What is an Insurer?

Photo By: Hui Quan Yang


The company that takes on the financial risk associated with travel medical emergencies and pays out your claim. This is also known as underwriting.


Insurers work with insurance providers to design plans for different degrees of coverage at different price points. Look for the name of the policy underwriter in your certificate of insurance.

If you needed medical care, insurers will carefully review your application and medical questionnaire after you file a claim. They will also look closely at your health history to determine if the answers provided at the time of purchase match the information in your medical file. This can take weeks or months to complete. If there is an omission, false or inaccurate information, it is grounds for voiding your coverage or denying your claim.


Watch out for post-claim underwriting, especially if you need medical care. Post-claim underwriting allows your insurer to assess your eligibility for coverage after you file a claim. This means that when you purchase travel health insurance you may not be fully underwritten (or covered) during your trip.


Do you have a plan that fully covers me for my pre-existing condition at the time of purchase?

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