The Difference Between Travel Health Insurance and Expat Insurance & When You Need Each
Which insurance for travel do you need – expat insurance or travel insurance – to cover your medical needs while abroad?
To help discern the differences and structure the right policy for your needs, David Tompkins of Expat Financial, an international insurance brokerage that sources travel insurance, expat insurance, and other insurance needs for people living abroad was interviewed.
Who Needs Travel Health Insurance?
“Someone who is traveling for a year or less. Some travel insurance plans can cover you up to two years, but remember that travel insurance will only cover emergency claims and will not cover you back in your home country,” says Tompkins.
He also suggests that you maintain your health coverage back home (since most travel insurance policies don’t cover you in your home country).
Who Needs Expat Insurance?
“The perfect candidate for international health insurance [expat insurance] is someone who is traveling or living abroad for more than 12 months,” says Tompkins. It’s a comprehensive medical insurance policy providing coverage around the world. “An international health insurance plan will provide both emergency and non-emergency care both abroad and possibly back home.”
Americans: You May Only Need Medical Travel Insurance
In Canada, you stop qualifying for travel insurance once your provincial health coverage runs out. But this isn’t the case all over the world. For example, in the U.S., you can perpetually qualify for travel insurance if you simply wish to have emergency travel coverage (rather than a full international health plan, as expat insurance provides).