Travel Management

Foreign travel insurance: everything you need to know

John Iversen
Growth Marketer

When it comes to traveling abroad, preparation is essential to ensure a trouble-free stay. One of the crucial steps in this preparation is taking out foreign travel insurance. But what is foreign travel insurance? It's an insurance contract designed to cover the unexpected and incidents that may arise during your international travels. Whether it's for health reasons, accidents, lost luggage or flight cancellations, this insurance offers indispensable protection for travelers, especially for traveling professionals.

What does foreign travel insurance cover?

Medical coverage and assistance

Foreign travel insurance provides essential health and safety protection for travelers. In the event of illness or accident, the policy's coverage of medical and hospitalization costs guarantees that health expenses, often very high abroad, will be met. What's more, repatriation assistance is crucial to organizing and financing the return to France in the event of urgent medical need, ensuring rapid and effective care. Finally, legal assistance offers indispensable support in the event of litigation abroad, covering legal costs and providing invaluable help in navigating foreign legal systems. These combined coverages ensure peace of mind and comprehensive protection for international travelers.

Personal property protection

Foreign travel insurance includes essential coverage to protect your personal belongings, particularly in the event of loss, theft or damage to baggage. This coverage provides compensation for the value of damaged or missing personal effects, ensuring peace of mind in the face of these inconveniences. In addition, assistance in the event of document loss is crucial for travelers, offering invaluable help in the rapid replacement of important documents such as passports, identity cards or visas.

Trip cancellation and interruption

International travel insurance provides essential cover for unforeseen events that can disrupt your travel plans. Cancellation insurance reimburses costs incurred if you have to cancel your trip for unforeseen and justified reasons, such as illness, accident or a serious family event. In the event of interruption of stay, this coverage offers reimbursement of unused travel days, enabling you to recover part of the costs incurred. Finally, the early return guarantee covers the cost of returning to France in the event of a serious event requiring an urgent return, such as a medical emergency or death in the family.

Transport delays and unforeseen events

Flight delay insurance is an invaluable feature of foreign travel insurance, specially designed to alleviate the inconvenience caused by long flight delays. In the event of an extended delay, this coverage provides compensation for unforeseen expenses such as meals, accommodation and additional transportation costs. It also compensates for financial losses due to missed connections or cancelled business appointments.

Civil liability

Third-party liability abroad is an essential cover included in foreign travel insurance, offering protection against the financial consequences of damage you may cause to third parties during your stay. Whether it's damage to property or bodily injury, this coverage pays for repairs, medical care and compensation. In the event of a dispute, it also covers the legal fees required for your defense.

What are the exclusions to foreign travel insurance?

Foreign travel insurance exclusions may vary from policy to policy, but some common exclusions include:

  • Intentional acts: Damage caused intentionally is generally not covered.
  • Extreme sports and hazardous activities: The practice of extreme sports or hazardous activities may be excluded, unless specific cover has been taken out.
  • Pre-existing illnesses : Medical expenses related to pre-existing illnesses or medical conditions may not be covered.
  • War and civil unrest: Incidents resulting from war, armed conflict or civil unrest are often excluded.
  • Use of illegal substances: Incidents involving drugs or alcohol may not be covered.
  • Non-compliance with safety instructions: Accidents caused by non-compliance with safety instructions or local regulations can be excluded.
  • Travel to high-risk areas: Travel to regions advised against by local or international authorities may not be covered.
  • Pregnancy: Complications associated with pregnancy beyond a certain term can be excluded.
  • Fraud: Any attempt at fraud or misrepresentation generally voids coverage.

It's essential to read the terms and conditions of your insurance contract carefully to understand specific exclusions and avoid unpleasant surprises.

How do I take out travel insurance abroad?

Taking out travel insurance abroad is a relatively straightforward process, and can be completed by following a few key steps:

  1. Needs assessment: Identify your specific coverage needs, taking into account the duration of your trip, your destination, your planned activities and your state of health.
  2. Research and comparison: Compare the different offers available on the market. Use online comparators or consult insurance brokers to find the policy that best suits your needs and budget.
  3. Checking coverages: Carefully examine the coverages offered by each contract, including exclusions and coverage limits. Make sure that essential coverages, such as medical expenses, repatriation assistance and personal property protection, are included.
  4. Request a quote: Request quotes from several insurers to get an accurate idea of costs. Provide detailed information about your trip and your profile to obtain accurate estimates.
  5. Online or in-branch underwriting: Once you've chosen an insurance policy, you can usually underwrite online via the insurer's website or by visiting a branch. Fill in the application form with all the data requested.
  6. Premium payment: Pay the insurance premium according to the terms offered (single or instalments). Keep proof of payment for your records.
  7. Receipt of documents: Once you have subscribed, you will receive confirmation of your insurance contract, together with documents detailing the cover and general conditions. Keep these documents with you during your trip.
  8. Contact in case of need: Make a note of the insurer's assistance contact details so that you can contact them quickly if you need them during your trip.

By following these steps, you can purchase travel insurance abroad efficiently and securely, ensuring you're well protected throughout your stay.

How much does foreign travel insurance cost?

The price of travel insurance per person abroad can vary considerably, depending on a number of factors. In general, here are some indicative rates:

  • Short stays (up to 1 week): Between 10 and 50 euros.
  • Medium stays (2 to 4 weeks) : Between 30 and 100 euros.
  • Long stays (more than one month) : Between 50 and 200 euros, or even more for stays of several months.

The main factors influencing the cost of foreign travel insurance include :

  • Length of stay: The longer the stay, the higher the cost of insurance.
  • Destination: Destinations with high medical costs, such as the U.S. or Canada, entail higher premiums.
  • Age of traveller: Premiums may be higher for older travellers, due to the increased risk of health problems.
  • Type of coverage: Policies offering extended coverage, such as extreme sports or risky activities, will be more expensive.
  • Health: Medical history and pre-existing conditions can influence the price of insurance.
  • Number of travellers: Family or group insurance plans can benefit from lower rates than individual plans.
  • Additional options: Adding specific coverages, such as trip cancellation or baggage protection, may increase the total cost.

It's important to compare the various offers and choose an insurance policy that meets your specific needs while staying within your budget.

Can I cancel my foreign travel insurance?

Cancelling travel insurance abroad can be done by following a few general steps, although specific procedures may vary from insurer to insurer. Here's a generic method for cancelling your policy:

  1. Check cancellation conditions: Consult the terms and conditions of your insurance contract to understand the cancellation terms and conditions, including deadlines and any penalties.
  2. Prepare the necessary documents: Gather the information and documents required for cancellation, such as your contract number, personal contact details and a copy of your insurance policy.
  3. Notification of cancellation: Write a formal cancellation letter or e-mail to your insurer. Clearly state your intention to cancel the contract, specifying your contract number and the desired cancellation date.
  4. Sending the request: Send your cancellation request by registered post with acknowledgement of receipt or by email, depending on your insurer's communication preferences. Keep a copy of your request and the acknowledgement of receipt for your records.
  5. Confirmation of termination: Wait for confirmation of termination from your insurer. This confirmation may take the form of an official letter or e-mail indicating that your contract has been terminated, and specifying the date on which coverage ends.
  6. Possible refund: If you are entitled to a partial refund of unused premiums, check the refund terms and conditions and follow the instructions provided by your insurer.
  7. Document archiving: Keep all documents relating to the cancellation, including the cancellation confirmation and any correspondence with the insurer, for future reference.

By following these steps, you can cancel your foreign travel insurance efficiently and in accordance with the terms and conditions of your contract.


In conclusion, foreign travel insurance is an essential element for any traveler wishing to guard against the unforeseen and risks inherent in international travel. Offering a wide range of coverages such as medical expenses, repatriation assistance, personal property protection and legal assistance, it guarantees peace of mind and optimum security. Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, taking out travel insurance abroad means you can travel with peace of mind, knowing you're protected against the hazards of the unknown.

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