International health insurance: How useful is private travel protection?

For many consumers, the planning of the summer vacation is already in the hot phase. If holidaymakers opt for a trip abroad, they should think of a health insurance in addition to sun, beach and sea, if anything happens to them. A new test shows where the best protection is. But how useful is a health insurance abroad?

As soon as it is clear that this year’s summer holiday is not going to the Baltic Sea, but to more distant countries like Thailand, South Africa or Australia, not only the sun hat will be in your luggage. Above all, a foreign health insurance makes sense, emphasize experts such as the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband. Even when traveling within the EU, holidaymakers can usually not rely solely on the protection of the statutory health insurance if they get sick or something happens to them on the way.

In order not to remain at high costs for a doctor’s visit or the return transport to Germany, a private health protection abroad is a must for consumer advocates. Travelers have the choice between many different rates. For example, there are special offers for the whole family. When choosing the right hedge, it is advisable, according to the experts, to take a close look at the terms of the contract .

Foreign health insurance, especially for return transport makes sense

Depending on the tariff, travel insurance is often available for a small annual fee. But in addition to a low price, it makes sense to pay attention to the benefits at the international health insurance. One of the most important points is the reimbursement of costs for a return transport to Germany . This can quickly bring together several thousand euros.

However, some providers only provide for repatriation if it is “medically necessary and medically arranged”. This is the case, for example, if there is no chance of success in further treatment in the holiday country. According to the Consumer Center, however, this requirement is rarely met. When concluding a contract travelers should therefore note that the insurance also pays for a medically appropriate return transport.

Is a foreign health insurance useful for chronic diseases?

A possible pitfalls when concluding travel insurance are possible pre-existing illnesses or chronic illnesses. If they have to be treated while on vacation, some insurers refuse to cover the costs. Other providers make their services to certain conditions. This includes, among other things, that the treatment was not yet determined before departure. For people with chronic illnesses, it is therefore advisable for foreign health insurance to check the conditions for their services exactly.

In addition, a tariff without deductible is generally recommended. In the case of high treatment costs, it is also advisable to obtain written confirmation from the insurance company in advance to cover the costs.

Comparison finds top rates for singles and families

When securing the health of the holidays, consumers can choose between numerous good offers. To give travelers an overview of the current top rates, Focus-Money (15/2018) has taken a closer look at 29 insurers . The testers have checked both offers for singles and for families.

The focus is on the services of providers, which are made up of services, collective bargaining, general contract conditions and other conditions, and which contribute 70 percent to the overall rating. The price makes up the remaining 30 percent of the final grade.

The top 3 foreign health insurance for families includes:

  • Allianz – “our healthy journey” and “my healthy journey”
  • DKV – “RD”
  • Ergo Direct – “RD”

All three providers are convincing for families and singles with an excellent overall rating and, in particular, offer excellent services.

Tip: Which individual services include the tariffs in detail is not clear from the comparison. In order to find the personal top protection that suits your wishes, an individual offer for health insurance abroad makes sense.

Here you will find tips and more information on additional health insurance.