When you travel outside your country, there’s always a probability of things going wrong. More often than not, you probably won’t need travel insurance but you definitely shouldn’t travel without one. Between 25% and 35% of people today travel without travel insurance but yet one travel insurance claim is made every minute. Even I’m guilty of traveling without travel insurance on most of my trips but the mishaps that happened to me throughout my travels have changed my mind about travel insurance. That’s why I decided to write this article; to show you why should you go for it and how to choose the right travel insurance.
Travel is expensive enough as it is but it can get even more expensive when things you can’t control go wrong. Insurance can offer compensation when your luggage gets stolen or damaged, when your flight is canceled or even when you have a medical emergency. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution and you should know how to choose the right travel insurance for your circumstances.
This article will give you a lot of useful tips on this topic!
How to choose the right travel insurance? Learn the basics
One thing that will give you more peace of mind while you’re travelling is getting travel insurance like Globelink travel insurance so you can be protected from unexpected mishaps that might occur while you’re away such as illnesses, trip cancellations, baggage loss, and emergencies.
But first, make sure what kind of medical insurance you need and what kind of medical insurance your package offers. Then, make sure your travel insurance will protect you from loss or damage of luggage and personal items by offering reasonable compensation in these situations.
Some insurance companies offer a very low price. Just make sure you know this before signing anything.
Next, you should also understand excess and know that the cheaper the policy, the higher the excess will be. What does this mean? Excess is the amount that you would have to pay if something undesirable happens. For example, if something happens to you on your vacation and your excess fee is $100 but the medical bill is $1,000, you are responsible for paying $100 while the rest will be paid by the insurer. So, when you go for a cheaper policy, the excess will usually be higher.
And last but not least, make sure to read the cancellation policy. The majority of insurance claims happen because of cancellations. Compare the amount you pay for your holiday to the policy and always make sure that the policy compensation will be higher than the amount you will spend on your vacation. Also, make sure the policy includes the cost of getting you home if you miss a flight connection because of an unexpected delay.
Who all is going?
If you’re traveling with family or friend, you can choose different family packages, such as single-parent family cover, couple travel insurance (if you and your partner share an address), family holiday insurance (for two parents and children who are 18 or younger), couple and child cover (suitable if you have one child). However, be careful that your family policy might not be applicable if your children are traveling with someone who’s not mentioned on the policy. The family policy also might not include stepchildren or children who don’t live with the policyholder.
Annual insurance vs single trip
If you are traveling at least three times in a calendar year or traveling indefinitely, buying an annual insurance policy makes perfect sense mathematically. When you travel more often and longer, the probability that something will go wrong gets higher. However, make sure that you check the maximum number of days covered for each trip; many insurers limit the number of days to 20 or 21. If you’re backpacking, you cal always choose a specific backpacker travel insurance policy.
Make sure your destination is covered
Different insurers from different regions include different countries in their worldwide policies. For example, if you’re from the US, most insurers include Caribbean countries in their packages but that doesn’t apply to Central Asian countries. This is something you have to know before you choose the right travel insurance.
Protect yourself against default
Even though it doesn’t happen very often, when it happens this can definitely ruin your vacation. 2019 was the year that saw two giants like Thomas Cook and Jet Airways and apparently, it’s better to be safe than sorry when traveling abroad.
Know what your plan doesn’t cover
If you plan to rent a car or bike during your vacation, make sure your travel insurance covers this. The same goes for all other activities. If you’re planning to go kitesurfing, bungee jumping or paragliding, make sure to check if these activities are covered by your plan. Most insurance companies include them because the risk of injury related to these activities is very low. However, if you’re planning to go skiing or horse riding, some insurers might not include these activities by default because the risk of injury is higher.
Additionally, don’t expect travel insurance to cover the same things as standard medical insurance. Most travel insurance packages are there to protect you from unexpected events that can cost a lot of money if they were to happen.
Choose the right coverage amount
A lot of cheaper travel insurance plans don’t offer high coverage amounts. Most packages offer between $10,000 and $50,000 in medical coverage. However, in some parts of the world, a broken bone and an ambulance ride or an emergency transfer home can cost more than that. Just to be sure, I personally always try to go with at least $100,000 worth of coverage, especially when traveling in developed countries.
Don’t wait too long
Most insurance companies require buyers to purchase an insurance plan near the time you booked your flight. If you wait too long, some insurance companies might not cover your plan.
Check your credit cards
Some credit cards might offer insurance benefits in case your trip was canceled, your rental car was damaged or you lost your passport, luggage or other personal belongings. Make sure to read the fine print and if necessary, contact your bank for more information. Also to be sure, get a hard copy of the insurance confirmation and who to contact if an emergency occurs. However, keep in mind that most credit cards don’t provide medical/evacuation coverage and they have a lot of restrictions on what is covered.
As mentioned above, you should make sure that the premium would cover all cancellation costs. However, you should also check when cancellation is applicable. Most insurers offer cancellation that includes a close relative passing away or falling ill, getting quarantined, getting sick, being made redundant, getting called up for jury service or as a witness, if your leave is canceled, you’re requested to stay home or return to your country by the policy or if there’s an epidemic in the country you’re traveling to.
However, there are a few things you should be careful about. Most insurers don’t define cousins, uncles, and aunts as close relatives. If a close relative falls ill, you won’t be covered if your relative had a medical condition before you purchased your insurance plan.
Check out the pay-out time
Make sure to see how much time it will take the insurer to pay out your plan in case of an accident. Also, check whether the contract requires that you submit a report of the incident and if so, in how much time? Finally, check what all supporting documents (if any) you need to attach to your claim. Talking about travel documents, here are a few useful tips for making a travel insurance claim.
Document, document, document
When it comes to making a claim, you can never have enough paperwork. Document everything you might use as proof if something goes wrong. This will make getting a payout on your claim much easier and a lot faster.
Click pictures of your things
Especially things which are expensive. You never know whether something will get damaged after a flight or a long bus journey. Make sure to have ‘before’ pictures that will proof ‘the after’ picture happened during the trip.
Keep copies of everything
If you’re not organized enough or you’re like me and just hate paperwork, try to at least have backup copies of every document you might need.
Did this article answer the question “How to choose the right travel insurance”? Do you usually opt in for travel insurance while traveling? What’s the worse thing that happened to you on the road? Let us know in the comments!
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