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Our complete guide to understanding the importance of international health insurance

Our ultimate guide to insurance at the 1st euro: how it works, the advantages and the possible choices

Our complete guide to the CFE: how it works, the offers and the alternatives

Choosing International Health and Accident Insurance



Good international health and accident insurance is the guarantee of a peaceful stay abroad.

The risks incurred abroad and the high cost of care in many countries fully justify the subscription of international personal accident insurance. But to make the right choice, it is better to be well-informed.

International Accident Insurance With a Company From Your Country

International Insurance Coverage for Health Accident With Protective Contracts

To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is strongly advised to turn to an insurer from your own country with experience in the international field.

Their contracts are particularly protective and are regulated by your local laws. Plus they carry all the procedures in your language. And the coverage is provided worldwide, not only in your country of expatriation.

Offers Adapted to Your Needs

These companies are familiar with your national health care system. And with the one in your residency country. They have a lot of experience with the risks and accidents that expats suffer.

They can therefore offer you international accident insurance policies that are easy to understand. At the same time, they will provide you with valuable help and advice to assist you in all the procedures:

  • Referral to a partner healthcare facility or an English-speaking healthcare professional
  • Sending medication that is not available locally
  • Triggering repatriation operations in case of illness or accident abroad
  • etc.

Which International Health and Accident Insurance to Choose?

Social Security Coverage for Expats

In some countries that offer Social Security health insurance, this service is also available abroad. It does not require a medical questionnaire at the moment of signing up. And it cannot refuse an application.

For this, it is particularly interesting for people suffering chronic illness or other pre-existing medical conditions. They could lead to additional costs or exclusions from coverage with private companies.

Social Security abroad can also be of interest to single people under 30 years of age. In a lot of countries, it will have discounted rates and might include repatriation services.

Limitations of Social Security as International Personal Accident Insurance

In other cases, Social Security is less interesting. It does not cover repatriation for the majority of affiliated people. Its reimbursements are often insufficient to cover all the expenses. Because they are calculated on the same basis as those of the home country.

For this, it’s not the best accident and health international insurance.

For example, a general practitioner consultation will be reimbursed at the same level as in your country. And, in many countries, the cost of such a service can be double or triple. So then, the insured must pay the difference out of his/her pocket. And it can be a significant amount.

Social Security + Supplementary Insurance for a More Complete Coverage

In general, it is essential to take out a supplementary policy with another organization to be better reimbursed and better covered. Especially in the event of repatriation or hospitalization.

The subscription of such a policy automatically increases the price of the basic Social Security offer. And this is why it is recommended to compare the final price with the other international insurance coverage for health accident options on the market before making a choice.

1st Dollar Policies: The Most Flexible Accident and Health International Insurance

Joining Social Security is not compulsory for expats. And it is possible to turn to private companies to subscribe to international health and accident insurance.

The most common solution for expatriates is the so-called “1st euro/dollar” policies. Because they generally offer good value for money, covering health expenses up to the actual cost and from the first euro/dollar incurred.

Designed specifically for expatriates, these plans cover all the essential needs of people abroad (health care received worldwide and repatriation). And they can be enhanced with additional coverage (civil liability, protection of luggage and personal effects, etc.) to adapt to each individual’s situation.

This flexibility is generally very much appreciated and allows you to benefit from a tailor-made coverage, or almost. Especially since the offers proposed on the market are numerous and varied. Some are specially designed for certain destinations.

These contracts allow you to benefit from rapid coverage, often in partner health care networks that allow you, for example, not to advance hospitalization costs or to benefit from negotiated rates. And give you access to assistance in English that can be reached at any time thanks to dedicated call platforms and online apps.

The main drawback of this solution is the mandatory medical questionnaire at enrollment. Which can lead to higher premiums or exclusions of coverage in case of medical pre-existing conditions.

How to Choose the Right International Health and Accident Insurance?

There is a wide range of choices when it comes to international health and accident insurance. And it is not always easy to see clearly when it comes to finding the most suitable contract for each situation.

Several elements must be taken into account when making a decision:

  • Guarantees to be covered on a mandatory basis: coverage of current health expenses, hospitalization expenses, and repatriation assistance.
  • Coverage to be provided on a case-by-case basis: civil liability, protection of papers and personal effects against loss or theft, cancellation insurance for airline tickets, coverage of sports or leisure activities and certain extreme sports, etc.
  • Coverage of expenses related to chronic illnesses, post-operative care, or rehabilitation.
  • The level of coverage for the most expensive services: dental, optical, etc.
  • The number of people to be insured.
  • The duration of the stay.
  • The destination: some companies do not cover certain destinations such as the United States or Switzerland.
  • The available budget.

The easiest and quickest way to make the best choice according to all these criteria is to use an online insurance comparator.

It will allow you to obtain detailed quotes for policies adapted to your needs. And to compare the coverage, reimbursement rates, or the limits and deductibles applied.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Covered by Social Security for an Accident Outside of Your Country?

Your country’s Social Security will pay all the costs if they are the same or less than the price of that same assistance in your home country. If they are higher, it will cover up to these amounts, and you will have to complete the remaining.

What Are the Advantages of an International Health and Accident Insurance Offered by a Company in Your Country?

These contracts have several advantages:
– They are regulated by your country’s laws
– They are easy to understand for the uninitiated
– They provide policyholders with valuable assistance and advice.

What Insurance Policies Exist to Cover Expats in Case of an Accident Abroad?

There are several solutions to cover expatriates in case of an accident abroad:
– Social Security
– Social Security + subscription to supplementary insurance, for a more complete coverage
– Private insurance policies from the 1st dollar/euro.

What Criteria Should I Take Into Account When Choosing My International Accident Insurance?

Several elements must be taken into account:
– Guarantees to be covered on a mandatory basis
– Guarantees to be covered on a case-by-case basis
– The level of coverage for the most expensive services
– The number of people to be insured
– The duration of the stay
– The destination
– The available budget.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.


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