What is a Certificate of insurance?

Photo By: Hui Quan Yang

Certificate of insurance

The legal document that details your responsibilities in return for coverage. The certificate of insurance (also referred to policy wording) often includes the ‘summary of benefits’ section. This document, in addition to the application form and medical questionnaire, make up the entire contract or agreement.


The certificate of insurance can differ for each plan sold by the same insurance provider. It includes important information on eligibility requirements, exclusions and limitations, general conditions, definitions and how to file a claim. This document also contains the responsibilities of the insurance provider, plan administrator, insurer and third-party medical assistance or concierge providers.


Can I get a copy of the certificate of insurance?

If you can’t easily find the certificate of insurance or policy wording on the insurance provider’s website or it is not included in your existing group benefits guide, ask for a copy or find a provider that is more transparent.

Learn more in IAMAT’s Guide to Travel Health Insurance
  • Did you know?

    You are not covered if you need medical care or hospitalization as a result of drinking alcohol.

    The majority of travel health insurance plans exclude injuries resulting from alcohol consumption. Some plans do cover injuries related to alcohol use but you cannot exceed the maximum allowable blood alcohol levels.

  • Did you know?

    Your travel health insurance plan is a legal contract. When you purchase a policy, you have to adhere to the terms set out within that specific policy for the insurer to fulfill their obligation to provide coverage.

    Remember that insurance only covers you for unforeseen and unexpected events – an unstable pre-existing condition or participating in activities that can increase your risk for personal harm or injury put your coverage at risk.

  • Did you know?

    Medical questionnaires are required to be completed at the time of purchase if you are over a certain age (typically over 60) or have a pre-existing condition. These forms can be complex and include medical jargon. If you need help, ask the insurance provider for clarification. Many insurers also want your doctor to sign off on the medical questionnaire.

    If you file a claim, insurers will look closely at the answers on your medical questionnaire to see if they match your medical file before accepting your claim.

  • Did you know?

    Mental health coverage is excluded from most standard travel health plans.

    If you have a first time mental health event or need care for a pre-existing psychiatric condition, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for medical services and prescription medication you need abroad.

  • Did you know?

    If your existing insurance benefits plan or credit card (primary coverage) doesn’t fully or adequately cover you for your health condition, you will need to get supplemental or secondary coverage (also known as excess insurance).

    This additional plan pays for medical expenses after your existing or primary coverage has reached the payout limits. The secondary insurer pays the balance of your medical costs.

Photo By: Sharif Hossain Sourav