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How To Select Right Health Insurance For International Travel?

 

​​​​There is a big difference in travelling within your country and visiting abroad. One of the primary differences between the two is the cost of travelling. Travelling within your own country is comparatively cheaper than going on a foreign tour.
On similar lines, fearing the cost factor, many people often tend to ignore buying travel insurance​ while planning their international tour. But you would be surprised to known that a good health insurance for international travel can be bought at a price much less than your one time family meal in a restaurant.

For instance, an individual travel insurance offered by Reliance General Insurance for 20 day trip to United States, for a 30 year old, would cost you nearly Rs 1,000.

If you are wondering how you can pick the right health insurance for international travel, then you would first need to be sure of following things:

  • Where are you traveling to?
  • What healthcare would you require during your trip?
  • How much can you shell out from your pocket in case of any medical emergency?
  • What are your alternatives to manage financial risks during your trip?

 
Where are you traveling to?
The cost of medical treatments in the North America is very expensive. Therefore, while you are looking for health insurance plan for international trip, you will generally come across 2 different plans - one that covers USA & Canada and the other excludes. Travel insurance policies that cover USA & Canada are cost more than plans which exclude these countries.
So, if your trip does  not include any travel or stay in US or Canada, buy travel insurance plan accordingly.

What healthcare would you require during your trip?
This aspect is even more important if you have a pre-existing health condition. Pre-existing diseases are medical conditions that you had before buying travel insurance policy. Before finalizing any health insurance for international travel, find out of your travel insurance policy or overseas health insurance policy offers risk coverage for pre-existing health conditions or not.
Barring pre-existing health conditions, when you are travelling, there might be chances of you falling prey to many other medical risks, like food poisoning, weather change, flu, personal accident, etc.

Therefore, ensure to read the small prints of your health insurance for international travel and understand the coverages and exclusions mentioned in the policy.
 
How much can you shell out from your pocket in case of any medical emergency?
Before buying travel insurance policy, knowing your financial capacity to bear medical expenses during your foreign trip is very important. It helps you to choose the right deductible amount in your travel insurance policy.

Deductible is a pre-decided amount in your policy. It is the minimum sum of money that you need to pay from your pocket towards ay claim. This is a way of sharing cost with the insurer. A deductible of Rs 2000 in your policy would mean that if you file a claim, you would need to make the first payment of Rs 2000, following which, the remaining amount of your claim will be paid by the insurer. In case your claim amount is less than the deductible you choose, then you will have to settle the entire claim amount from your pocket.

Therefore, it is very important to choose your deductible wisely. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower will be your policy premium.
 
What are your alternatives to manage financial risks during your trip?
It might not be necessary that the foreign country you wish to visit will always have a friend or relative to take care. And in such a case, who would you rely on or go to, during a medical emergency?

It would be foolish of you to expose yourself or your loved ones to poor medical care on a foreign land, because it will only further worsen your health condition leading you to risk of life.

While buying travel insurance, look for coverage for evacuation in case of medical emergencies.