You look forward to your vacation all year long and then everything turns out completely differently than planned: instead of relaxing on the beach, you struggle with the consequences of an accident or illness. This is where foreign health insurance comes into play. If you have a good one, you are covered in case the worst comes to the worst and can lean back. Otherwise, stress is the order of the day. Because: Many statutory health insurance companies do not cover costs abroad in the event of illness. That can be quite expensive.

But how do you actually recognize good international health insurance? One point is the good price-performance ratio. Because protection doesn’t have to be expensive. According to Stiftung Warentest, there is solid protection for all trips within a year for just eight euros. It is important that the respective travel duration does not exceed ten weeks. While there is a large selection of affordable tariffs for singles and families, seniors usually have to pay extra.

It’s worth taking a closer look for families. Some providers offer special family tariffs, but they don’t always make sense. Sometimes it is cheaper to insure a family of three individually. It’s worth comparing prices here. Another pitfall: the children traveling with you are not always automatically insured.

As far as the range of services is concerned, medical treatment, repatriation to the home country and hospital care if necessary should be included. One service that many foreign health insurance companies now cover is pandemic-related illnesses. Only very few insurance policies categorically exclude “epidemic diseases”. CosmosDirect, Signal Iduna and Nexible, for example, do not pay if there was a corresponding travel warning before departure. You should also check whether the insurance also covers the costs of treating chronic illnesses in case of doubt – another popular reason for exclusion.

Anyone looking for suitable international health insurance can generally rely on a wide range of options. More than half of all insurance companies tested received a test rating of “Very Good”. The cheapest tariff here is 7.92 euros for solo travelers (Axa) and 18.60 euros for families with one child (Munich Association).

You can find the entire (paid) test at Stiftung Warentest.