Travel Insurance

What Is a Travel Insurance Deductible and How Does It Affect Costs?

What Is a Travel Insurance Deductible and How Does It Affect Costs?

Are you wondering about the ins and outs of travel insurance deductibles and how they affect your overall costs? When it comes to travel insurance, the deductible is the amount that you are responsible to pay before the insurance benefits take effect and before the insurance company will pay for the treatments or services – just like a standard health insurance policy.

Enhancing your upcoming journey with well-informed choices can amplify your peace of mind and enjoyment. In this guide, we discuss what a travel insurance deductible is, how it works, and, most importantly, how it can affect your expenses while traveling.

What Is a Travel Insurance Deductible?

When you secure a travel medical insurance plan, the deductible is the initial amount you’re responsible for paying out of pocket before the insurance company steps in to cover the remainder of your medical costs.

For example:

  • If your travel insurance deductible limit is $1,500 and you incur eligible medical expenses of $5,000, you would have to pay for the first $1,500, and your travel insurance provider would pay the balance of $3,500.
  • If you choose a zero ($0) deductible, you are not required to pay any part of the total cost upfront, and your benefits start immediately.

Why Is a Travel Insurance Deductible Important?

Understanding the insurance deductible terms is pivotal in effective financial planning. The amount serves as a guidepost, revealing how much you’ll need to set aside in case of an unforeseen medical incident while on a trip.

We understand the importance of being well-prepared, as the last thing anyone wants is to encounter a medical emergency without the funds needed to cover their deductible. So, you need to understand how much you’re financially responsible for before signing up for a travel insurance policy. This understanding allows you to plan more thoroughly before your trip, asking yourself:

  • In the event of an emergency, will I be able to cover the cost of this deductible? 
  • How feasible is the deductible amount in this travel policy based on my financial situation?

Taking time to consider your deductible options carefully will offer peace of mind and confidence as you embark on your adventures.

How Does the Deductible Affect Your Insurance Cost?

Generally, a lower deductible plan may have a higher premium, and vice versa—you’ll pay a higher premium, but your out-of-pocket costs in the event of injury or illness will be lower.

For comprehensive travel insurance, typically all things required under one incident are counted towards your deductible. Under a limited travel insurance plan, you may have to pay a deductible per treatment or service.

Simply put: 

  • If you want to reduce your potential expenses, consider a lower policy deductible for your travel coverage.
  • If you feel secure enough to afford a higher deductible in the unexpected event of a medical incident, you may opt for selecting a higher deductible with a lower premium.

Check out the video below to learn more about deductibles and how they impact the cost of travel insurance.

What Is a Deductible Per Incident?

A deductible per incident in travel insurance refers to the specific amount you’re required to pay out of pocket for each injury or illness covered by your policy. Keep in mind that this generally pertains to limited insurance plans (as opposed to comprehensive plans).

Limited Insurance Plans Explained

Let’s dive into limited plans a bit more to provide more context:

A limited benefit or coverage plan is typically the lower-cost option for travel medical insurance and is designed to offer very basic coverage for the average traveler. Limited plans work on a fixed benefit model, meaning coverage for specific services or treatments is predefined.

This type of policy also usually includes a deductible per incident, requiring you to pay that amount for each individual injury or illness sustained while on a trip.


Let’s say you experience multiple incidents during your trip that require you to make multiple claims. You get into a medical accident, and the doctor orders: 

  • An X-ray
  • Blood work
  • Medication prescriptions

In the case of a limited insurance plan, you’ll need to cover the deductible for each of those three incidents before your insurance coverage goes into effect.

Things to Consider

These deductible-per-incident policies tend to have lower premiums than comprehensive plans. But if you experience multiple incidents on your trip, your out-of-pocket expenses can get high. So, to make the best decision, it’s a matter of assessing your needs, comfort level, and financial situation.

What Is an Annual Deductible?

An annual deductible is a type of insurance policy deductible that requires payment of the deductible amount once per year, no matter how many medical services you have used during that period. The amount resets at the beginning of the plan year.

Most policies at VisitorsCoverage begin at five days and can be extended to last up to 365 days.


You purchase an annual plan with a deductible of $250. On your trip, you incur eligible expenses of $1,500. Once you pay the $250, your insurance policy will cover the remaining $1,250. Then, the policy covers the costs for any other eligible incidents during the rest of the year.

Things to Consider

Annual deductible plans can be beneficial for frequent travelers or those who anticipate taking multiple trips throughout the year. In addition, you can save more: A frequent traveler who pays a single deductible can spend less than if they had to pay a separate deductible for every single trip. 

What Is a Per-Policy Period Deductible?

A per-policy period deductible is a deductible that applies within a given time frame. This period depends on your insurance policy and the length of your trip. 


You plan a two-week vacation and sign up for a policy that covers those two weeks. The deductible is $250. In the event you have a medical incident, you’d only have to pay that deductible once for that period—even if you needed to make multiple claims.

If you were to embark on another trip that same year, you would need a new insurance policy that carries a new deductible. While this might add costs, in the long run, a per-policy period deductible can provide peace of mind since you know the maximum you’ll have to pay for each trip. 

Things to Consider

Per-policy period deductibles may be useful when you have one short trip planned. If you’re traveling for an extended period of over a year, an annual deductible might make more sense.

Make Informed Decisions Regarding Travel Insurance Deductibles with VisitorsCoverage

Stay informed with VisitorsCoverage to make your trip worthwhile. We offer a wealth of knowledge regarding travel insurance, along with insurance policies you can sign up for.

Visit our Knowledge Center for information on travel insurance policies or get a quote for your next trip today!