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When traveling, it’s important to purchase what is known as travel insurance beforehand, as it will provide protection for possible medical expenses, luggage that’s been lost during the trip and losses caused in the event of a cancellation. When purchasing this kind of trip protection, there are multiple variations available to choose from, known as primary and secondary coverage. Here is a closer look at the difference between the two.

Main Differences Between Primary and Secondary Coverage

In essence, primary coverage will automatically pay your claim, no matter the other types of insurance that are owned. As such, it’s possible to directly file a claim with the travel insurance provider. However, if the coverage type is a secondary one, this means that the travel insurance provider will only pay following the payment from any other insurance providers the person may have.

Once a claim has been filed with the primary insurance providers, the secondary coverage will kick in and can pay for any remaining expenses that can be claimed. These remaining expenses will need to be submitted directly to the travel provider in order for them to be covered. While it may seem as though the primary coverage is the best type to purchase, there are certain situations where this isn’t the case.

Which Insurance Coverage Type to Purchase

In essence, it doesn’t fully matter which type of coverage is purchased, as both will assist in covering unexpected medical bills when traveling. It’s also important to note that secondary coverage will automatically convert to primary coverage if no other insurance is available. There are times when secondary coverage will be cheaper than primary, which is one of the main benefits of purchasing this type. However, prices are generally comparable.

There are times when it’s recommended that the first choice is primary coverage. Certain medicare and standard health insurance plans have lifetime limits. If a secondary coverage plan is purchased when traveling, and a claim is later made, a large portion of the expenses will be taken from the lifetime limit of the standard health insurance plan. However, with a primary coverage type, all of the expenses will be covered solely by the insurance purchased specifically when traveling.

Not all primary and secondary insurance types will be the same. Depending on the provider and the actual details of the plan, the benefits can vary wildly. The main coverage types that everyone should look for when purchasing insurance for travel include any medical expenses incurred on the trip, reimbursement for lost luggage, reimbursement in the case of a trip cancellation and a possible accident while on the flight, as well as any other losses that occur when traveling.

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