A study conducted in Canada revealed that most people have shallow knowledge of travel insurance. A whopping 99 percent of the respondents said that they don't buy travel insurance when going on business trips. We shall discuss travel insurance tips to shed more light on its importance and what it covers.
Many things can happen before your departure or when travelling. You can fall sick, for example, and have to cancel your trip. You could lose your baggage, or your possessions can be damaged while on a trip.
Such incidences can be frustrating, and they can cause considerable monetary loss. Travel insurance provides a financial safety net to ease the pain of travel interruptions.
Many companies that sell travel packages and tickets allow their customers to purchase travel insurance. Some policies can even extend coverage to rented property like cars.
Read on to learn more!
Categories of Travel Insurance Coverage
Travel insurance protects you against various risks. The following are the most sought after types of coverage.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage compensates for prepaid non-refundable travel expenses. Insurance companies vary on acceptable interruption or cancellation grounds. Some of the satisfactory reasons include illness or demise of a loved one, bad weather, and unexpected business problems.
Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage
This coverage protects stolen, lost, or damaged possessions during a trip. Even though most airlines and carriers pay when they are at fault, compensation is often inadequate. Personal effects insurance offers additional coverage.
Medical insurance can help locate doctors and pay for medical expenses. The price depends on the package chosen and the provider. Some policies can cover medical evacuation, airlift to a medical facility, and extended stays in hospitals.
Accidental Death and Flight Accident Coverage
Travel accidents can cause severe injury, disability or even death to the insured or a family member accompanying the traveler. In such cases, the surviving beneficiaries can receive benefits.
If you have life insurance, you may not have to buy accidental death coverage. However, your beneficiaries can enjoy two payouts if you secure both policies.
Tips to Guide You in Choosing Travel Insurance
Selecting a travel insurance package can be confusing due to the many types of coverage it includes. If you aren’t careful, you can buy needless coverage making your policy more expensive than necessary. Below are some travel insurance tips to guide your buying decisions.
1. Understand the Types of Travel Insurance
Travel insurance has many components, some of which we have already discussed. Most insurance companies offer bundled packages consisting of several covers.
Assess your needs and protect what matters. If you need medical coverage, for instance, it should come before personal effects coverage. Still, you need to choose between short term and major medical coverage insurance.
2. Protect What Is Worth Worthwhile
You don't need to buy insurance for every trip. If the potential risk in flight cancellation is a few hundred dollars, travel insurance may not be necessary. Conversely, it's worthwhile to protect a vacation worth thousands of dollars.
3. Get Cover When Booking Your Trip
You can buy travel insurance a few days to your trip, but it doesn't work all the time. For instance, a trip cancellation insurance won't cover you if you buy the policy after falling ill. It's advisable to purchase insurance when booking your travel.
4. Age and Health Matter
The state of your physical health is a critical factor in determining the premiums of your travel insurance. Your age will also influence the cost of your package. Generally, younger and healthier persons pay lower premiums than older people with health issues.
5. Consider Family Travel Insurance
Family travel insurance is an excellent option for someone traveling with his or her spouse and children. If you go in this direction, find out if it covers your partner or children if they travel alone. Family travel coverage is more affordable than buying insurance for each family member.
6. Compare Single-Trip Insurance to Annual Coverage
Your travel insurance provider may offer single-trip insurance to cover you for one get-away. On the other hand, you can buy an annual coverage for multiple trips throughout the year. Either option can be cheaper or more expensive than the other depending on the situation.
It's upon you to decide which coverage provides value. If you are going away once in one year, single trip insurance will be ideal for you. The annual coverage will be cheaper if you are to take several trips within one year.
7. Confirm the Covered Countries
Most travel insurance covers cover specific countries. It's imperative to confirm which ones are under your policy. You don't want surprises like missing a payout for being in the wrong country. Be prepared to pay substantial premiums if you choose the worldwide cover multi-trip policy.
8. Get Car Insurance
Some car insurance policies cover you when driving abroad, while others demand an extra amount. Check the extent of coverage with your insurance company and make plans for car insurance if necessary.
9. Assess the Maximum Trip Duration
Maximum trip duration is an important consideration, especially with multi-trip travel insurance. Most policies will provide coverage for up to 31 days per trip. If you will be staying away for longer, inform your insurer for advice.
10. Baggage Coverage May Not Be a Must
You may not have to cover your baggage with travel insurance if you have a personal property policy. It may be part of your homeowners' coverage. However, consult your travel insurance provider for clarification before leaving out your bags.
Sample Incidents that Warrant Travel Insurance
No one knows what can take place before or during a trip. Some events can lead to immense frustration and financial loss.
Travel insurance cushions you when unexpected setbacks upset your trip. Consider the following scenarios.
You Have to Cancel Your Trip
You are preparing to travel, but hail wrecks your house, or a family member falls sick or passes away. Would you still proceed with the trip? If you have to cancel your journey for a weighty reason, travel insurance reimburses your prepaid expenses like air ticket.
Let's say you reach the airport and realize that flights to your destination aren't operating due to bad weather. A trip cancellation coverage can refund the cost of a new ticket or accommodation as you await normalcy.
A delayed flight can make you late for the departure of a planned connecting flight. You would need to make arrangements for another flight to get you to your destination. A missed connection coverage compensates for the expenses that come with such travel changes.
Lost or Delayed Baggage
Your airline erroneously leaves your baggage behind, or you lose everything during the journey. You reach the destination without extra clothes and personal items. If you have coverage for delayed bags, the insurance company can reimburse for the essentials you buy to stay comfortable.
You Get Injured or Sick While Away
Medical coverage comes in handy when you need healthcare services while on a trip. It offers assistance services to locate a hospital and arranges for your transport. You don't pay huge bills when your travel insurance has medical coverage.
Acts of terrorism just when you are about to visit a country can force you to reschedule your trip. However, you could lose money in non-refundable expenses. Your terrorism coverage in travel insurance can recover some of the costs.
Extreme Weather Ruins Your Destination
You are going for a vacation, but a tsunami destroys the hotel you have booked a few days to your holiday. Protection for weather damage can reimburse your prepaid costs. A travel assistance service provider can also organize an alternative vacation destination.
As you move around with your stuff during your trip, there is a chance of losing some things, like the travel papers. If you lose your passport, your travel insurance can help replace and pay for a new one.
When You Don’t Need Travel Insurance
Buying travel insurance can be a waste of money in some situations. Two key travel insurance tips are considering the financial risk involved and your medical concerns.
If the monetary loss due to lost bags, delayed, interrupted or canceled trip is something to worry about, get protection. Skip it if otherwise.
Are you traveling locally or internationally? If it's a domestic trip and you have medical coverage, you don't need to include it in your travel insurance. You should buy it if you are traveling to a country where your cover does not apply.
The Bottom Line on Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a crucial consideration for travelers. Things can go haywire while you are away or even before your trip and cause considerable financial losses. Insurance can help to offset your medical bills and other expenses related to the inconveniences of being away from home.
The cost of travel insurance varies with providers and the extent of coverage. The scale of exclusions amongst insurance companies is also different.
We have discussed several travel insurance tips to help you make decisions when selecting a package. The bottom line is to explore the risks surrounding your trip and judge whether or not to insure them.
If you are looking for travel insurance for your next trip, contact us now for a great bargain.