YOU ASK:

Are there differences in the services provided by international and domestic travel insurance?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, international travel insurance usually provides added services or benefits, such as medical coverage. This service is not provided by your domestic travel insurance because it is assumed that you already have medical coverage from your local health insurance.  That is why domestic travel insurance is usually cheaper than international travel insurance since it provides fewer services.

International travel insurance may also provide you with additional emergency assistance.

As for the services provided in the medical expenses coverage, the insurance company will usually help facilitate the arrangements for your admittance to the hospital, especially if the hospital is included in their list of accredited providers. There may be instances, though, that you will first have to pay for the medical treatment. This is when you receive treatment from a hospital that is not on the list of accredited providers.

To get the best hospital treatments and services while you are traveling and that is covered by your travel insurance, you should ask whether your insurance company provides you with 24/7 access to their hotlines. This is essential as your insurance company may provide you with essential information about where you can get the kind of healthcare that you want.

Also, look into the level of medical treatment that is covered under the policy. Check whether you are able to get treatment from a private hospital. Check for this, particularly when the country you will be visiting has a tiered health system.

Another thing you can look into is whether claims for injury or illness that you got during your trip but was treated in your home country is included. This is because some insurance companies exclude medical treatment provided in the home country, even when the injury or illness was clearly incurred while you were abroad.

Additional services that you can get from your travel insurance's medical coverage may include emergency dental coverage as well as emergency expatriation or evacuation. Medical evacuation will cover the cost of chartering a flight (by plane or by helicopter) to transport you from the place you are visiting to your home country, or to a nearby place that has better medical facilities. This will include the costs of the medical equipment and medical personnel that will be used during the trip.

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