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The pandemic has shown us that we truly are living in a globalised world and that remote work and the digital nomad life are totally possible.
Borders have reopened — not only are people going on holiday again, but business travel has also resumed. Businesses are once again looking to expand overseas or have already done so in the footsteps of homegrown brands such as SecretLab, BreadTalk and ShopBack.
There are also a number of us who work and reside overseas, including expats who have chosen to live in Singapore due to work or other commitments.
And of course, leisure travel or travel to visit family and friends overseas is now back with a vengeance. But that also means that the possibility of getting Covid-19 or a reinfection are very real…in addition to all the usual health and safety considerations while travelling.
That means that when you go on a trip — whether for work or leisure, long or short term — it is very important to secure your health and safety with insurance. We usually think of travel insurance when we go overseas, but did you know that there’s also international healthcare insurance?
So, what’s the difference between travel insurance and international healthcare insurance, and how do you decide which one you need.
Travel insurance vs international healthcare insurance: Key differences
Let’s break down the differences between the two for you.
- Meant to be used when you’re on an overseas trip
- Covers emergency healthcare expenses you might incur while travelling
- Covers common travel mishaps you might encounter, like lost luggage or flight delays
- Generally only covers you for trips of up to 90 days
- Usually is only effective in the countries in the same geographic region which you have purchased coverage
Note: You can choose the level of coverage you need by opting for a different tier. For example, Allianz offers travel Basic to Premium insurance plans, where Premium plans also offer added benefits such as cruise and sport coverages.
Allianz travel insurance international healthcare insurance
- Meant to offer medical coverage wherever you are in the world or in specific geographic regions, including at home
- Offers more comprehensive medical benefits in both emergency and non-emergency situations
- Does not cover travel-related mishaps like trip disruptions or lost luggage
Note: One of the biggest advantages of international healthcare insurance is that medical coverage is comprehensive and includes outpatient benefits, which are usually not available for travel insurance.
What happens if you only have travel insurance?
If you only have travel insurance and end up in the hospital, you’ll only be able to make a claim for your emergency hospital treatment. But when you return to Singapore and need outpatient treatment at a GP’s clinic or physiotherapist’s, you may not be able to claim for those costs (unless your travel insurance provides coverage for continuation medical care in Singapore or you have an existing local health insurance plan).
The advantage of international health insurance
You often have the option of adding maternity or dental cover to your plan — just like what a comprehensive health insurance plan offers, but across borders! This is usually not available for travel insurance.
International health insurance is a good option if you want comprehensive medical coverage anywhere in the world. No matter where you are, you’ll have the assurance that both your non-emergency and emergency medical expenses will be covered.
How do I decide which insurance I need?
So, do you need international healthcare insurance, travel insurance or both? Here are some questions to ask yourself.
1. Are you taking a one-off long business trip or relocation?
If you are taking a long, one-off trip or moving to another country permanently, international healthcare insurance can offer you comprehensive medical coverage for a period of more than 90 days. You’ll be able to stay overseas for an extended period of time without worrying about medical expenses.
On the other hand, if you are just taking a short trip of less than 90 days, travel insurance might be sufficient to provide the coverage you need.
2. What is your geographical location throughout the year?
If you spend a lot of time in different countries, you might require the more comprehensive health coverage that you can get from international healthcare insurance.
For instance, if you are an expat who divides your time between Singapore and your home country, you will probably need more than the 90 days of emergency health coverage you can get from travel insurance.
3. What kind of coverage do you need?
As mentioned earlier, international healthcare insurance offers comprehensive health coverage, while travel insurance just offers emergency medical coverage and coverage for travel mishaps. So, when choosing between the two types of plans, it’s really about deciding what kind of protection you really need.
For instance, if you spend most of your time in Singapore and already have a local health insurance plan, travel insurance is probably enough for short trips out of the country.
On the other hand, for those who spend extended periods of time outside of Singapore (and possibly in various countries/regions), relying on a local health insurance plan for more comprehensive healthcare expenses might not be enough. In that case, an international healthcare insurance plan would be the better choice.
4. What is your budget like?
International healthcare insurance is more costly than travel insurance for obvious reasons. Not only do you get much more comprehensive health coverage, but you are also protected across borders for the entire duration of your plan. It’s great to have if you can afford it.
However, if you’re on a tight budget, it would be cheaper to just buy travel insurance to cover you for the duration of your overseas trips. Do note, however, that travel insurance may not be able to cover you for the entire duration of trips lasting more than 90 days, meaning that you will no longer have any protection at some point in your trip.
Allianz has the insurance policies you need
Whether you’re a globetrotting expat or just go on occasional overseas holidays, Allianz has insurance solutions that can keep you protected. The insurer offers both Allianz Travel Insurance and Allianz Care International Healthcare Insurance.
For trips of up to 90 days, Allianz has a range of travel insurance plans that offer coverage for medical costs, cancellations and curtailments due to Covid-19.
- You will be covered if you get diagnosed with Covid-19 before or during your trip. This is important to have, as a positive PCR test could lead to your trip being cancelled or disrupted.
- All Allianz travel insurance plans offer 24/7 medical assistance; and
- Platinum plan offers cruise and sport coverages, too.
Meanwhile, Allianz Care international Healthcare Insurance plans cover both in-patient and day-care treatment, and also offer coverage for chronic medical conditions, congenital conditions and medical evacuation. You can also add on extra cover such as for dental, maternity or repatriation. The plans are relatively affordable and offer 24/7 multilingual and digital assistance.
Did you know?
Allianz Care International Healthcare Insurance plans come with a Digital Health Assistant service that can be accessed on a mobile device or desktop via an online messaging platform (WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, etc.). This provides customers with immediate and direct access to four core medical services: Symptom Checker, Medical Advice via chat with qualified doctors, Video Consultations by MyDoc in your local language, 7 days a week, and Medicine Delivery.
There’s also the Expat Assistance Programme, a service delivered by professionals who provide multilingual and confidential support for your mental, financial, physical and emotional wellbeing. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Allianz understands how difficult it is to adjust to life in a foreign land.
Get a quote for Allianz Care International Healthcare Insurance plans here:
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Exclusions might apply. Read the full Allianz policy wording.