You’ll need to safeguard your medical health if you’re heading abroad, whether it’s permanently or for a short trip. When it comes to travel vs health insurance, the former suits people heading on holiday, while the latter is for expats working and living abroad.
Both insurance types cover different needs. So, what you’ll want from your insurance package will depend on your personal circumstances and the length of time you want to protect yourself.
Let’s look at the differences between the two before we decide.
International health insurance is medical coverage that covers expatriates living abroad for a long period of time. It’s for those that have packed up and taken residence overseas.
With this insurance, you can protect yourself in case of any health issues while living there.
This is an annual agreement, unlike the short-term nature of travel insurance. In some countries it is a legal requirement. Even in countries where it isn’t, it can be more beneficial than using the local health service.
International health insurance is mostly medical based, offering cover for pre-existing conditions, hospitalisations and other health-related costs and issues.
International health insurance is for those who are working abroad for long periods of time, studying internationally, or just living there.
Expats, students and foreign nationals might want to consider protecting their health with comprehensive insurance. Especially if local law means you can’t access the national healthcare system.
Travel insurance is a short-term medical cover for people visiting another country on holiday or while backpacking. There are a few differences between travel insurance and international health insurance.
Like health insurance, travel insurance will cover emergency treatment, however, you’ll need to return to the country where you reside permanently for long-term care and support.
It also covers travel related issues, such as flight cancellations and protection against loss of personal items.
Travel insurance is for vacationers and backpackers taking a trip to another country. They can use the coverage while visiting there. It can put people’s minds at rest, so that if anything happens – they’re covered.
Differences between international health insurance and travel insurance
So, what type of insurance is best suited to your needs? The first question you should be answering is how long you need insurance for. If you’re on a short-term trip of a few months or less, then you might want to consider travel insurance. Longer durations of cover are better suited to international expat insurance.
Let’s look at the differences at a glance.
International health insurance differs between insurers, but generally the cover relates to medical issues and care. Let’s take a closer look:
Travel insurance will differ between insurers, but generally cover is for holiday specific issues. These can include:
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Yes, we recommend you get travel insurance even if you have private healthcare insurance. While private offers access to the best medical treatment, travel insurance can also cover those other things such as loss of luggage.
In some countries, international health insurance is a legal requirement. Some even have it as a pre-requisite for the visa application. Therefore, we recommend checking your destination country’s requirements ahead of travelling there.
Both travel insurance and health insurance are different and cannot overlap. Some travel insurance plans provide very basic medical cover. For a fully comprehensive plan covering a broad range of medical needs – we recommend health insurance.
We recommend arranging your international health insurance before arriving at the country you’re looking to relocate to. Ensuring you’re protecting from the off can give you more free time to make the most of exploring your new home.