Are medical expenses incurred on a foreign trip covered in a travel insurance policy?

Travel Medical Insurance

Travel Insurance for Medical Expenses

When one travels to international places, it’s not all about enjoyment and engagement with a different culture or attending a work meeting. There are many other not-so-amazing aspects of overseas travel which are often overlooked. One of the common ones that can affect people of almost all age groups is ill-health. The moment one sets foot out to another country, he/she faces drastic changes in the climate and time which might be quite apart from the routine body clock. These might lay stress on the traveler, due to which certain health problems can crop up during the overseas journey.

In order to tackle such medical expenses, insurers provide the overseas travel insurance that is a comprehensive policy covering the costs of baggage loss, trip delay, and cancellation as well. Travel medical insurance is the most significant part of this policy. Most of the medical expenses are covered under this, and if the insurer has a good network, one may also be able to avail the benefit of cashless hospitalization with network hospitals in foreign nations.

But, as with any insurance plan, one needs to be clear about the scope of the policy. At the outset, it might seem that each medical expense incurred on the foreign trip will be covered in a travel insurance, but such is not the case.

Let’s go deep into the medical provisions of a travel insurance policy through certain examples:




  1. Mr. Singh plans a trip to New York for 15 days and on reaching there, he catches widespread fever due to which he requires hospitalization for three days.

  • The hospitalization expense will be covered under the policy.

  • There might be a sub limit provided for a single illness.

  • For example, if the sub limit for a single illness is Rs 10,000, then the expenses over it need to be incurred personally.

  • Expenses on regular check-ups will not be covered under the policy.

  1. Mrs. Sony has had a kidney problem before. When she visits her daughter in Tokyo, she suffers severe stomach pain. After the check-up, it is found that the pain was related to the same kidney problem and so, she requires hospitalization for the same.

  • If the hospitalization was not connected to a pre-existing illness (kidney problem), the hospitalization expense would be covered under the policy.

  • Specialized policies are available that have cover for specified pre-existing diseases.

  • Any expense incurred due to the revival of any pre-existing disease (unless availed through extra premium or fatal to life) is not covered generally in the policy.

  1. Mr. Ankit has been in a depression for a long time. He plans to visit a meditation retreat in California. While he is there, he attempts to injure himself.

Case not applicable

  • Any kind of expenses for depression and anxiety are not covered under the policy.

  1. Ms. Ashiana plans to get a nose job done in America. She pays for it and expects the insurance policy to cover the same.

Case not applicable

  • Any cosmetic surgery (unless done to save one’s life) is not covered under the policy.

  1. Mrs. Kumar is 5 months pregnant. She travels in the second trimester of her pregnancy as the doctor suggests it to be the safest time. But, on reaching there, she experiences some problem which requires her to get hospitalized.

Case not applicable

  • Pregnancy, delivery or elective abortion expenses are not covered under the insurance policy.

  1. Mr. Sushant is recommended a foreign hospital for his son’s heart problem.

Case not applicable

  • If travel is done for the purpose of treatment, such expenses are not covered under the policy.

  1. Ms. Ria develops schizophrenia when she starts living with her fiancée in Spain.

Case not applicable

  • Any mental disorder is excluded in the policy. Same applies to diseases like HIV, AIDS.

  1. Mr. Singh plans a family trip to Mauritius and there, he meets with an accident while doing paragliding. He needs hospitalization because of it.

  • Unless hazardous sports are mentioned in the policy, they remain inapplicable.

  • Injuries due to bungee jumping, water sports, and other adventure activities are excluded from the policy unless they are availed with payment of higher premium.

Travel Medical Insurance

From the above examples, it is clear that not all expenses that seem to be medical ones are covered under the travel insurance policy. The causes and the history of the insured also matters and the insurer will make a thorough inspection before any expense is paid for. So, next time you plan to travel overseas, keep these points in mind before making a travel insurance claim!

Check out this post for Cheap backpacker insurance.


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35 thoughts on “Are medical expenses incurred on a foreign trip covered in a travel insurance policy?

  1. hey sharonoox Reply

    This is such a helpful info! My parents are visiting us in summer and I need to tell them this. Will get extra insurance while they’re here.

  2. Elizabeth O. Reply

    To be honest, I never paid much attention to travel insurance. It’s good to learn more about it especially when it comes to medical concerns.

  3. Annemarie LeBlanc Reply

    This article was really helpful. Now that Spring is here and summer is not far behind, there will be lots of families traveling to vacation spots abroad. It is best to be abreast of travel medical insurance and the coverage it offers before we actually step on that plane.

  4. Ana John Reply

    Travel Insurance!! For the first time I came to know about such a service this looks really beneficial for the people who travels. Next time before planning any trip I would make sure of my travel insurance.

  5. Love U Wedding Reply

    i have no idea baout traveling and insurance!! omy! this is very helpful!!

  6. Angie Rose Reply

    This was such an interesting read, I’ve always wondered about that! I am planning on traveling abroad very soon. I will definitely be keeping all of this in mind!

  7. Coralie Reply

    Thanks for information, I had no idea about travel insurance and how it worked. I haven’t traveled internationally very much.

  8. Indrani Reply

    I have always had doubts regarding these medical expenses, glad got to read them here and get the doubts resolved.
    Can’t imagine experimenting on self and finding the truth. 😛 🙂

  9. Kristina Reply

    Gosh this was helpful! Travel insurance is still a mystery to me tbh, despite having traveled quite a lot. It’s good to know what’s covered and what isn’t though.

  10. Ravi Reply

    My travel insurance to US, UK and other Asian countries have always been taken care by the employer.
    These are good points to know and check prior to travel. thanks

  11. neha Reply

    This is really very helpful. God forbid, if we ever need to incur medical expenses during our travel, particularly international ones, it becomes very necessary to know what all is covered in our insurance. How and where we can avail of it, and all the other important information

  12. Alvin Lau Reply

    I find them extremely important as well. My mum had a fall and fractured her wrist. Thanks to travel insurance, we didn’t have to pay $10,000 USD for the surgery! Great information.

  13. Anosa Reply

    I love that the insurance cover I have with my bad covers everything not covered by my work overseas cover. This was an informative post

  14. Briana Reply

    Oh wow. So much that I hadn’t thought about when it comes to international travel. This is a very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Khushboo Reply

    I am planning my second trip abroad this year and this article helped me clarify a lot of doubts about travel insurance.

  16. Neha Saini Reply

    Didn’t ever realized that travel medical insurance could be so important. This is such a helpful info!

  17. Cori Reply

    I’m not sure that all travel insurance policies are the same — I’d check the fine print on whatever policy you’re looking at, although these are good general guidelines.

    Lots of credit cards, home insurance policies, and health insurance policies will cover things that happen while you’re traveling. We recently ended up going to the ER for a fracture while out of the country and it was totally covered by our regular health insurance. If it had been a more serious injury, our credit card insurance would kick in, too.

  18. Saidah Washington Reply

    I’m about to purchase travel incurance to make sure certain things are covered and so that I can be trandported back to the US if need be.

  19. David Elliott Reply

    Just seems like if you are worried about something happening on your trip that you should be in good health beforehand. Or at least insurance companies see it that way. Because they will not cover the pre-existing stuff if there is some emergency. So best not have any of that stuff if you are going somewhere.

  20. Sheila Reply

    You can plan for everything, but health issues happen and it is good to know you are covered before you go. However, it brings us a point that many people in the US take for granted that Healthcare is always available here and not so much in other countries. They aren’t as flexible as the USA.

  21. Amrita Reply

    This is such a useful insurance is often misrepresented.Really good that you gave such examples.Many people will be able to make a more informed decision.

  22. Tony (tonyandkimoutdooradventures) Reply

    One of the most important parts when travelling. It’s a shame people think nothing will happen to them. Very important information you shared. Might wake a few people up.

  23. Liz A Reply

    The company I am with provides travel insurance but never did it occur to me to find out what it covers. Thanks for sharing. I will have to check our policies on travel insurances.

  24. Sushmita Reply

    This is such an informative post for travelers. Know few who I need to share this post with, will do it asap 🙂 thanks for sharing happy to share it ahead

  25. Kusum Reply

    This is quite an informational post. Insurance is always tricky and its the worst when you are traveling. Thanks for sharing.

    xx, Kusum

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