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What is International Health Insurance? Meaning, Importance and Benefits

International health insurance provides coverage to insured travelers against medical emergencies while travelling or during their stay abroad. Know the importance, features, benefits and more.

  • Oct 28, 2021

Health emergencies can occur at any time while travelling overseas without any warning. And, if you get hospitalised overseas, the high cost of treatment may cause a considerable dent in your travel budget and ruin your entire travel plan.

Generally, the healthcare cost in foreign countries, especially in developed nations, is much higher than in India. However, you can easily cover the cost and keep the travel budget intact if you have international health insurance coverage.

Similar to home health insurance, you are also covered for your diagnostic and follow-up care in addition to emergency care. However, short-term coverage is the best option for you if you will be working, travelling, or residing abroad for a period of less than a year.

What is the importance of international health insurance?

  • In order to avoid the financial hardships associated with unanticipated medical costs and to guarantee that you have access to prompt and appropriate medical care wherever you go, international health insurance is crucial.
  • It gives you peace of mind so that you can enjoy your study or travel abroad as it covers the majority of medical costs and is accepted by most healthcare providers worldwide.
  • International health insurance in India is a travel insurance policy that provides coverage to insured travelers against medical emergencies while travelling or during their stay abroad.
  • It provides financial protection against unforeseen medical emergencies, hospitalisation cost, and accidents. Additionally, it enables insurance policyholders to access any medical treatments they might require while travelling.
  • A health insurance policy helps the policyholder cover their medical expenses and ensure their safety. Anyone can buy international health insurance, regardless of their age and purpose of travel, be it for vacation or business purposes.

Benefits of buying international health insurance

Travelling can be stressful sometimes. The sudden change in climate conditions and the difference in time zone can significantly impact your health and put you at risk of getting ill. This is where health insurance is beneficial for all. If you are travelling overseas anytime soon, here are a few ways international health insurance in India can benefit you.

  • Cover the medical expenses

If you get ill or need hospitalisation during your travel, the international insurance policy will help you cover the treatment expenses. It also covers both pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation expenses. The policy terms may also cover the transportation cost if you need to be airlifted.

  • Coverage against changes to the trip itinerary
  • The itinerary for the journey could alter at any time. It can be due to unanticipated events, health issues, cancellation of the hotel or airline reservation, or the financial collapse of the travel agency or cruise line that is providing the trip. These potential losses that could happen prior to the start of a trip are covered by a travel international insurance policy. An international insurance policy is suitable for all – individuals, senior citizens or families. It is beneficial for the businessperson who frequently travels to different places.

  • Makes travel stress-free
  • If you get injured or meet with an accident while travelling, the trip can become quite stressful. However, if you have health insurance coverage, you can travel without worry as you can be assured of getting financial assistance during a medical emergency.

    Exclusions under international health insurance

  • Most insurance companies do not cover any pre-existing condition or critical illness under international travel health insurance.
  • Any medical expenses you may incur for treatment of injury or illness due to alcohol consumption or other intoxicating substance like drugs.
  • If you suffer from any injury or illness due to events such as war, acts of terrorism, or protest, the insurer will not cover the same under international health insurance.
  • The insurance companies do not cover the treatment cost for self-inflicted injuries.
  • While travelling, you may indulge in adventure sports such as river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, skiing, etc. However, the insurance company will not cover the treatment expenses if you get injured.
  • How to buy international health insurance?

    You can easily purchase the health insurance of your choice online. Let us look at the process of buying the policy. Visit the insurance provider’s website for further information.

    • Browse through the international health insurance section, compare the different plans, and click on the ‘buy now button’.
    • Fill and submit the application form with relevant details like name, age, destination, travel dates, the purpose of travel, etc.
    • Comply with the documentation and submit relevant documents
    • Read the policy terms and conditions and pay the premium
    • The insurance company will send the policy papers to your registered email address

    Is International insurance worth it?

    An international health insurance policy is beneficial for all, and it is worth it. Several things can go wrong when you travel overseas for work, business, tourism or studies. A medical emergency can happen anywhere, at any moment. In such a situation, travel health insurance can significantly help get the best medical assistance without worrying about the cost.

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    Ref. No. KLI/22-23/E-BB/2435


    - A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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