Safe abroad – which insurances do you need for your stay abroad??


The most important insurance is first of all the international health insurance. First of all, you need to check if you need to take out an additional insurance in addition to your regular health insurance. For all stays in countries within the EU, you usually don't need to buy another health insurance policy. To be on the safe side, you should check whether your chip card bears the symbol EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and whether it is valid in your country of travel. In case of doubt, call your health insurance company and ask for more information! In some larger medical practices and hospitals within the EU you can even be treated normally with your chip card – the doctor then settles with your German health insurance and you do not need to worry about anything else. Unfortunately, this convenient system doesn't work everywhere yet, and you should expect to pay the medical bill in cash right on the spot. In this case, make sure to get a detailed invoice. You can submit this to your German health insurance company and you will be reimbursed for the standard rate in Germany for the treatment you received.

If you plan to travel to countries outside the EU, you should check whether the course fees or tuition fees include international health insurance for your destination country. If this is not the case, it is advisable to take out additional international health insurance – because regardless of whether your stay is planned to be shorter or longer, a visit to the doctor can quickly become quite expensive. And you'd rather spend that on sightseeing ..

Travel cancellation insurance

Travel cancellation insurance is especially worthwhile if you have to book long and expensive flights to your destination in advance. Even if you don't have to cancel your entire stay abroad – especially if you plan your trip in advance, something can always come up, from an illness to an important job interview, which could make it necessary to postpone the booked flight. It's good if you don't have to pay for the entire flight.

For other expenses, such as tuition fees or accommodation, travel cancellation insurance is not worthwhile in most cases. These expenses are not covered. If you have to pay tuition fees in advance, find out exactly what the conditions and cancellation terms are before paying. The contact person is either the university directly (if you register for a course or a semester there), the university or the student union (if you want to stay in a student dormitory) or the provider through whom you organize your stay abroad – if your stay abroad is organized by a commercial provider.

Liability insurance

Everyone should have liability insurance – whether you accidentally damage the laptop of the person sitting next to you or are not careful in traffic and cause a rear-end collision. You can quickly incur large sums of money if you cause material damage to other people. And even more so if, for example, you physically injure a person in an accident. Liability insurance, on the other hand, does not cost much. And if you are still under 25 years old, it is best to ask your parents: As with health insurance, up to this age limit you are usually insured as a family member with one of your parents. If you are already over 25 years old and do not yet have liability insurance, you should do so as soon as possible, with or without a stay abroad.

Accident insurance

Private accident insurance is relatively expensive. In addition, the statutory or private health insurance abroad usually includes a certain protection in case of injuries caused by accidents – even if to a lesser extent than a private accident insurance offers. Therefore, it is usually not one of the first insurances that one takes out. However, it can be especially useful when traveling abroad, as accident insurance not only covers medical treatment costs after an accident, but also any transportation costs that may be incurred. Here you should check however whether your foreign health insurance possibly also transport costs – in particular medical transport to the homeland – takes over.

Otherwise, accident insurance is usually only worthwhile for professionals, as it also covers subsequent costs – such as loss of earnings after an accident or costs for retraining that has become necessary due to an accident.

Travel insurance

Luggage insurance replaces luggage lost en route up to the agreed maximum limit. This means that the more valuable your baggage is, the more expensive the insurance will be. Of course, insurance is only worthwhile if the loss of your luggage also means a serious material loss. If you have a limited budget for insurance, this should not be the first insurance you take out. However, if you still have money left over for another insurance policy after taking out international health insurance and travel cancellation insurance, luggage insurance can give you the reassuring feeling that your belongings are covered. Especially during longer stays, a lot of clothes, books and special things might be stored.

A final tip:

Some credit cards come in a complete package with international health insurance, trip cancellation insurance and even luggage insurance. Before a longer stay abroad, it is therefore worthwhile to calculate once whether such a package comes in the end more favorable than the conclusion of individual contracts.