What To Do Before You Buy a Travel Medical Insurance Policy

To save you money (and stress!) further down the line, there are several steps you should take prior to purchasing a travel medical policy. This 6-step checklist can help ensure you get the travel medical plan that's right for you. 

1. Check to Make Sure You're Not Already Covered Under Your Existing Plan

Some domestic insurers will cover you abroad, but others will not. That's why it's important for you to contact your current health insurance provider to inquire about your international benefits. 

Even if your domestic health plan does provide international coverage, it may be limited - and you may still want a travel medical policy to provide you with additional coverage as you travel abroad. 

2. Assess Your Individual Needs and the Needs of Your Fellow Travel Companions

Are you traveling to an isolated region? Are you traveling with 4 or more companions? Are you seeking coverages typically excluded from travel medical insurance, such as coverage for extreme sports or pre-existing conditions? What are your biggest travel fears and concerns? Do you need coverage for COVID-19 related expenses? What are you looking to spend on a policy? 

Your travel needs determine: 

  • The kind of insurance you need
  • What type of policy to purchase 
  • What benefits and coverages to look for 

See "How to Choose the Best Travel Medical Insurance." 

3. Compare Plans and Get Quotes

It's easy to compare travel medical plans online. On the insurance company's website, you'll be able to view each plan's eligibility details, benefits and exclusions, FAQ page, and description of coverage. 

You can also obtain a free quote to determine the cost of a potential plan by providing certain trip details (travel dates, destinations, birthdates of travelers, etc.). You can purchase your policy entirely online if you prefer, or contact a sales representative by phone to speak to someone directly. 

4. Read the Policy Documents for Your Chosen Plan - Especially the Benefits and Exclusions

The best way to avoid frustration in the future is to gain a comprehensive understanding of your policy before you try to use it. Read through the policy documents - these are the documents explaining the ins and outs of the policy - and make sure its benefits and exclusions are clear. 

Ensure that you understand the specific circumstances under which certain benefits apply; do not make assumptions when it comes to your coverage. If you have questions, make sure you contact your insurance agent or the insurance company directly. 

You should find a link to the policy documents or to a list of benefits and exclusions on the policy's product page. You will also receive a copy of the policy documents with the confirmation of your purchase. 

See "What Types of Travel Medical Benefits Are Typically Included?" for common benefits and exclusions to keep in mind. 

5. Check the Policy's Coverage Limit

The policy's schedule of benefits will list a maximum for each benefit - this may be listed as a maximum coverage per injury or illness, maximum coverage per certificate period, maximum per day, lifetime maximum, or overall maximum limit. It's important to ensure that these limits will provide adequate coverage in case the unexpected occurs abroad. 

If you're not sure whether your plan provides adequate coverage, check out "How to Choose the Best Travel Medical Insurance."


6. Verify the Fine Details

  1. Make sure your trip dates, length of coverage, and destinations are listed correctly. 
  2. Make sure you've insured the appropriate number of travelers and that the cost is accurate. 
  3. Review the deductibles you've selected. 
  4. Ensure your coverage limits are adequate. 
  5. Make sure all travelers' personal details are correct. 

Keep in mind that most travel medical insurance allows for the full cancellation of a policy, without penalty, up to the effective date of coverage. If you should need to cancel your policy after it has begun, however, you'll likely receive a pro-rated refund with cancellation fee as long as no claim has been filed. This cancellation fee is typically between $25 and $50. 


WorldTrips is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies.

WorldTrips’ Atlas Travel Series and StudentSecure international travel medical insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd's. WorldTrips has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency, Ltd.

WorldTrips' Atlas Journey, Atlas Cruiser, and Atlas On-The-Go trip protection insurance products are underwritten by Tokio Marine HCC's U.S. Specialty Insurance Company (USSIC). USSIC is a Texas-domiciled insurance company operating on an admitted basis throughout the United States. Coverage is available to U.S. residents of the U.S. states and District of Columbia only. This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. Coverage may not be available in all states.

In the State of California, operating as WorldTrips Insurance Services. California Non-Resident Producer License Number: 0G39705