Do I Need Trip Insurance or Travel Medical Insurance?

When traveling, it can be difficult to know exactly what kind of insurance policy you need in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. Most insurance plans can be separated into two broad groups: trip insurance and travel medical insurance. Let's take a look at these two categories more closely to help you find the perfect plan for your travel needs.

What is the difference between travel medical and trip insurance?

Travel medical insurance is designed to protect people from unforeseen illnesses and injuries that may occur while traveling abroad. A travel medical insurance policy will cover eligible treatment and services as stated in the policy documents. These types are most useful for people traveling internationally. Travel medical policies include benefits for medical expenses such as doctor or hospital visits, medical evacuation, repatriation and more.


Trip insurance can cover the financial investment of an international or domestic trip. If you are forced to cancel a trip, miss a flight connection or are otherwise unable to continue with your plans, trip insurance can reimburse you for a percentage of prepaid trip costs up to the limits of your policy.


Your Travel Insurance Choices

Here is a comparison table that can help you understand the major difference between travel medical, also called visitors insurance, and trip insurance. The following information can help you compare coverage options and decide what type of policy is right for you.

Travel Plans Type of Coverage
International travel where you want to have coverage for medical emergencies and related expenses.
Recommended when traveling abroad by yourself, with family or on a business trip.
Travel Medical Insurance
Domestic and/or international travel where you want to protect your financial investment should you be unable to continue your trip as planned.
Recommended for all planned trips with pre-paid expenses where you are 50 miles (80 kilometers) or more away from home.
Trip Insurance

Comparing Benefits

These are some of the standard features and benefits of travel medical and trip insurance policies. If you're looking for a specific type of benefit, you can find what type of plan is best for you and your loved ones.*

Benefit Standard Trip Insurance Policy Standard Travel Medical Insurance Policy
Medical Coverage
Limited coverage for emergency medical expenses

Covers costs associated with new injuries and illnesses
Emergency Evacuation
Trip Interruption
Accidental Death & Dismemberment
24-Hour Assistance
Trip Cancellation
Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR)
Included in some plans, option to add on this coverage for other plans
Trip Delay
Missed Connection
Rental Car Damage
Repatriation
Travel Assistance Services
Medical Evacuation
Legal Assistance
Emergency Reunion

*Please note, these are standard features commonly found in the policies. Depending on the plan, additional features may be added at an additional cost.

There are multiple insurance companies which each have different plan options. Each plan has a different price and coverage rating. Picking the right plan can be a difficult choice. We recommend that you compare plans to find the best policy for your needs. Our online compare and pick quoting tool is designed to help you search, apply, and make a secure online purchase.

We understand insurance terms can be confusing, if you need assistance please contact our support team. Here are some consumer tips on why you should consult with a licensed travel insurance expert. For over 15 years, VisitorsCoverage has been helping travelers from around the world with insurance and making their travel experience worry-free.

Related Articles