Is Travel Insurance the same as Health Insurance?

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  • Traveling to the UAE
  • Traveling out of UAE

Going to a new country can open countless exciting doors for you, true. But it can be every bit exhausting and troublesome as well. From figuring out mundane things like what to take with you in the suitcase to the most technical ones like the place to stay and insurance covers, visiting new countries can tire you up easily. But figuring out these things is a priority for all of us, as it should be. Things can take a turn for the worst if you get stuck between international health insurance plans and travel insurance plans. Often misinterpreted the same, these two types different types of general insurance plans deal with a lot of similar things. However, they are still best suited for differing situations. Let’s figure out - is travel insurance the same as health insurance, what elements do they share and which is the best for you to buy.

What is International Health Insurance?

As the name suggests, international health insurance plans are just like any common health insurance plan but can be ported from one country to another. In other words, while domestic health insurance plans would only cover your medical expenses if you are in the UAE, international medical insurance plans offer the same level of coverage in other countries as well. At maximum, a domestic health insurance plan may offer emergency medical aid or repatriation services. International health insurance plans offer complete coverage as offered in the home country. Another thing about international health insurance plans is that they are portable. This means that whenever you shift your residence to another country, you can port the plan with yourself.

What Is Travel Insurance in the UAE?

Travel insurance plans are essentially the insurance plans that ensure that every element related to your travels is insured and protected. This not only includes emergency medical expenses, evacuation to home country, travel inconvenience benefits related to flight and baggage and personal liability benefits as well. Travel insurance in the UAE is a combination of several elements that constitute a trip as a whole. However, these plans are only available for a set limit of time. Meaning that they are only available for a set length of trips. This length can depend on the providers individually.

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What is Covered by an International Health Insurance Plan?

International health insurance plans offer all the basic benefits of a health insurance plan. Following are some general benefits and features that international health insurance plans come with:

  • In-patient medical treatments and procedures like surgeries, hospitalization, etc.
  • Out-patient medical procedures like therapy, lab tests, doctor consultation, etc.
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Prescription medication
  • Optical and dental treatment
  • Pre-existing illnesses
  • Rehabilitation and other therapies
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Maternity cover
  • Critical and intensive care

What is Covered by Travel Insurance Plans?

A combination of trip inconvenience, medical and personal liability covers, travel insurance plans in the UAE offers quite extensive coverage. Following are some general inclusions that you can find in most travel insurances in the UAE:

  • Emergency medical treatment, emergency medical evacuations, and repatriation cover
  • Repatriation of mortal remains cover
  • Emergency dental procedure
  • Personal accident cover inclusive of disability clause
  • Trip cancellation or curtailment benefit
  • Flight delay or cancellation cover
  • Loss of personal baggage or baggage delay at the airport
  • Personal liability cover

Is Travel Insurance and Health Insurance the Same – The Basic Differences

Travel Insurance International Health Insurance
A hybrid plan to cover health as well as travel and personal liability related elements Pure health insurance plan
A specialized plan to cover all conditions and situations related to the trip that you are taking. A portable health insurance plan that offers the same kind of health insurance benefit even when you move your place of residence.
Ideally suited for people who are simply taking a small trip for work or vacation. Ideally suited for those who may have to move their place of residence permanently or temporarily for a long time for work or other reasons.
Include emergency medical as well as trip inconvenience benefits and covers. Includes comprehensive medical benefits and covers.
Only offer coverage for emergency medical expenses. Offers different kinds of medical coverages including in-patient, out-patient, intensive, critical, elective and emergency.
Only applicable if you are a resident of the country, you bought the plan in. Will continue to cover you even when you move away.
Does not offer cover for pre-existing conditions and maternity/pregnancy period. Offer both pre-existing condition cover and maternity/pregnancy after the end of the applicable waiting period.
Comes with an upper limit of coverage days known as trip length. The coverage lasts for as long as you continue the plan by paying a premium at the end of each tenure.
May come with coverage limitations. For example, personal travel insurance in the UAE won’t cover trips taken for business purposes. Covers regardless of where you are going and for what reason.
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Which One Should You Buy and Why?

Even when the difference between these two types of general insurance plans may not seem very prominent, there is a perfect situation for each of these plans. Travel insurance in the UAE should be bought when you are simply visiting another country for a vacation or business reasons. If your place of residence is going to be UAE and there is no indication of it being changed, travel insurance in the UAE is the best alternative for you to go with. Depending on the frequency of your trips, you can choose to invest either in single-trip travel insurance plans or annual multi-trip plans. Single-trip plans work the best if you seldom go on trips. Annual multi-trip plans are ideal if you travel quite a lot. You also get to customize the coverage span as per the length of your trip. Most travel insurance providers in the UAE offer a maximum of 90-120-day-long coverage for a single trip.

International health insurance plans are perfect for you if you frequently change your place of residence and would like an insurance plan that offers the same comprehensive coverage everywhere. Of course, the geographical range of these plans depends on your provider which you can easily check when taking the plan or comparing benefits. You will get locally specialized doctors for your treatment, a new network of medical facilities, and everything else that you are getting in the UAE, your country of residence.

Where Can You Buy These Plans?

Both international health insurance and travel insurance in the UAE can be bought using the same methods or mediums. Most insurance providers operate via both offline and online channels now which means you can easily get your ideal plan the way you prefer. If offline shopping is more your cup of tea, you can visit one of the branches of your insurance provider and meet with an agent there. The agent will help you select a plan, if you already haven’t, and then carry out the purchasing formalities. This procedure involves quite a bit of physical work though. The coverage of insurance plans bought offline begins a few days after the finalized purchase.

The alternative to this is that you buy your insurance plan online. The research could be quite extensive here if you want to find the best possible plan, whether health or travel, and if want to understand every component of the policy. You also have the option to take a bit of assistance from our financial experts who are already well-versed in this field. Once decided on the plan, buy it using PolicyBazaar UAE online portal. You can also use the official website of the providers to buy your plans.

The Final Word

If you are trying to figure which one among travel insurance and international health insurance is better, consider taking a situation-based approach. Both these types are perfect for you depending on what your current requirements are. Make a list of your needs and finalize a budget to buy the perfect plan to cover your trips or long stays abroad.

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