It seems that it is common practice among many (but not all) travel insurance companies to exclude country(ies) whose citizenship the traveler possesses (even if the traveler does not live in his country of nationality). My question is: what is the reason for this practice? In other words, what is the extra risk for covering a traveler to a country where he possesses citizenship?

Some remarks:

  • Note that I do not mean country of residence, but country of citizenship. E.g. if I'm a German citizen, but am living abroad (let's say in France), then why does a travel insurance not cover me if I travel home to Germany?

  • Adding to the above, I can understand (or at least I think) the reason, why some of the insurers don't cover the country of residence: probably higher risk of something happening during the extended stay, or they think a resident is already covered by national insurance. But these risks do not apply for a citizen living abroad, do they?

Addendum (example, as per remarks -- emphasis mine)

That was like a month ago, but I remember having seen this exclusion in various policies offered in Hungary. Now, I could find only one, and as I'm not sure I'm allowed to link it directly, for now I will just add my translation (N.B. the company itself is NOT Hungarian):

Risk bearing of the Insurance Company for insured persons having foreign, or double or multiple citizenships:

a) insurance against sickness, health services, insurance against accidents, luggage insurance, travel assistance services, legal protection and liability insurance do not cover events occurring in Hungary and other state(s) where the insured person has citizenship(s)

Addendum 2 (another example -- emphasis mine)

Insured is the natural person, whose person or belongings has been covered by an insurance policy. The insured can be exclusively a person, who:


- is a Hungarian citizen living in Hungary, or a foreign citizen settled in Hungary, who travels abroad privately or for a grant, given that this person does not travel to a country for which he/she has citizenship

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    I have never heard of this practice. Obviously this is "travel" insurance, and staying say with your parents for six months will not be covered, no matter what country they live in, but I have never seen anything of such restrictions for travel. Could you give examples where you found this? – gnasher729 Dec 2 '18 at 17:55
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    I checked a handful of German examples, and they only exclude the country of residence. Of course, that’s just a tiny sample. – chirlu Dec 3 '18 at 7:37
  • Exclusion of country of residence seems more likely to be because day-to-day healthcare provisions (or existing insurance, depending on country) will cover you. For example, living in (and citizen of) the UK, while at home, health issues will be covered by the NHS. – TripeHound Nov 18 '19 at 10:39
  • @TripeHound yes, I agree with what you say. But these terms explicitly exclude the country of citizenship, not the country of residence. In your example that would be: you are a citizen of the UK, permanently living in Germany. If you travel home to the UK for a week, then these insurance policies would not cover you. (Even though you probably are not covered by the NHS in spite of being UK citizen, since you don't live in the UK.) – Attilio Nov 18 '19 at 10:50
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    My guess is that most countries have specific laws that dictate what is "travel" insurance and what is "normal" insurance. And, my guess is that to be "travel" insurance - the law requires that the person not be a national of that country. Thus, to maintain the "travel" insurance label, they exclude citizens. – BobtheMagicMoose Nov 18 '19 at 21:12

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