Health insurance vs travel insurance
If you’re planning a trip away and you’ve already got health insurance, you may be wondering why you need travel insurance at all. Here we’ll break down the differences between the two, explaining exactly what each covers you for.
Is health insurance and travel insurance the same?
No. Although some benefits may be similar, travel insurance is designed to cover you while you’re on holiday/out of the country, for medical emergencies, personal belongings, cancellation, delays and a wide range of sports and activities.
Health insurance generally gives you access to private healthcare while you’re in the UK, covering you for diagnosis and treatment for acute medical conditions. You’ll also have access to breakthrough drugs and treatment and a choice of where you’re seen and who by.
Does travel insurance cover health insurance?
No. Unlike health insurance, the main benefit of travel insurance is to cover you for medical emergencies which may occur on your trip. Generally you’ll only be covered for short-term treatment until you’re well enough to return home, but you won’t be covered for any long-term treatment once you’re back. You should always check exactly what you’re covered for before you buy a policy.
How does international health insurance work?
If you’re planning to live and work abroad, you’ll more than likely need international health insurance. This is different to travel insurance and works more like a health insurance policy.
International health insurance is like having private medical insurance in any country you travel to. What you're covered for may vary depending on your chosen policy, but a standard comprehensive plan should give you access to private diagnosis and treatment, covering you for acute medical conditions, including cancer.
See our other guides on health insurance
^ We may record or monitor our calls. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 12.30pm.
Bupa health insurance and travel insurance are provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ.
Bupa Global is a trading name of Bupa Insurance Limited and Bupa Insurance Services Limited which are registered in England and Wales at Companies House under numbers 3956433 and 3829851 respectively. The registered offices are 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate the activities of Bupa Insurance Limited that take place outside of the UK. Bupa Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Registration numbers of Bupa Insurance Limited and Bupa Insurance Services Limited are 203332 and 312526 respectively.