If you are a seasoned traveller, chances are that you may have come across the term travel insurance even though you may have never actually bought it. Travel aggregator websites may have also advised you to purchase medical insurance. But you might be thinking whether purchasing travel insurance is the same as medical insurance. While a travel insurance plan is mandatory for visiting certain countries, it is not the same as getting medical insurance. So, here’s everything you need to know about the difference between travel insurance and medical insurance.
Travel insurance vs medical insurance - Which one do you need and when?
The goal of travel insurance is to provide coverage for a shorter period of time while you are traveling. While it is optional for domestic travel, it is mandatory when traveling to a certain foreign destination, whether for a holiday or a business trip.
The coverage provided can be for:● Misplaced luggage ● Any accidents that happen while you are travelling ● If you lose your personal belongings ● Last-minute air/hotel cancellations
Travel insurance also provides short-term and major medical coverage. Short-term coverage is useful for travellers who are traveling for five days to one year. On the other hand, major medical coverage is beneficial for travellers who are planning to take longer trips from six months to one year or even more.
However, the coverage is only provided for emergency medical treatment that happens while you are travelling. For instance, if you fall in your hotel and break your hip bone, you can raise a claim for medical expenses under your travel insurance policy. But if you decide to get a tooth extraction done while traveling even though nothing during the travel causes trouble to your tooth, you will not be eligible to raise a claim for such expenses.
Moreover, travel insurance also provides you cover within a specific area. The idea behind travel insurance providing medical coverage is that the insured individual has the means to get better and return to their home country. That’s why long-term illnesses and chronic illnesses are excluded from the scope of such cover.
Medical insurance: Medical Insurance is designed to provide coverage solely for medical expenses incurred while you are traveling. Such an insurance policy is specially designed for travellers and is different from regular health insurance that you can get even when you are not travelling. However, such an insurance policy is designed for those travellers who have relocated to another country for a considerable period of time. Therefore, students, working professionals, or expatriates who hold a valid visa in a foreign country can all benefit from such medical insurance policies.
Here is what medical insurance does
In case you face any medical emergency while travelling, your travel insurance only covers the medical expenses incurred for emergency care. But with medical insurance, you can even get coverage for long-term treatment in a foreign location, as long as the policy covers it. This is one of the key differences between travel insurance and medical insurance.
Most travel insurance plans do not provide any coverage for any pre-existing medical conditions you may be suffering from. You can consider getting a rider or buying an add-on policy to obtain the necessary coverage. In contrast, medical insurance can cover existing medical conditions too.
Similar to travel insurance, international medical insurance is also valid for a particular location. For instance, if you are currently living in Spain and are covered under a medical insurance plan for Spain, you are only covered for medical expenses for any issues that you face in Spain. If you happen to travel to London and fall ill, you will not be able to raise any claims under medical insurance. You will need to apply for travel insurance before you travel.
Now that you know how travel insurance vs medical insurance varies, which one should you get? Travel insurance is what you need if you have travel plans for a foreign destination for a short period of time. However, if you plan to stay in a foreign destination for an extended period of time when you are studying or working, then having medical insurance makes more sense.
Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.