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What guarantees are essential to insure your trip?

When you go on vacation under the Tahiti sun or in the Argentine pampas, you do not imagine for a single second that you could be the victim of an accident or fall ill. However, such an eventuality can happen and taking out travel insurance will allow you to calmly face such an ordeal if it occurs. To know which contract to choose, it is best to be familiar with all the guarantees of travel insurance as well as the different terms of coverage and reimbursement.

medical expenses

When you travel abroad, the various health insurance for travel plans cover only part of your health expenses. When your destination is outside Europe, you must first pay medical expenses in the event of accident or illness. Only when you return to France can you request reimbursement of your expenses, again on the basis of the flat rates that apply in France. It is, therefore worth taking out travel insurance .

Coverage included in this warranty

Travel insurance covers treatment as well as surgery and hospitalization costs. This type of expense can be very high in some countries, hence the importance of having taken out this insurance. It is also involved in the cost of medicines prescribed by the doctor as well as medical and paramedical procedures that improve the care provided to you.

The same is true for laboratory analyzes and for transport to the medical center if this service is provided by a service provider other than the hospital establishment.

The ceiling

The limit of cover for travel insurance is one of the points to which you must pay all your attention at the time of subscription. Indeed, if the maximum amount covered by the insurance is too low while the bill presented to you is large, you risk exceeding your budget and your vacation can turn into a nightmare.

The amount of medical benefits varies considerably depending on the destination you have chosen. In the United States, for example, a visit to the emergency department in Miami can cost you €53,000. If you are treated for gastroenteritis in Santo Domingo, the bill can be up to €3,010. It is therefore advisable to take into account the cost of treatment in your country of destination to define whether the ceiling of each guarantee of your travel insurance is sufficient for your needs.


In terms of insurance, exclusion means a claim that is not covered by the contract. As far as travel insurance is concerned, it is the principle of precedence that guides insurers. If, for example, you suffer from osteoarthritis chronically and you are hospitalized during your holidays because of this osteoarthritis, you will not be able to claim reimbursement from your travel insurance.

There are also other exclusions, including drugs classified as “comfort” such as food supplements or vitamins. The same is true for certain commonly used non-medicated products such as sunscreen or bandages.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, refer to the general conditions of your travel insurance to consult the complete list of exclusions.

Waiting periods

The waiting period is the period during which no guarantee can operate even if you have taken out insurance to cover you. It generally extends between 1 and 12 months. Its duration depends essentially on the insurer and the guarantee. In the case of complementary health insurance, it is 3 months for the coverage of dental appliances. This means that you must wait 3 months after signing your insurance contract before buying a dental appliance and asking for reimbursement. Before this deadline, the insurance will not reimburse you €1.

Some insurance companies offer contracts without any waiting period, a very interesting option, especially for short to medium-term stays.


It is important to pay particular attention when reading your travel insurance contract because the very definition of the word “hospitalization” may vary from one insurer to another. Generally, you must spend an entire night or more than 24 hours in hospital for this term to apply and for your expenses to be covered.

In concrete terms, if you fall ill during your stay abroad because of water unfit for consumption or undercooked food, for example, and the doctor examining you decides to hospitalize you, you must notify your insurer. . It is he who will be able to refer you to an approved establishment where you can receive adequate care and obtain full coverage of your medical expenses.

Refund procedure

To request reimbursement of your medical expenses, you must send your insurer all the supporting documents relating to these expenses. These include the originals of paid bills from medical centers, doctors or hospitals, as well as prescriptions that indicate the drugs prescribed. You generally have a period of 3 months before the expiry of your contract to send these documents to your insurer.

Generally, you must first pay for the benefits before claiming reimbursement. In the case of a hospitalization of more than 24 hours, as you had to contact the permanence of the insurer, you are directly supported by it and you therefore, theoretically, have nothing to pay.


By definition, repatriation means return to the homeland, in other words it amounts to bringing the traveler back to his point of departure. Specialists speak of simple repatriation when you are injured or sick and you are brought back to France by plane, in a regular line. If your condition requires it, you can be accompanied during the flight by a doctor or nurse sent by your insurance company.

We will talk about medical evacuation if you need to be transported as soon as possible to a hospital. This is the case when you are the victim of an accident and you are transported by air ambulance to a regional hospital to receive the appropriate care. This often involves the use of a medical team and heavy equipment.

Finally, in the event that the insured succumbs to illness or an accident during his stay, the insurer pays for the transport of the body from the place of coffining to the nearest international airport. from his home. The cost of returning the remains by air to France as well as the cost of the coffin are also included in the guarantees of travel insurance. However, it is advisable to carefully check all the conditions of this coverage at the time of subscription.

Legal assistance

It may happen that during your trip, you are unwittingly in violation of the legislation of the country you are visiting. In this case, you may have to go to court to find out your sentence. A simple example of this aspect could be being stopped by the police because you bought an antique piece of art which was presented to you as a copy but which is in fact authentic and which does not have the right to be out of the country.

Thanks to travel insurance, you can benefit from the assistance of lawyers or legal representatives whose fees will be borne by the insurer up to the ceiling set in your contract. This amount can reachup to €3,000 for some insurers.

In the event that the court requires the payment of a criminal bond, it is also possible that the insurer takes charge of the payment of this bond. The limit of the guarantee is generally around €7,000.

Civil Liability

Civil Liability is the obligation for anyone to repair the damage they have caused to others. If you are traveling internationally, you may inadvertently damage other people’s property. This is what specialists call property damage.

Imagine, for example, that your child is playing ball in the courtyard of the hotel where you are staying. He throws it a little too hard and it will violently hit the LED television in the reception hall. The device is damaged and the repair costs amount to €400. If you have taken out travel insurance, this sum may be covered by your insurer because the ceiling of this guarantee can reach €450,000 with certain companies.

On the other hand, if the bullet had landed on the receptionist’s head and caused him to fracture his skull, that would be bodily injury. As a parent, you are responsible and if you have to pay for the medical expenses of the injured person, it is likely to cost you a significant sum. If you have travel insurance, it is she who will intervene in the settlement of these financial charges, the ceiling of which can reach €4,575,000 according to the insurers.

The individual accident

Unlike Civil Liability, which compensates for damage (bodily or material) caused to others, personal accident insurance covers you against bodily injury. Thus, if you accidentally fall into the Iguazu Falls in Brazil during your vacation, if you fracture your pelvis for example, and this injury causes permanent disability, this insurance can take effect.

It includes the payment of a lump sum in the event of permanent or temporary disability and death. We speak of permanent disability if your condition can no longer evolve, even if you do not recover completely. On the other hand, if your lesions can evolve and tend towards a partial or total cure, it is a temporary disability.

The maximum paid-up capital is around €30,000 for total permanent incapacity and €8,000 for death. It should be emphasized that personal accident insurance does not concern professional activities.

Baggage insurance

When you fly, it happens in some cases that your luggage is lost, stolen or even destroyed. In 2012 alone, more than 25 million pieces of luggage were misplaced by airlines. If this happens to you, be aware that they are obliged to reimburse you a certain amount in order to repair the damage they have caused you. The insurance therefore only intervenes in addition to the reimbursement made by the company.

To benefit from this, you must declare the claim to your insurer, enclosing a copy of the documents issued by the airline certifying the reimbursement of your baggage. However, you must prove the value and existence of the goods for which you are claiming reimbursement, either by producing invoices or any other evidentiary document. It is necessary to submit your claim declaration no later than 3 months after the reimbursement from the airline.

The details of the insurance guarantees differ from one insurer to another, so it is important to carefully consult the information notice of the contract before any subscription. In this way, you will avoid unpleasant surprises in the event of refusal to reimburse your personal effects following the theft of your suitcases.

Cancellation insurance

You planned to spend the New Year in the tropics, but now you learn of the death of your brother-in-law? In this case, you can request reimbursement of part of your transport and accommodation costs from service providers such as travel agencies or hotels. You also have the possibility of requesting reimbursement of the balance from your insurance. For example, if the amount of your plane ticket is €2,000 and the airline reimburses you for half, you can request reimbursement of the remaining €1,000 from your insurer by providing proof to support.

This cancellation insurance must be taken as an option on the same day you make your reservation. Generally, the insurer’s reimbursement ceiling is €9,000 per person and €30,000 per event. It is important to find out beforehand about the various cancellation clauses that are covered by the contract.

When you go on vacation abroad, you are far from suspecting the accidents or illnesses that may surprise you. Without adequate travel insurance , your budget may not be sufficient to allow you to receive the care adapted to your state of health.