What is 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
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Answered by Tom Conner

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 £5m 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 likely to provide little if 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.

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This information does not constitute financial or other professional advice. You should consult your professional adviser or contact us directly on 02084327333 should you require financial advice. It is important to ensure any insurance policy you take out is suitable for your needs.
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