The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Travel Insurance

Primary Coverage Travel Insurance

You hope that everything will run smoothly on your vacation, but mishaps and accidents can happen. Experiencing an emergency far from home can be scary – and expensive. Travel insurance protects you from the unexpected. Anytime you travel domestically or abroad, purchasing a travel protection plan with primary coverage is recommended.

It’s important to understand the basics: primary and secondary refers to the order in which a travel insurance claim can be filed with the travel insurance provider.

Primary Coverage

Simply put, primary coverage is less complicated. Primary plans pay from the first dollar, allowing claims to be filed directly with the travel insurance provider and eliminate involvement of a traveler’s health insurance company.

One of the biggest advantages of primary coverage is the speed of reimbursement. You’ll typically receive reimbursement on eligible losses first, before any other collectible policy. This becomes important when considering the time required for filing, processing a claim and how quickly you will receive your payment.

Secondary Coverage

With secondary or excess coverage, you will need to exhaust benefits from existing policies and supply proof of your carrier’s disposition before filing a claim for the travel protection benefits. A deductible payment may also be required before the travel insurance plan kicks in.

Secondary medical coverage starts paying after any other insurance coverage has paid whatever it will pay. This means that secondary medical coverage can pay the deductibles, co-pays, and additional out-of-pocket expenses up to the policy limit.

Unsure What Coverage to Purchase?

If you are unsure about purchasing travel protection, get answers to questions like these from your existing health insurance provider. Knowing these details will help you understand where your current coverage could fall short if you become ill or injured while traveling:

  • Does my health insurance policy provide enough coverage to pay for any medical and dental emergencies that could occur during my trip?
  • Does my policy include enough emergency medical transportation coverage?
  • Is my policy primary or secondary coverage?
  • What would be my deductible or copay if I need emergency medical or dental treatment during my trip?
  • Are there limitations on which hospitals I can use where I’m traveling?
  • Does my policy cover me when traveling outside the United States?
  • Are there any other limitations or exclusions on my policy I should know about before leaving on my trip?

Overall, your best option is to look for a primary coverage plan with no deductibles to keep your out-of-pocket expenses low. Travelex Insurance’s Travel Basic and Travel Select plans include primary coverage. Get a quote for your upcoming trip today!

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The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. If you have questions about coverage available under our plans, please review the policy or contact us at 1-800-228-9792 or Berkshire Hathaway Global Insurance Services, LLC. CA Agency License # 0K09397. All products listed are underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.