How to Use Travel Insurance Outside the U.S.

How to Use Travel Insurance Outside the U.S.

After dealing with so many flight cancellations, baggage losses, and soaring medical costs, for many international travelers insurance has become essential. With the growing interest in travel insurance, many travelers, whether they’re American residents or residing overseas, are left to wonder how exactly to use travel insurance when you travel outside the U.S. Let’s take a look.

Trip Insurance or Travel Health Insurance?

The first thing you need to decide is whether or not you need trip insurance or travel health insurance. Strictly speaking, if you have travel health insurance, or as it’s commonly called, travel medical insurance, it may cover urgently needed medical care. However, travel medical plans do not provide trip-related coverage for things like flight disruptions, lost luggage or trip cancellations. Now, if you have trip insurance, on the other hand, it provides trip-related coverage and it may also offer an Accident and Sickness benefit, which may cover emergency medical care up to a specified dollar amount.

However, trip insurance is only available for U.S. residents, whether traveling abroad or domestically. So any international traveler residing outside the U.S. will want to opt for travel medical insurance. U.S. residents traveling overseas have more of a choice. If you’re staying abroad longer, are elderly, have a pre-existing health condition or may be more likely to require medical care, then travel medical insurance might be the way to go. Want more comprehensive information on the distinction between trip and travel medical insurance? We got you.

Using Travel Insurance In Medical Emergency Situations

Once you purchase travel insurance, you should be able to print out your insurance card. You’ll want to carry this with you wherever you travel. For medical emergencies, seek help immediately. There are no PPO networks abroad and the policyholder can visit any physician or medical facility. After care and services are provided, the policyholder should contact their insurance carrier and keep all receipt of payments for when a claim is filed. Overseas care is usually on a reimbursement structure.

Using Travel Insurance in Non-Emergency Medical Situations

When you buy insurance through VisitorsCoverage, you’ll find all the information you need like plan information, benefits, and claim details by logging into the customer portal. How the claims process works may vary from plan to plan but in general, when you travel overseas you can expect to pay for your urgent medical care up front, and file a claim to get reimbursed.

Remember to keep and make copies of all your medical bills, receipts and physician notes so that you can submit them with your claims. For an in depth look at the travel insurance claims process, check out this explainer.

International travel can be an amazing experience but nothing is more important than your safety or that of your loved ones. Travel insurance is one of the best steps you can take towards travel safety.