Travel Insurance

International Health vs Travel Insurance: What You Need To Know Before Choosing One

International Health vs Travel Insurance, which should you get, and why? From the coverage to who should go for them, we list it all down for you below.

With the borders opening up, many are scrambling to fly out of Singapore. While going through the checklist of items needed, like vaccination records and visas, you will inevitably reach the insurance portion.

Now, if you’ve done your research properly, you might just find yourself confused by the two types of insurance plans that offer coverage for medical attention overseas: travel and international health insurance.

Which should you get, and why? From the coverage of international health and travel insurance plans to who should go for them, we list it all down for you below.

Table of Contents:

Key Differences Between International Health & Travel Insurance Plans

Guy Staring Out of Window

The key difference between international health and travel insurance is the target audience and the purpose of the plans.

CoverageTravel InsuranceInternational Health Insurance
Emergency Medical CoverYesYes
24/7 Medical AssistanceYesYes
Medical EvacuationYesYes
Trip Cancellation CostYes-
Baggage CoverYes-
Rehabilitative Care-Yes
Chronic Medical Condition-Yes
Coverage DurationMaximum of 90 DaysYearly Contract (short-term plan is available from 3 months)
*List is not comprehensive

International health insurance targets travellers who are staying in a foreign country for a long period of time usually with yearly renewals. This will provide policyholders with health insurance coverage since they do not have any local health insurance in the country of interest. From the table above, the coverage exclusive to international health insurance has more long-term care and recovery coverage.

Travel insurance, on the other hand, targets holidaymakers who are going for short holiday trips, with coverage geared towards travel inconveniences. As observed from the table, the medical coverage is mainly for emergency treatment and for travel setbacks like baggage loss and trip cancellation.

Everything You Should Know About International Health Insurance

International health insurance is targeted at those who are looking to stay in a foreign country for a prolonged period of time. For example, students or workers who need to move to a foreign country due to school or work for a long period of time should get international health insurance.

The coverage will be more comprehensive for both emergency and routine healthcare needs. The plan will be more flexible, allowing you to choose your preferred doctor and treatment facility.

Coverage
Emergency Medical Cover
Hospital Stays
Medical Checkups
Outpatient treatment
Medical extensions such as dental, eye checks, pregnancy
Pre-existing or Chronic Condition

As observed in the table above, international health insurance is like any normal comprehensive health insurance that you will get in your home country but bring the benefits overseas where you need to stay for a prolonged period of time.

Allianz Care: A Comprehensive International Health Insurance

For individuals in Singapore who are relocating overseas for work, Allianz is notable for its comprehensive and customisable international health insurance.

There are 4 tiers of coverage from their core plan, ranging from the Singapore Premier Individual, Singapore Club Individual, Singapore Classic Individual, and Singapore Essential Individual.

Core Plan BenefitsSingapore Premier IndividualSingapore Club IndividualSingapore Classic IndividualSingapore Essential Individual
Maximum plan benefit SGDSGD4,000,000SGD2,650,000SGD2,000,000SGD880,000
Hospital AccommodationPrivate RoomPrivate RoomPrivate RoomSemi-private room
Intensive CareYesYesYesYes
Prescription Drug and MaterialsYesYesYesYes
Surgical fees, including anaesthesia and theatre chargesYesYesYesYes
Physician and therapist feesYesYesYesYes
Psychiatry and psychotherapyYesS$10,550S$8,800S$8,800
Kidney DialysisYesYesYesYes
Nursing at home or in a convalescent homeS$7,500S$5,000S$4,400S$4,400
Rehabilitation treatmentS$7,800S$5,300S$4,400S$3,510
Maternity Plan Add onSingapore Premier MaternitySingapore Club Maternity
Routine MaternityS$13,200 per pregnancyS$8,800 per pregnancy
Complication of ChildbirthS$26,350 per pregnancyS$17,550 per pregnancy
Coverage above is not comprehensive. For more information, click here

The core plan offers a maximum plan benefit of up to S$4,000,000 for the Singapore Premier Individual plan and several in-patient benefits. The maximum plan benefit is higher than the average maximum plan benefit in the market. Additional coverage such as out-patient, dental, repatriation, and maternity plans can be purchased as add-ons.

Other than the policy coverage, Allianz also has an Expat Assistance Programme, which provides a range of 24/7 multilingual support services. This includes confidential professional counselling, legal and financial support services, critical incident support and wellness website access.

When it comes to settling down in a new country, these services would be invaluable.

Allianz also has a digital service that provides you with the ability to manage your cover with the app or portal at your fingertips.

To find out more about Allianz International Health Insurance, click here.

Tips To Choosing The Right International Health Plan For You

Just like any other healthcare insurance, you will want your international health insurance to be customisable yet comprehensive.

This includes multi-country coverage, the option to go for high deductibles and value-added services.

One example of value-added service would be the Allianz Expat Assistance Programme as mentioned above, which provides a range of 24/7 multilingual support services.

If you find that the premium is too expensive, you can select an optional deductible or increase co-payments.

Both increasing deductible and co-payment will lead to lower premium prices but at the expense of a higher payable amount when you make a claim. Allianz allows you to reduce your premiums by selecting a co-payment or a Core plan deductible.

Another important factor to look out for is multi-country coverage as this means you’ll be protected when travelling around, either for work or leisure.

Allianz International Health Insurance provides a simple modular plan that allows you to combine multiple plans together. You can select worldwide or worldwide excluding the USA, giving you the flexibility to select the best geographical region for your stay.

Everything You Should Know About Travel Insurance

Travel insurance, on the other hand, covers a short-term overseas stay. Though travel insurance cover emergency medical expenses, the focus is not on long-term care and recovery.

Coverage
Personal Belongings
Pre-Bookings
Trip Cancellation/ Delay / Interruption
Emergency Medical Cost

Travel insurance does cover emergency medical costs but focuses more on the short-term inconvenience to holidaymakers, insuring against situations like trip cancellation and loss of personal belongings.

A Well-Rounded Travel Insurance

For travellers who are looking for great coverage in the travel inconvenience benefit, Allianz sets itself apart from the rest. This is especially useful as the potential of travel disruption is still high with COVID 19.

Single Trip Comprehensive BronzeSingle Trip Comprehensive SilverSingle Trip Comprehensive Platinum
Trip Cancellation CoverageS$5,000S$10,000S$15,000
Trip Interruption CoverageN.A.S$10,000S$25,000
Travel Delay CoverageN.A.S$1,500S$2,000
Emergency Medical CoverageS$200,000 (69 years old and below)
S$50,000 (70 years old and above)
S$500,000 (69 years old and below)
S$100,000 (70 years old and above)
S$1,000,000 (69 years old and below)
S$250,000 (70 years old and above)
Emergency Transportation CoverageUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Cruise Coverage - Missed Port of CallN/AN/AS$10,000
Cruise Coverage - Cabin ConfinementN/AN/AS$1,500

The travel inconveniences include trip cancellation, travel delay and lost baggage. Other than the normal coverage, Allianz also has complimentary COVID-19 coverage with its travel insurance.

Allianz has also recently introduced a cruise trip and sports coverage. The cruise trip and sports coverage are only offered on the platinum plan, which covers missed activities, sporting equipment, sporting equipment rentals and search and rescue.

Note that Allianz Travel Insurance is only applicable for 90 days per trip. To find out more about Allianz Travel Insurance, click here.

Tips To Choosing The Right Travel Insurance Plan For You

stethoscope

Find travel insurance that has coverage for COVID-19. This is important as some countries require travellers to have travel insurance with COVID-19 before they are allowed in the country.

Even if your destination country doesn’t require travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage, it would still be a good idea to have one anyway.

For example, using Allianz Travel Insurance, if the traveller contracted COVID-19 right before the trip, the traveller can receive compensation for the portion of the trip that is non-refundable.

Suppose the traveller caught the virus overseas and needs to be in hospital for inpatient; they can contact the Allianz Travel 24/7 Assistance hotline which would get in contact with the hospital to arrange for the payments of the medical care.

After all, travel insurance is purchased in case of uncertainty, and you cannot deny that COVID-19 has made travelling today even more uncertain.

Conclusion

Both international health and travel insurance are different products that serve different purposes.

Travellers looking to go overseas for a short trip should purchase travel insurance while those who are staying for longer, such as relocating for work or study, should consider international health insurance.

Ensure that you read the policy wordings carefully, no matter whether you’re going for travel insurance or international health, and add the necessary additional coverages that you need to stay protected.

If you’re shopping for travel insurance or international health plan, you can check out the Allianz Travel Insurance and International Health Insurance for your next journey abroad.

This article was written in collaboration with Allianz. While we are sponsored by them, we still review products and services with an objective lens and stay true to our mission–providing you with the best recommendations and advice to make smarter financial decisions.

Additional Resources:

Tan Boon Hun

Boon Hun spent over five years in the content marketing space as the managing editor of Goody Feed creating interesting and relevant content for the social media generation. In 2022, he moved to the FinTech space while remaining true to his roots, intending to bring financial literacy to more people in Singapore. When not doing his work, he can be found watching people build homes on YouTube.

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