an additional premium. If the plan does not offer an extension, you may have to buy a new plan after the current plan’s expiry. Contact your insurance provider to inquire about extension options and requirements. 

Is visitor insurance valid for travel within the host country or only for international travel? 

Visitor insurance provides coverage for international travel, outside one’scountry of citizenship or country of residence.  If you are a non-US citizen coming to the US, your plan typically will offer coverage mainly in the US or outside your country of residence/citizenship depending on the plan you opt for.  Travel insurance plans for US citizens and residents can offer short-term coverage in the US and abroad.  

Can visitor insurance be used for dental or vision care? 

Visitor insurance typically does not cover routine dental or vision care. However, some plans may offer limited coverage for emergency dental treatment or eye injuries. 


The choice between student travel insurance and general travel insurance depends on individual circumstances and needs. Student travel insurance is tailored to the unique requirements of students studying abroad, while visitor insurance provides comprehensive coverage for a wide range of travelers. 

Do you wish to know more about these plans? Visit our website and explore the options. 

Pallavi Sadekar

Pallavi Sadekar

Travel Insurance Expert

Pallavi Sadekar is a seasoned insurance professional with over 17 years of experience in the industry. As the Head of Operations at Visitor Guard®, she brings a wealth of expertise to the field. With a profound understanding of insurance, Pallavi has consistently demonstrated her commitment to helping clients make informed decisions about their coverage.

Pallavi’s insights and advice has earned her recognition in esteemed publications, including Forbes, USA Today, and various online platforms. Her contributions to these outlets have solidified her reputation as a trusted authority in the insurance domain. Whether it’s navigating the complexities of visitor insurance, finding the right coverage for clients, or understanding the intricacies of visitor health insurance, Pallavi’s in-depth knowledge allows her to offer practical and informed guidance to her clients.


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