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What Is the Ideal Medical Coverage Required While Travelling?

May 10 2017
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Your medical coverage should vary based on the country you are visiting and the healthcare costs there

While planning a leisure or business trip abroad, accident, illness or medical emergency is not on your mind. You would normally be thinking of fun, entertainment, or meetings and agreements. So, travel insurance is not something that would bother you unless it is mandatory. Travel insurance indemnifies you against medical expenses while abroad, and also against losses including due to flight cancellation, loss of baggage, loss of passport, medical evacuation, etc.

You are not likely to make a claim when travelling abroad but it would be unwise to travel without travel insurance. Medical costs in European countries and Australia are very high compared to India, whereas the medical costs are outrageous in the US.

The Ideal Sum Insured

Your travel destination should determine the sum insured you should opt for. Medical insurance is the main feature of travel insurance. Decide the amount of insurance cover based on the cost of medical services in the country or city you are travelling to and also depending on your own health condition.

The premium for travel insurance too will vary depending on the cost of healthcare in the country of your travel and the period of travel. Premium should not deter you from opting for the right sum insured. The premium is not only very low but is an essential expenditure to prevent an unbearable dent in your finances.

The US and Canada

Medical costs are considerably higher in the US and Canada. You may have to consider buying a travel insurance policy with a higher sum insured when travelling to the US. The sum insured options available range from $50,000 to $500,000. The right sum insured would depend on your age and health condition. A person in the 50s may have to go for sum insured of at least $250,000, while a youngster in the 20s could make do with sum insured of $50,000 or $100,000.


If you are travelling to Europe, then a comparatively lower sum insured would be sufficient. A maximum sum insured of $100,000 would be sufficient even for a person in the 50s. The medical costs in European countries are lower than in the US. Travel insurance is compulsory if you are travelling to the European countries that are members of the Schengen group. Schengen Travel Insurance is a little different than the regular travel insurance policy, the minimum sum insured required for travelling to Schengen countries is $30,000.


The medical costs in Australia are similar to those in the European countries. The sum insured that must be considered for visiting Australia could be of the same amount that seems best when travelling to European countries. Therefore, a coverage between $50,000 and $100,000 will be sufficient. However, the same can be extended based on your needs.


Japan is much cheaper. Medical costs in Japan are the lowest among the developed nations. A sum insured of $50,000 would be more than sufficient even for someone who is in the 50s.

You should consider different levels of sum insured for travelling to different countries due to varying levels of healthcare costs. For example, a coronary bypass surgery would cost upwards of $150,000 in the US, whereas, in Europe and Australia, the same would cost less than $25,000 and in Japan less than $15,000. Similarly, the cost of hip replacement surgeries are upwards of $40,000 in the US as against $12,000 in Canada and $4,000 in Japan.

The premium for travel insurance varies little for visiting the US, Europe, Australia. However, Japan is slightly different. It is highly prone to natural disasters and therefore, the travel insurance premium for visiting the nation of group of islands is higher.

Related Article:

Hospitalisation During Travel While Travelling Abroad
Things You Didn't Know About Travel Insurance

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