What’s the Difference Between Private Medical Insurance and Travel Insurance?

I have read through the benefits provided on my travel insurance plan and noticed the level of cover for medical treatment. How does this cover differ from the cover provided on a Private Health Insurance plan?

Question asked by Caroline Wright

Thanks for your question Anne, many people when taking out travel insurance focus on the personal possession limits, such as losing a passport, jewellery or your luggage when in fact travel insurance is designed to cover a lot more than lost baggage.

How travel insurance is difference…

Travel insurance tends to be structured as a set maximum sum insured, often between £1m and £10m and in addition to your personal possessions cover is designed to cover emergency medical treatment while abroad. Travel insurance policies are often taken out as either a single trip or annual-multi trip policy with options to limit cover to certain regions to contain costs.

Opting for International Medical Insurance

Unless you have an International Medical Insurance plan your UK private health insurance policy is unlikely to provide any overseas cover. The medical cover provided on a travel insurance plan is most closely aligned with the cover provided on an expatriate or international health insurance plan.

However, unlike a global medical insurance plan a travel insurance policy is only designed to cover accidents and emergencies rather than elective treatment or continuing treatment of chronic conditions.

Travel insurance also differs from an expatriate health insurance policy as you are normally required to return home to continue treatment once you are fit to return home, whereas international health insurance for expatriates would allow you to continue to receive on-going treatment overseas.

I had the pleasure of dealing with Jake Mills in organising my insurance. Jake was fantastic to deal with — his patience and understanding really helped.

Brendan Kelly
26/09/2019
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