IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal


Understanding Travel Health Insurance: 26 Important Terms You Need to Know

You purchased travel health insurance coverage and are ready for your trip, but do you find yourself looking at pages and pages of fine print containing legal and medical jargon? Our latest resource Understanding Travel Health Insurance helps demystify some common terms found in insurance plans. It also includes helpful tips, advice, and questions to ask your insurer before you buy. It’s a crowded marketplace out there and finding the best coverage for your needs can be daunting. Unfortunately, travellers can find themselves out-of-pocket for medical care needed abroad because they didn’t understand their coverage. Our members have told us that policy terms and conditions have many exceptions and are difficult to understand. To help, we reviewed travel health ...

Hand holding a cocktail on a beach. Photo by Ed Gregory, Stokpic.

Travel and alcohol use: Know your limitations

Having a glass of wine or two can be an enjoyable way to socialize and relax, but there can be unforeseen risks to drinking while you travel. Consuming alcohol can increase your exposure to health risks, but it can also disqualify your claim to travel health insurance coverage. Travellers often learn too late that alcohol-related accidents or illnesses are not covered by their insurance policy. Knowing the limitations of your insurance and making smart choices can help you stay safe during your trip. Insurance and alcohol use: Know your limits Many travel health insurance policies include an alcohol exclusion clause. However, the clarity of the clause will depend on the insurer and the specific policy. Some policies define the ...

Person standing on a beach in a storm. Photo by Witch Kiki, Unsplash.

In the news: Extreme weather

This article is part of our monthly travel and global health news round-up. Here at IAMAT, our main focus is on travel health and not specifically on safety when abroad (there are many organizations and government departments that provide useful travel safety information). However, the two often overlap, and nowhere is this more evident than during extreme weather at popular travel destinations. Flooding, hurricanes, heat waves, and other weather events can have sudden and dramatic impacts on the health and safety of travellers and local people. Hurricanes and flooding Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria battered the Caribbean and the southern United States in September. Some locations suffered minimal damage and were ready to host travellers again within a week or ...

Boat on the Amazon River. Photo by Kepler Web, FreeImages.

The Amazon: Staying well on your river cruise

River cruising in the rainforest The Amazon basin is a vast region that spans 9 countries. Travellers visit the region for its incredible biodiversity and the chance to experience wildlife and the rainforest firsthand. There’s no doubt about the amazing flora and fauna in the Amazon, but the confined spaces of a cruise ship and infections transmitted by insects, animals, and microorganisms can be a risk to your health. Here’s how to stay well as you explore. Staying healthy in the Amazon Most Amazon cruises begin in the city of Manaus, Brazil or Iquitos, Peru. In the Amazon region, the extent of some diseases (such as Schistosomiasis and Chagas) remains unknown. Luckily, you don’t have to leave your health ...

A man, woman, and child sitting on a low bridge by a field. Photo by Keith Moore.

In the news: Travel health insurance

This article is part of our monthly travel and global health news round-up. July and August are busy months for travellers. Several stories about travellers’ medical care experiences abroad have been in the news lately, so travel health insurance is the theme of this edition. In the news this month 1. Travel insurance providers remove mental health illness exclusions The Sydney Morning Herald Great news! Two Australian insurance companies have removed exclusions that deny travellers coverage for mental health conditions. This is a step in the right direction. We recognise the critical importance of incorporating specific cover for people with mental health conditions into our policies. – Mike Emmett, chief executive of the insurance company Cover-More Australia Travellers with ...

Garlic. Photo by Lobo Studio Hamburg.

True or false? Common travel health myths

This year, we introduced a new feature on social media: the Myth of the Month. Every month, we share a travel health myth and set the record straight with current recommendations from travel health professionals. Have you heard any of these travel health myths? Myth #1: “Eating garlic prevents mosquito bites.” False! (But it may keep your travel companions away…) There is no scientific evidence that garlic prevents mosquito bites. The best insect bite protection comes from a combination of: Physical barriers: Wearing breathable, light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing. Chemical protection: Using insect repellent containing 20-30% DEET or 20% Picaridin. Bed nets: Sleeping or resting under a bed net in areas where there is a risk of Malaria, Chagas or other ...

IAMAT's Guide to Healthy Travel

NEW! Guide to Travel Health Insurance

Did you know that our new Guide to Travel Health Insurance is out? Hot off the presses, this guide seeks to answer one of the most frequently asked questions we get from travellers: “Where can I find travel health insurance and what should I look for?” IAMAT members told us that they are looking for guidance on how to navigate the world of travel health insurance. We did the research for you and wrote a comprehensive primer to help you find the best coverage for your needs. Travel insurance insiders Bruce Cappon of First Rate Insurance and Damian Tysdal of Travel Insurance Review also share their tips on how to buy wisely. We do not name any companies in ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Getting Travel Health Insurance? Here’s What You Need to Know

Looking for advice on travel health insurance? Check out our Guide to Travel Health Insurance. We often get asked about the merits and pitfalls of travel health insurance here at IAMAT. Distraught friends or family members of hospitalized travellers who are not insured call us inquiring about last-minute evacuation plans, others ask us whether they should get travel health insurance. Many also contact us to tell us about their frustration with their travel health insurance policy, mainly for what it doesn’t cover. When we first started 49 years ago, travel health insurance did not exist. Nowadays, the travel health insurance sector is a multi-million dollar industry with hundreds of companies and brokers, including web-based ones, who specialize in this ...

Travel Health Journal