All kinds of things can happen when you travel, but a broken tooth, lost filling, or sudden tooth pain can be one of the worst travel emergencies – certainly one of the most uncomfortable and painful.
Of course, there’s a difference between regular dental care and a real dental emergency. So, how does travel insurance cover dental?
Essentially, travel insurance cover for dental treatment provides reimbursement for emergency dental care if you experience an injury, infection, lost filling, or broken tooth that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. If prescription drugs, anesthesia, or x-rays are necessary, those will be paid up to the limits of your travel insurance plan.
Coverage for dental treatment depends on your travel insurance plan. Travel insurance plans come in two basic types: vacation plans and medical plans. Vacation plans, which are also called package plans, cover a traveler for all kinds of things that can go wrong over a specified period of time on a particular trip.
A travel medical plan, on the other hand, can be purchased for the traveler who wants medical and dental coverage while they’re traveling but isn’t concerned about trip cancellation losses. Travel medical plans can cover a traveler for short trips or long-term travel of three, six, and even twelve months at a time. Many of those plans include limited dental care and treatment for dental emergencies.
As you might expect, there are a few important limitations on travel insurance cover for dental. Most package plans exclude any coverage for dental treatment that is not the direct result of an accidental injury. In addition, travel insurance plans will not cover damage to or the loss of dental bridges, dentures, mouth guards, braces, or other orthodontic devices – even if stolen from your luggage.
In addition, travel insurance plans place limits on how much they will pay for dental care – even emergency treatment. Most plans have a $500 – $1,000 limit on emergency dental treatment. Even long-term travel medical plans have definite limits on dental care expenses.
In most cases, with dental treatment you’ll need to pay for the expenses yourself first and then make a claim on your travel insurance after. It’s for this reason that you are strongly encouraged to contact your travel insurance provider as soon as you determine dental treatment is necessary so you can get recommendations for dentists and advice on how to complete your claim, including the documentation you’ll need to prove your claim.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.