Why is international cover important?

Why should you get an international private medical insurance?

As an expatriate, subscribing to an international health insurance is not always a luxury; it can be a necessity, offering a high level of cover regardless of which country you move to, and you have the option of being treated in the country of your choice as long as it falls within your zone of cover.

When experiencing an unplanned illness, or even routine medical care, in a country where you are not familiar with the health system, and where you do not necessarily speak the language, an international health insurance can help ease the process; it offers the reassurance of good benefits and, most of all, ensures that you are able to receive high quality care.

Here are the main advantages of an international health insurance:

Keep control of your health costs

This is particularly important if you are in a country with two health care systems: a public health care system which is free but of mediocre quality and a private health care system which is excellent but extremely expensive. For example, in some countries, the cost of one night in a private hospital room can easily be around £800. In case of emergency, a health insurance policy allows you to be treated in the private sector without having to worry about the financial implication.

Get treated faster

In multiple countries where public health care is free, the public institutions are oversubscribed and the waiting lists for certain treatments or specialists are extremely long. This is the case in the UK for example; there is a good quality, free public healthcare system however sometimes the long waiting lists can mean waiting weeks or even months for something as simple as an appointment with a specialist. Health insurance allows you to be treated quickly, in the private sector, and to avoid long waiting lists.

Freedom of choice

If your insurance is a local insurance your choice will often be restricted to a network of pre-approved doctors and medical centres, or sometimes limited within the city or region where you subscribed to your insurance. An international insurance offers more flexibility in terms of allowing you your choice of doctor, hospital and the time of your appointment.

Able to be treated by a doctor in your native language

In many countries, to be treated by a doctor speaking your native language you will need to turn towards the international medical centres. These establishments are often expensive and a private health insurance allows you to be treated within these international medical centres whilst enabling you to keep your costs in check.

Covered internationally

With an international health insurance you are able to choose your zone of cover. Many companies offer either a Worldwide or a Worldwide without the USA/Canada zone of cover. Some companies also offer Europe as a smaller zone of cover. For those who travel extensively, who often move around for work or who often move from one country to another, an international health insurance is the best solution as you will always remain insured within your zone of cover, and the insurance travels with you!

Why is it important to subscribe to an international health insurance as early as possible?

In order to be sure of benefiting from a comprehensive medical cover, it is advisable to subscribe to a health insurance before you move to your new country of residence, or to do it soon after your arrival. This is because if you develop a medical condition before you subscribe to an insurance contract it is possible that it will not be covered.


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We build partnerships with reputable insurance companies who are long-established in the expatriate insurance industry. All the international insurance companies we work with have both individual and corporate plans. Find out more about our partners here.

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