A pictorial representation of 7 wonders of the world

The Importance of Travel Medical Insurance

Our international insurance partner, GeoBlue, recently sponsored a survey to gauge Americans’ awareness, usage, and perceptions of travel medical insurance – with surprising results. These statistics provide a glimpse into the ever-changing landscape of international travel and emphasize the importance of obtaining travel medical insurance.


Travel medical insurance chart


International Travel Is Making A Comeback

Like our partner GeoBlue, Friendly Global is committed to keeping up the latest developments in the travel industry.

Travel statistics provide a comprehensive and insightful view into the dynamic world of international travel. By analyzing trends, preferences, and shifts in behavior, we can gain a better understanding of the factors shaping the future of travel and better adapt to meet travel insurance needs.

According to a new survey of 2,086 conducted in 2023 by Harris Poll and sponsored by GeoBlue, nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers are making plans to travel internationally in the next 5 years. In fact, 46% are planning an international trip in the next 2 years.

Of those surveyed, a majority (77%) know that medical care abroad is just as important as a nice place to stay and a good flight.

Americans are ready to get back out there after being constrained by global lockdowns. From an all-time high of nearly 45 million Americans traveling outside of the U.S. in 2019 to steadily increasing rates of travel after lockdowns eased, international travel is expected to skyrocket this year as more people feel comfortable venturing outside of their home country.

This is a significant number of people who will be leaving their home countries and traveling to places where they may not have access to the same level of resources and healthcare as they do at home.


Travel insurance - expectations and reality


Disconnect Between Expectation and Reality

Although people are aware of the importance of having health insurance when they travel internationally, almost half of the individuals who were questioned (46%) believe a medical event would be covered by their domestic health insurance.

Unfortunately, this belief is a misconception, since most domestic health insurance plans do not cover medical expenses incurred outside of the United States.

While many Americans have plans to travel internationally in the next five years, few of them currently have the insurance needed to cover the cost of medical care while abroad.

In fact, over three-quarters of consumers (76%) likely don’t have adequate health insurance coverage for international trips. This is a concerning statistic, as it means that many people are traveling without adequate protection in case of a medical emergency.

Without international insurance, Americans could find themselves paying hundreds to thousands of dollars in additional expenses if they get sick or sustain an injury while traveling or on vacation.


chart showing boys and girls statistics


Impact of Health and Safety Concerns

Health and safety have always been top priorities for travelers. In recent times, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way people approach travel.

Of the individuals surveyed in the GeoBlue study, nearly 9 in 10 (87%) know a medical event is a realistic possibility. However, even with a global pandemic limiting the ability to travel across borders, people have jumped back into international travel with enthusiasm.

Knowing that a medical event is a possibility and being prepared for such an event are two different things. While many travelers may say they understand they could become ill or injured and require medical care while abroad, few have obtained the medical insurance to cover the cost of such care.


man hiking in the mountains


Popular Activities and Experiences

Travel is no longer limited to sightseeing alone.

Beyond normal travel activities such as exploring a new city, lounging on the beach, or taking in cultural sites, there are plenty of travelers who want to experience more adrenaline filled fun.

Whether it’s culinary tours, adventure sports, or volunteering opportunities, travelers are engaging in immersive experiences that allow them to connect with local communities and cultures. With these new opportunities for growth and exploration, however, comes additional risk.

Food poisoning, injuries, illnesses, dehydration, and vertigo are all common medical conditions that travelers experience when participating in new experiences outside of their home country.

New foods may not sit well with individuals unaccustomed to them. Bacteria in water can cause illness and dehydration. Engaging in extreme sports or activities can result in injuries such as strains, pulled muscles, and broken bones.

With so many potentially exciting things to try and do, having an international medical insurance that provides adequate coverage can help reduce the risk of getting ill or injured and not being able to get the care you need.


doctor holding a mini airplane dummy in between hands


Medical Costs Away from Home

It is important to remember that medical costs can be very expensive, especially in other countries. A simple hospital stay can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and even more in some countries. If you don’t have travel medical insurance, you could be responsible for paying for these costs out of pocket.

If you are planning to travel internationally, it is essential to purchase travel medical insurance. This type of coverage will protect you financially in case of a medical emergency.

Make sure to compare different plans and choose one that has a high enough coverage limit to meet your needs. You should also make sure the plan includes coverage for the activities you plan to do while you’re traveling, as well as repatriation and emergency evacuation coverage.

Travel medical insurance is an important investment that can help you protect yourself financially while you’re traveling. Don’t forget to purchase a plan before you go!


a stethoscope, passports and mini airplane placed at the table


Benefits Of Travel Medical Insurance

In a highly interconnected world, travel has become more important than ever. From being able to visit family and explore new countries to expanding global businesses and creating international trade, travel has a far-reaching impact on both individuals lives and the global economy.

Whether it’s for leisure, business, or exploration, venturing beyond borders is an exciting prospect. However, amidst the thrill of planning an adventure or jet-setting to a far-off country, one crucial aspect often gets overlooked: travel medical insurance.

Safeguarding Your Health and Peace of Mind

Traveling to unfamiliar destinations exposes us to different environments, climates, and potential health risks. While it’s impossible to predict emergencies, it is possible to prepare for them. Travel medical insurance acts as a safety net, ensuring you receive necessary medical care and attention even when you’re away from home.

Unforeseen Medical Expenses

Medical emergencies can lead to unexpected expenses that might strain your travel budget. With travel medical insurance, you’re covered for various medical treatments, hospital stays, and even emergency medical evacuations. This means you can focus on recovery without worrying about financial burdens or how to get the care you need.

Tailored Coverage for Your Needs

Travel medical insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It can be customized based on your destination, duration of travel, and individual health needs. Whether you’re embarking on a short vacation or a long-term journey, there’s a plan that fits your requirements.

Addressing the “What Ifs”

What if you fall ill just before your trip? What if your chronic condition acts up while you’re abroad? Travel medical insurance provides coverage for unexpected situations, helping you manage the “what ifs” and ensuring you’re not left stranded without assistance.

Assistance Beyond Medical Needs

Travel medical insurance often extends beyond just medical coverage. It can include benefits like resources for travelers and expats to help them find health specialists, doctors and medical facilities, 24/7 health services, translators, and more, offering comprehensive support throughout your journey.


Travel medical insurance documents


Get Travel Medical Insurance Before You Need It

Before you set off on your next adventure, make sure travel medical insurance is at the top of your priority list. It’s not just an expense; it’s an investment in your well-being and peace of mind.

By spreading awareness about the significance of travel medical insurance, we can ensure that every traveler explores the world with confidence, knowing that their health and safety are well taken care of.

As you plan your upcoming travels, remember that the journey isn’t just about the destination but also about the experiences along the way.

Prioritize your health and security by including travel medical insurance in your travel plans – a decision that can make all the difference when the unexpected occurs. Travel smart, travel safe!