10 Visitors Insurance Exclusions That Might Surprise You

As you go through the process of choosing a visitors insurance plan, it’s important to be informed and ensure that you have a good understanding of coverage offered. Visitors insurance is meant to be a short-term safeguard for those traveling abroad in the event they have an emergency illness or injury during their travels. Due to the short-term and limited nature of visitors insurance policies, they often have exclusions in place for certain types of treatment or services that would not be covered under your plan.

Visitors insurance plans typically have a list of exclusions included in the fine print of their details of coverage, which specifically outlines what the insurance does and does not cover. It is crucial that you read and understand the list of visitors insurance exclusions of your plan carefully before purchasing so you know exactly what is covered by your visitors insurance policy and what isn’t.

While exclusions will vary from plan to plan based on a number of factors, including the type of visitors insurance and company you opt for, the following list outlines some of the most common exclusions often found in visitors insurance plans.

1. Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage

Pre-existing conditions coverage relates to medical care that treats a condition that existed in the policyholder prior to their policy start date, whether known or unknown. While most medical insurance for visitors policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, there are options for plans that offer limited pre-existing condition coverage. There will typically be the following types of coverage when it comes to pre-existing conditions:

  • No pre-existing conditions coverage
  • Limited pre-existing conditions coverage
  • Cover for the acute onset of pre-existing conditions

Read more to learn about the differences between pre-existing condition coverage and coverage of the acute onset of pre-existing conditions.

It’s important to note, however, that most plans consider pre-existing conditions an exclusion and you will want to inquire about this type of coverage if you are a traveler that suffers from pre-existing conditions.

If you are concerned about pre-existing conditions coverage, there are few plans that may cover for the worsening of a pre-existing condition should your symptoms increase while you are traveling outside of your home country. Most of these plans need to be purchased before leaving your home country, so we recommend researching the plans eligibility, coverage details, exclusions and limitations, reaching out to a licensed agent to get clarification on benefits or any questions you might have, before starting your trip. You can learn more about pre-existing condition insurance here and view available plans by clicking on the “View Plans” button.

2. Monetary Expenses Related to Flight or Travel

Visitors insurance doesn’t typically cover monetary expenses related to either your flight or travels, as it is meant to offer medical coverage as opposed to trip insurance which is a separate type of insurance designed to cover non-refundable trip-related expenses. While your travel medical insurance may cover minor trip-related situations such as lost luggage, lost passport or trip interruption, it is not trip insurance.

3. Routine Care/Wellness Checkups

Since the purpose of a visitors insurance policy is to offer coverage in the event of an unexpected injury or illness while traveling, a common exclusion is routine case or wellness checkups. Things like routine checkups or standard wellness visits would be something that you would do back in your home country, and typically wouldn’t fall under the type of coverage offered by travel medical or visitors insurance.

4. Vision Care

Visitors insurance does not cover vision correction, including corrective lenses, glasses, or eye related problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. However, some travel medical insurance plans may offer benefits for emergency eye injuries or sudden eye pain that is not related to any corrective procedure but is instead considered a medical emergency.

5. Preventative Care

Most visitors insurance plans only cover unforeseen illnesses, injuries, and emergencies and will not cover preventative treatment such as routine checkups and immunizations. Any preventative medical treatments should be taken care of before departing on a trip abroad.

6. War and Terrorism

Most policies do not cover travel incidents and injuries related to war or terrorism if the policyholder traveled to a country with prior knowledge of a known war or terrorism event/condition. However, if war or terrorism breaks out after arrival, you may be covered. Additionally, some visitors insurance plans do offer a war and terrorism option at an added cost. The war and terrorism additional coverage option provides reimbursement for injuries and illnesses incurred due to war or terrorism or an act of war or terrorism.

7. Pregnancy and Childbirth

Any medical costs incurred for pregnancy, childbirth, or maternity reasons are not covered under travel medical insurance policies. If you are traveling while pregnant, be sure to take care of any checkups or pregnancy related medical concerns before leaving for your trip and be aware of any risks associated with traveling while pregnant. Most insurance plans for visitors will not cover pregnancy complications.

8. Dental Care

Travel medical insurance typically does not offer any coverage as it relates to dental care or treatments, unless for a dental emergency. A dental emergency may include sudden tooth pain or a dental accident. For tooth repair as it relates to a dental accident or emergency, the repair must be on a natural tooth and coverage for repairing false teeth or dentures would not be included. Any cosmetic or routine/preventative care such as cleaning, root canals or crown treatments are not covered.

9. Mental Health Care

Visitors insurance does not cover mental health related incidents, including self-inflicted bodily harm or injury. Incidents, injuries, or trip cancellations due to mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, or other psychological conditions are not covered by visitors health insurance.

10. Injuries Incurred Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

If you are injured while legally drunk or under the influence of drugs, a medical insurance policy will not cover the costs of any medical treatment received. You are entirely responsible for medical bills for injuries incurred under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Read your visitors health insurance policy details carefully to avoid getting your visitors insurance claim denied. Be sure to closely assess your individual needs and consider any additional coverage you might need. Never assume that your visitors insurance will cover a treatment or incident. Some policies may offer coverage waivers or additional coverage options, but not all do.

You should use your plan's free look period to review the policy exclusions so you know exactly what is and is not covered before you embark on your travels.


Did You Know? The cost of insurance is regulated by Department of Insurance. You can not find the same plan at a different price on other sites. Learn More
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