There are two broad types of travel-related coverage for those leaving the United States:
Travel insurance covers the loss of the prepaid travel costs of a trip should it be canceled, interrupted, or postponed. It also can reimburse unexpected expenses incurred due to a sudden change in travel plans due to illness or other causes.
Specialty medical coverage protects against personal insurance risks when someone is outside the United States.
Travelers can buy coverage that reimburses them for “prepaid, unused, non-refundable travel expenses should your trip be cancelled or interrupted due to any covered reason,” including:
- inclement weather
- an unexpected illness
- death of a traveler
- travel delays.
Trip interruption insurance can provide reimbursement for extra food and lodging costs if a traveler becomes ill during a trip. Some plans cover medical costs. Trip delay insurance covers expenses a traveler incurs in resuming a planned trip or returning home after being quarantined in another country. Often these various coverage options are bundled and sold in a package.
Short-term medical insurance may be appropriate for the millions of U.S. residents who travel outside the U.S. every year. Those who travel outside of America may be going beyond the boundaries of their medical insurance without knowing it, according to Clements International, a provider of international insurance policies.
Travelers may wish to consider short-term medical insurance if they’re traveling outside of the United States for an extended vacation or business trip. To determine whether it’s necessary, check if a domestic health insurance policy covers out-of-country travel. If not, short-term medical insurance provides coverage for illnesses or medical evacuation while traveling outside the U.S.
International travelers face the same insurance risks (and sometimes additional risks) while outside the country that they do while stateside. Life insurance issued in the U.S. may not be available on the same basis while a person is traveling for an extended period. Check on the validity of life insurance coverage as part of the travel-planning process.