Frequently Asked Questions: The best international insurance for 12 months abroad

Questions réponses assurances internationales

The answers to your questions

We're going to Cambodia for 12 months as a family. Should we purchase temporary or expatriate insurance?

Temporary insurance is a good choice for a 12-month stay, as long as you're aware of the limits of these types of plans:

  • they usually only cover emergency expenses related to unexpected accidents or illnesses. If a treatment can wait until you return home, it will not be covered.
  • Temporary plans cover less than expatriate plans because they assume that in the case of a serious problem, you will return home as soon as possible.
  • Getting reimbursed is also more complicated as you are usually required to inform and demonstrate your eligibility for a reimbursement to the insurer before incurring any expenses, or conversely, to prove that you will not be covered by your plan in your country of origin.

Temporary plans are much cheaper than expatriate plans, but you have to accept these constraints. For more information, feel free to consult our page on this topic.

Please note that these plans may also not be suitable in the following cases:

Pregnancy or pregnancy planning: these insurance plans do not cover such expenses, so should be avoided as much as possible if you plan on getting pregnant, even if it won't be for 4 or 5 months as expat plans often come with waiting periods, and you may also run into such periods with your health plan when you go back home.

Pre-existing medical conditions: if you are required to complete a health questionnaire before purchasing the plan, you will usually be refused if you receive ongoing treatment or have a recent medical condition. If not, any such treatment or degradation of your condition will certainly not be covered as it does not qualify as urgent or unexpected care.

Extensions: if you think you might need to stay longer, your plan will not be extended automatically. Instead, the extension must be accepted by the insurer and incorporate the same restrictions (e.g., having a residence in France or your country of nationality at the time of your application). Your health status may also have changed during your stay. If you develop an illness during this time, you may not be able to extend your expat plan at the end of the 12 months, even though you could have purchased a longer plan before your trip. We've seen cases like this before, even if they are rare.


  • Run a comparison of 12-month travel insurance plans;
  • Run a comparison of expat insurance plans;
  • Make an appointment with an advisor to go over the details of your trip.

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