Insurance for dental treatment abroad

Insurance for dental treatment abroad is a developing area within medical tourism. New medical travel insurance products have begun to appear. Many of the new products are aimed at European and US based medical and dental travellers.

There are two types of insurance that you should consider before travelling for dental treatment abroad: travel insurance which is designed for the specific requirements and risks of medical travellers, and complications insurance which covers you against the risk of something going wrong.

Medical travel insurance

Standard travel insurance policies provide no medical cover for dental treatment abroad, if the treatment or procedure is planned as part of the travel. i.e. you are travelling specifically to have dental treatment in another country. When travel insurance is taken out for travel which involves "dental tourism" or dental treatment abroad, the travel agent, tour operator, medical tourism agency or medical provider should point out this lack of cover. But few will tell you, even on cover that they may help arrange or suggest, that standard travel insurance policies will in general automatically exclude ALL cover, if you are travelling for dental treatment.

So, if you take out standard travel insurance (or use your annual multi-trip insurance) and the purpose of your trip is for some form of dental treatment or surgery, then the travel insurer may refuse your claim, even if it is related to something non-medical such as the loss of your luggage or a cancelled flight

Medical travel insurance is simply normal travel insurance designed for medical travellers.

Medical complications insurance

An overseas dentist and the dental clinic may be legally responsible if medical negligence can be demonstrated. This is known as medical malpractice. Not every dental operation or treatment succeeds. There can be many reasons for this, of which malpractice is only one. So insurance for medical complications is a good idea.

For dental treatment, it may be difficult to prove medical negligence for various reasons. As a result, the patient may need to meet the cost of corrective treatment from their own pocket. Medical Indemnity Insurance is not compulsory in many countries, and even if it exists, may be limited in amount, or exclude foreign medical tourists.

Medical complications insurance provides some cover if the treatment has to be remedied or corrected.

Medical complications insurance is not medical negligence insurance, and does not enable you to sue clinics, hospitals, dentists, doctors or medical tourism agencies.

Guide to insurance for dental travel

For more information on meeting your insurance requirements and for details on insurance providers, visit the Treatment Abroad Guide to insurance for medical travel

You should also find out if membership is compulsory or voluntary. Voluntary membership, or membership of more than one national organisation, shows a willingness to comply with high standards and a drive to share best practice, which can only bode well for your treatment.


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