Travel accident insurance vs travel emergency medical insurance

There are plenty of options out there when it comes to travel insurance. You could opt for emergency medical, all inclusive, or the less known travel accident insurance. But, how do you know what level of coverage is right for you? Well, sit tight, because we are going to take a look at both travel emergency medical and travel accident insurance. By looking at what they entail and the pros and cons of each, we can hopefully help you find out which type of coverage is right for your needs.  

Travel accident insurance

What is it?

Travel accident is not as popular as travel emergency medical, so it is not as widely known to travelers as a travel insurance option. The simplest way to describe this type of coverage is to think of it kind of like a life insurance policy. Essentially, it works similarly to life insurance as it protects you against accidental death and dismemberment in the case of a travel accident. Due to its nature, it is a more niche level of coverage.

Who is it for?

Many can obtain this level of coverage, however, it may be more suited to some travellers than others, because they may not be covered due to their activities by travel emergency medical coverage. Including:

-       War correspondents

-       Journalists

-       Government employees

-       Frequent business travelers

-       Missionary and aid workers

-       Travelers that anticipate experiencing an significantly increased level of risk.

What are the pros/cons?

Each type of travel insurance coverage has their different pros and cons, so it is up to you to know which options are better suited to your needs.


-       You have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of if something were to happen to you while away.  


-       While it covers you in the event that the worst should happen, it typically does not carry any coverage should you get sick or injured while abroad.

-       You also miss out on any coverage associated with missed or delayed flights, and lost or damaged baggage in the case of all inclusive policies.

-       Because it does not cover that which is typically covered by traditional travel insurance, you would have to obtain two policies for complete coverage.

Travel emergency medical insurance

What is it?

Travel emergency medical is the typical type of travel insurance that you hear about. It covers you in the event that you fall ill or become injured while on vacation, or traveling outside of your home province. Depending on the level of medical coverage you opt for, you will also have coverage for cancelled or delayed flights as well as lost or damaged baggage.

Who is it for?

-       Individuals leaving their home province or country for a business trip.

-       Individuals or families who are traveling outside their home province or country for a vacation.

-       Travelers that anticipated experiencing a typical level of risk associated with their travel plans.

What are the pros/cons?

Much like the travel accident coverage, there are pros and cons to this level of travel insurance.


-       If you get sick or injured while on vacation, you can focus on recovery as medical expenses will be covered by your travel insurance provider.

-       Some plans, such as PrimeLink’s TravelSense, will provide sufficient coverage to those with declared pre-existing conditions.

-       As it is a common form of travel insurance, it is easy to find affordable coverage quickly.


-       Depending on what level of travel medical insurance you obtain, you may not have coverage in the event of an emergency evacuation.

The takeaway

Which type of travel insurance you opt to get is dependent on your needs as a traveler. If there is a high level of risk associated with your trip, then it may be wise to obtain the travel accident coverage. If the level of risk posed by your trip is typical of that involved with traveling, you should be able to forgo the additional coverage and stick with travel medical. It is important to keep in mind however, that if you choose to get travel accident insurance, it is wise to also obtain a travel medical policy to ensure you have complete coverage.