Do I Need Travel and Medical Insurance?

If you are staying in the country, I would say probably not. Don’t take that as a general rule, though, because people need “travel medical insurance” if their regular health insurance doesn’t cover their travel health care or if they have a real danger of losing money from some accident while traveling.

So people considering buying travel medical insurance need to look at their insurance coverage and consider what will happen if you need medical attention while on your vacation. Everyone has different circumstances, so I would need to know a little bit about your circumstances to know if you need travel & medical insurance. Let me give a general answer to your question, and maybe it will help you decide if you need medical insurance specifically for your travels.

Benefits of Traveling with Insurance

When you ask yourself “Do I need travel and medical insurance?”, you are actually asking yourself whether you can afford to lose the money you are going to spend during your vacation, and whether you can cover medical expenses and emergency medical costs in your vacation destination. That is essentially the main benefit of traveling with insurance.

Usually, people buying travel medical insurance are going to a different country. Sometimes, U.S. medical insurance coverage only covers you for accidents and medical emergencies in the United States. If you travel to Mexico and have a medical emergency, for instance, you might be paying the medical costs out of pocket. If you check with your health insurance provider and learn that you won’t be covered in the foreign country you are traveling to, you definitely need to buy travel medical insurance.


If you are taking a cruise into international waters, you’re probably better off buying medical travel insurance. Territorial waters go out 12 nautical miles from a nation’s coastline, while the “contiguous zone” goes out another 12 miles. But if you plan to take a cruise that goes out more than 12 miles from the coast of the United States, ask your health care provider about their level of coverage. If they don’t have it, you need to purchase medical travel insurance.

Travel Insurance and Medical Travel Insurance

Something about your question, “Do I need medical and travel insurance?”, stumps me. When you place the word “and” in the sentence, I’m not exactly certain whether you are talking about “medical insurance” and “travel insurance” separately, or you are talking about “medical travel insurance” all together. I’ll give you the difference in the two, so you’ll know exactly which kind of insurance coverage you need.

Travel insurance covers your travel belongings. If you want to cover lost baggage on your trip or the cost of the trip being cancelled. If you want a hedge against a cancelled flight or a cancelled cruise, buy standard old travel insurance.

Medical travel insurance covers your health care needs and emergency medical costs while on a trip or vacation. Regular travel insurance won’t cover these expenses, because it is monetary compensation for non-medical unforeseen losses due specifically to traveling. You may be asking whether you need both extra medical insurance and extra travel insurance when you travel. If you want full coverage for emergency costs brought on by your vacation, you should consider it. There are all kinds of plans, and some travel medical insurance covers both health-related incidents and travel costs.

Finally, look at your medical insurance coverage for other U.S. states. If for some reason your insurance company doesn’t cover as many medical expenses outside your home state, you need travel medical insurance even when driving inside the United States. So before you get in a car, airplane or cruise ship, find out which travel costs your insurance covers and which costs it doesn’t.

Here’s a list of incidents that should be covered by your travel insurance: lost baggage, baggage delays, airline bankruptcy, trip cancellations, minor medical expenses, personal injury, accident-related injuries, major emergency medical expenses and accidental death. Before you travel, make sure all of these are covered in a travel medical insurance plan.

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