Do not pick the international insurance of your student health insurance company to study abroad

Should I subscribe to my student private health insurance if I study or do an internship overseas for a year?

Should I subscribe to a private health insurance when I go and study or do an internship overseas? Yes, it is essential! But which one should I choose?

My student health insurance tries to sell me (sometime with much insistence…) an international insurance. Do I have to take out insurance with them, is it compulsory? No! You do not have to subscribe with them just because they are your private health insurance insurer in France.

You are free to choose another insurance policy, especially given that your private health fund will act as a broker (indeed, it is complicated to insure overseas).

You definitely need to check that the international “study” health insurance policy your private health fund offers is comprehensive. In fact, every student insurance will offer an ”insurance pack” for overseas studies. It’s always the same package including the following benefits:

  • Refund of health expenses (medical expenses, in case of hospitalisation or general medicine)
  • Repatriation assistance in case of a serious accident or serious illness (nice to fly back in first class on Emirates when you have both arms in plaster)
  • Civil liability insurance overseas (yes, it is very important in case you hurt someone) - Accident benefit (if you have a disability or are dead… not cool, but rather welcome, just in case?)
  • Luggage insurance (in case of theft or destruction, beware, it does not work if you forget it in the taxi in Mexico).

Of course, you must subscribe to such an insurance, however, you should check a few subtleties (majorly important): here are 10 things that will only take a few seconds to check:

  • Am I covered if a do odd jobs (beware, it often is an additional “manual work” option that will cost an extra €15 to €20 per month)
  • Is my luggage covered for the duration of the trip (including when the luggage is in a car)?
  • Am I covered if I travel to country other than the one I am going to university in (I want an insurance valid all over the world as I go on holiday)
  • Am I covered if I go skiing, surfing, scuba diving, skating? Am I covered if I come back to France early?
  • Am I covered for damages to my share accommodation?
  • Am I covered for repatriation if I find out that my grandmother is hospitalised in France in a serious condition?
  • Do I need to send my invoice for medical expenses by post to lodge a claim or can I do it by email to simplify the procedure?
  • Will I get a refund if I need to see a dentist for an emergency and is the cap for dental expenses higher than €300?
  • Are medical expenses unlimited? (very important for the USA, Canada and Japan)! If you asked all the questions and your private health insurance ticks all the boxes, then go for it!

Otherwise, there is Chapka, the insurance specialist for young expatriates, which offers the new 2015 Cap Student policy. Validated and approved by universities worldwide! 

For more information, our consultants are available to answer all your questions on +33 1 74 85 50 50 or through the contact form.

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