Travel Insurance Glossary - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Travel Insurance Glossary

Annual or multi-trip plans cover all trips taken within a year (often with a maximum duration of 30-120 days per trip).

The person or persons designated by the insured to receive the proceeds of an insurance policy upon the death of the insured.

The amount payable by the insurance provider to a claimant, assignee or beneficiary under each policy.

Co-Insurance or Co-pay
This is the percentage or amount of expenses that the insured pays (if any) after the deductible is paid. Example: 'Co-Insurance = 20% or co-pay is 80/20' means that the insurance company pays 80% of the charges, the insured pays 20%. Often there is a maximum co-pay amount, i.e., a limit or ceiling above which the insurance provider pays 100%. Example: 'Deductible = $250 and 80/20 co-pay up to $5000, then 100% up to policy maximum.' This means the insured is required to pay the deductible of $250 plus 20% of expenses up to $5,000, and the insurance provider pays 100% of covered expenses that exceed $5000 up to the maximum policy coverage limit. Thus, if total expenses exceed $5000 (e.g. $20,000 in total medical expenses) then the insured pays $250 (deductible) plus the co-pay maximum of $1000 (20% of the first $5000) for a total out of pocket cost to the insured of $1250, and the insurer pays the remaining $18,750 of expenses. Where total expenses are only $3000, then the insured pays $250 (deductible) plus $600 co-pay (20% of $3000) for a total out of pocket cost of $850, and the insurer pays the remaining $2150 of expenses.

This is the amount that the insured must pay before the insurance provider starts paying. This may be an annual amount, an amount for the duration of the policy, or an amount for each incident. (Also known as excess in UK, NZ, AU)

Emergency Benefits
Emergency medical evacuation means covering the expenses for sending an injured or ill person home or transporting him/her to a place where appropriate medical care can be obtained. Emergency reunion means covering the expenses for having a family member brought to the injured or ill insured during a medical emergency. The repatriation benefit pays the cost of preparing the body of a person who dies in a foreign country and returning the body to the deceased's home country. These benefits are often bundled together and included in international medical insurance and travel protection plans. However, these benefits can also be bundled together and offered as an economical stand alone annual plan, with no medical insurance or travel protection components, but with virtually unlimited coverage for emergency medical evacuation. For frequent international travelers, this type of stand alone plan is a prudent option to consider, especially for those with adequate worldwide medical insurance. This is so primarily because the emergency medical evacuation coverage that is included with most international medical insurance and travel protection plans is limited to a pre-set maximum dollar amount, usually $20,000 - $50,000. It is not uncommon for emergency medical evacuation costs to exceed the common pre-set limits by tens of thousands of dollars, especially when evacuation is from a remote location.

These are the expenses that the insurance company or travel protection provider will not pay. Examples include: expenses resulting from illegal drug use, conditions which existed prior to the purchase of the insurance (see pre-existing conditions), participation in various dangerous activities, participation in certain types of sports (see hazardous sports and activities coverage), etc. Most insurance contracts have many of these exclusions. It is important to read brochures carefully.

These are the expenses an insurance provider will consider for payment. These normally include expenses for surgery, hospitalization, doctors’ services, x-rays, laboratory tests, prescription drugs and other treatments. Some of these expenses may be limited by the insurance contract. See exclusions.

Family Plans
Family plans are designed to cover all members in a family traveling together, and premiums are usually priced at a discount compared to the rate for a single person. Some family plans include relations beyond the immediate family, such as grandparents and in-laws.

Hazardous Sports & Activities Coverage
Coverage for medical expenses resulting from engaging in certain hazardous, high risk sports and activities such as scuba and sky diving, rock climbing and bungee jumping (to name a few), is often explicitly excluded by international medical insurance and travel protection plans; however, some plans offer special hazardous sports and activities coverage that is optional and usually results in a only a modest increase in premium. Always make sure you are aware of the exclusions noted in the plan or policy you’re considering, and if you plan to participate in any high risk activities, look for plans with optional, supplementary hazardous sports and activity coverage.

Individual Plans
Individual plans are designed and priced to cover one person.

This is the person covered under an insurance policy, i.e., the person for whom the policy was purchased.

Maximum Policy Coverage
This is the maximum amount of money that the insurance provider will pay for covered expenses. This may be an overall maximum or an amount for each accident or illness.

Pre-existing Conditions
Medical conditions associated with the insured (or a spouse, travel companion, or close relative in the case of travel protection plans where trip cancellation results from the medical condition of someone other than the insured ) that existed before the plan or policy took effect are pre-existing conditions.

Many plans and policies offer limited or no coverage for medical expenses or trip cancellation expenses resulting from pre-existing medical conditions. These are known as pre-existing conditions exclusions. Most plans specify a maximum amount of time prior to the effective date of the policy during which the manifestation of any pre-existing conditions would constitute exclusions. Example: Pre-existing conditions exclusions are limited to 'five years prior to the effective date of the policy.' This means any expenses resulting from medical conditions that were manifested or treated within the last five years would not be covered. However, when purchasing some travel protection plans, particularly on a per trip basis, pre-existing conditions exclusions may be waived if the plan is purchased within a certain number of days after the initial trip deposit is paid (often 7-10 days).

This is the amount that you pay to purchase international medical insurance coverage or travel protection plans. Premiums may be paid in advance, on a per trip basis, annually, monthly, quarterly, or by semester, depending on the policy. Premiums for travel protection plans are usually paid in advance, either annually or on a per trip basis.

Primary Coverage
Primary coverage plans provide coverage without regard to any other insurance or coverage the plan holder may have.

Secondary Coverage
Secondary coverage plans require plan holders to have primary coverage, and the secondary coverage only covers those expenses not already covered by the primary coverage plan.

Single-trip plans cover one trip.

Travel Assistance
Travel Assistance services may be bundled into an international medical insurance or travel protection plan, but these services are not considered insurance. The term travel assistance covers a broad range of services, often including but not limited to: toll-free multi-lingual 24-hour emergency telephone numbers, local offices around the world, web sites offering aid and advice to travelers in need of travel, medical or legal help, translation services, passport and visa assistance, assistance filling prescriptions, and virtually any special assistance useful to travelers in crisis who are far from home.

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