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Difference between Visitors Insurance and Travel Insurance

Difference between Travel Insurance and Visitors Insurance

Oftentimes when shopping for travel insurance, in preparation for an overseas trip, you'll see a multitude of seemingly interchangeable terms for various coverages. You'll undoubtedly see terms like travel insurance, trip insurance, visitors insurance, travel medial insurance, and many others. What's the difference and, more importantly, which one is right for you?

Travel insurance is a broad term, encompassing several types of insurances available while traveling. Those will fall primarily into two major categories:

  • Visitors Insurance

    Visitors insurance is short-term insurance, focused primarily on medical coverage, to cover you during your travels. The plans will generally cover new and unexpected medical conditions. You might also see it referred to as travel medical insurance, visitors medical insurance, travel health insurance, or many other ways.

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance or Travel Insurance

    Booking a trip well in advance of your travel dates to save some money? Putting down a hefty sum on a non-refundable deposit to ensure availability? Traveling with someone that might back out of the trip, increasing your costs? What if you get sick or injured before a trip, lose your job, or your destination is affected by a natural disaster? These are some of the many reasons why trip cancellation insurance might be of value to you. When selecting trip cancellation insurance, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the covered reasons and covered expenses within the policy, as well as their coverage percentages. An added benefit to most trip cancellation insurance plans is emergency medical coverage if you get sick or injured while on your trip.

    E.g., A cruise vacation involving cruise fees, airline ticket charges, airport shuttle charges, shore excursions, and other prepaid expenses. Delayed flights could cause you to miss your trip entirely!

So which kind of insurance is right for me? The following side-by-side comparison will help:

Visitors InsuranceTravel Insurance
Trip LengthMay be purchased for any trip from 5 days to 1 year, even longer in some plansIdeally suitable for trips up to 30 days
Baggage DelayTypically excludedTypically included
Travel DelayTypically excludedTypically included
Trip CancellationExcludedIncluded
PPO NetworkTypically availableTypically not available
Choice of medical maximum and deductibleTypically availableTypically not available
Loss of passportTypically not availableTypically available
Acute onset of pre-existing conditionsTypically availableTypically not available
Plan eligibilityMany plans available both for U.S. and non-U.S. residentsMost plans are only for U.S. residents
Purchase eligibilityMay be purchased before or after departureMay be purchased only before departure
ExtendableTypically, yesNo
RefundableRefundable before or after the effective date of the policy, subject to terms and conditions of each insurance policy.Only during the free look period, such as 7 to 10 days after the purchase.
Home Country CoverageIncidental and/or end of trip home country coverage available in some plans.Not available

If you still need assistance deciding which kind of travel insurance is best for you, please feel free to contact us to speak with a licensed insurance professional.

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