Understand the difference between domestic and international travel insurance

Compare domestic and international travel insurance in terms of coverage, costs, reviews and so on in the simplest manner

A simple guide to choosing international and domestic travel insurance

Visiting new places, exploring new cultures, having conversations with strangers, etc., are all once-in-a-lifetime experiences. However, while travelling, you also need to stay safe. And we don’t mean just protecting your money, passport, and other valuables. Travel insurance, which is often overlooked, is a necessity. 

Domestic and international trips are slightly different. This is because travelling to another country often means you don’t have the same kind of financial, medical, or other types of support available to you in your home country. 

Related- Types of travel insurance coverage in India

Here are some of the major differences: 

Health coverage

While travelling abroad, people assume their health insurance will be valid during the whole trip. However, this may not be true, this may depend on the kind of insurance you have gone for. A Single-trip insurance covers you for a specific trip, while a multi-trip policy covers you for multiple trips in a given time period. Conditions may apply on the number of trips and the maximum duration (of trips). Also, domestic travel insurance policies don’t always cover pre-existing conditions, while international travel insurance with medical cover accounts for such things as pregnancy-related emergencies and accidental death, injury, or funeral-related costs. 

Related- What is medical travel insurance and when should you pay heed to it

Risk coverage

Domestic travel is not as risky as international travel. International travel insurance accounts for life-threatening conditions, including plane hijacking. This is usually not the case with domestic travel policies, simply because the incidences of such events happening within a country are quite low. An important difference between domestic and international travel insurance is that the latter covers injury and harm resulting from acts of terrorism. 

Related- Travel Insurance exclusions in India

Travel delays

International travel insurance often covers flight delays and cancellations and covers emergency hotel stays as well. For domestic travel, this is not always the case – travellers often have to obtain proof of flight delay and cancellation before applying for reimbursement from their insurer. International trips are generally more expensive as well, so it is wise to obtain insurance that accounts for such emergencies. 

Related- Multi trip Travel insurance: Why it is a must for frequent travellers

Other emergencies

Another important difference is felt when it comes to the loss of important documents such as passport or other travel documents. International insurance policies cover this, but domestic travel insurance policies do not. This is because when citizens travel within their home country, replacing lost documents is fairly simple as compared to doing the same when abroad. Evacuation to the home country is also covered by international travel insurance; this is obviously not applicable for domestic travel. 

Related- 5 Travel insurance myths you have got to stop believing

Choose carefully 

Regardless of the kind of trip you plan to take, travel insurance is a must. Start researching travel insurance policies alongside planning your trip and booking airline tickets. There are different types of policies for families, business travellers, etc., so make sure you read the fine print before locking onto a policy that will make your trip smooth sailing. 

Happy travelling!

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