Answering Your Travel Insurance and Residency Questions
You’re shopping for a travel insurance plan, but you’re confused about how your decision could be impacted by the place where you live, your citizenship status, and your travel destination. You’re not alone. We have received many questions from clients about how their country of residence and country of citizenship affect their travel insurance purchase. We’ve provided some answers to the most common travel insurance and residency questions below to help you make the right decision.
If you’re unsure about any of this information, we urge you to contact an insurance expert at Good Neighbor Insurance. We’ll be happy to help!
Do International Insurance Plans Consider My Home Country Based on My Citizenship or Where I Live?
Some international insurance plans are based on citizenship (your passport) and others are based on residency (where you live). Many long-term health plans are based on citizenship, while short-term travel plans are generally based on residency. Of course, the country you live in may be different from your country of citizenship. It’s important you pay attention to which one the insurance plan is requesting.
How Will an Insurance Carrier Determine my Country of Residence?
Insurance carriers may determine your country of residence in different ways. Some may define your country of residence by where you have lived for the past six months, or where you live for most of the year. Other carriers may define it by where you are currently receiving mail, or by the country that you are living in when you apply for insurance.
Your country of residence will not be a country you may have visited on a short-term basis, whether for business, leisure, or visiting family. Your country of residence is usually the place where you would want to be sent back home should you need to be evacuated for medical reasons or should you interrupt your trip. For example, if you are a U.S. citizen residing in France and you decide to take a trip to Thailand, you should buy travel insurance as a French resident.
Please ask the insurance carrier for clarification, or reach out to us, and we are happy to help.
How Do I Prove That I am a U.S. Resident?
To be eligible for travel insurance coverage as a U.S. resident, you must have a residential address and unrestricted right of entry into the U.S. You must be able to provide documentation to prove your address in the United States (for example, a U.S. driver’s license, a government-issued ID or a utility bill) and agree to be repatriated, if required, back to the state of residence named on your insurance policy.
Those living in U.S. territories are for the most part regarded as U.S. citizens and residing in the U.S. when filling out forms or travel insurance applications.
What If I Am An International Student or a Foreign National Living in the U.S.?
You may purchase an insurance policy as a U.S. resident as long as you meet the requirements for U.S. residency described above. Otherwise, you should buy your travel insurance policy under your country of citizenship.
What If I’m a Digital Nomad and Change Countries Frequently?
If you are a digital nomad and change countries frequently, you should use your country of citizenship as your country of residence.
Will My Travel Insurance Plan Cover Me in the Country Where I Am Living?
Some travel insurance plans won’t cover you in your country of residence – they’ll only cover you when you travel outside of that country. Other travel insurance plans will cover you at home. It depends on your policy, and there are always conditions on when the coverage starts and ends and where you can travel to, so check this carefully first. Some companies allow you to be in your home country for a short period, others won’t cover you at all.
Can My Travel Destination Impact My Insurance Purchase?
There are fewer residency considerations when you are a citizen of the country in which you live. However, if you are not a citizen of the country in which you live, there are certain factors to consider before buying travel insurance. One factor is your travel destination. Are you traveling back to your country of citizenship? Are you traveling inside or outside the country you reside in? Those answers could make a big difference to your insurance plan, so it’s important to talk with an insurance expert before buying one.
What If I Don’t Have Legal Status in the Country Where I Live?
Insurance companies don’t care about legal status/undocumented immigrants, but only about where claims might be submitted. So illegal aliens can buy and use international travel or health insurance without worrying about questions regarding political status.
Does the State in the U.S. Where I Live Affect My Travel Insurance Plan?
As with other types of insurance policies, every state has specific rules and regulations regarding the types of travel insurance that people can receive in that state. A traveler might find that only certain types and levels of coverage are permitted for purchase in the traveler’s home state. Depending on your residence, the policy may include or exclude benefits, or have different coverages for the same benefit. This is determined by your state’s department of insurance.
For example, whether a traveler can even receive out-of-state or out-of-country medical coverage as part of a trip protection plan depends a great deal on the location of the traveler’s primary residence. As a result, a travel protection plan offered to residents of New York might not be available to residents of Georgia. Additionally, a plan offered to citizens in the United States might not be available to citizens of Canada or Mexico.
Can Residency Impact Trip Cancellation Coverage?
A traveler’s residence can be critical to a traveler that needs trip cancellation coverage. Some insurance plans cover trip costs for travelers who make a cancellation because of a natural disaster that takes place in the area of the traveler’s primary residence. Some plans also cover cancellation if a traveler must cancel after experiencing a serious life event at the primary residence, such as damage or destruction of the traveler’s home or business because of a natural disaster or accident and property theft.
What If I Am Traveling with Someone from a Different State?
If you and your traveling companion are residents of different states, it is best for you to purchase separate travel insurance policies. In the event of a loss, each traveler’s claim will be paid based on the coverage available for their individual residence.
The issue of travel insurance and residency or citizenship can be confusing. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions! We are happy to serve you.
We hope these answers to your travel insurance and residency questions are helpful to you. Please let us know if you have other questions that were not answered in this post.
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Online travel insurance companies that have no physical office, or agents to call on the phone, can make this hopelessly confusing to the simple traveler. This is why we always recommend that you save yourself the headache and call us at (480) 813-9100, or Skype us at “Good Neighbor Insurance”, or click LIVE CHAT, or email us at [email protected].