If you’ve ever been on a trip overseas, you’ve probably been offered some form of travel insurance whether by the airline you were flying with, credit card company or by a tour operator.
For people that don’t travel too frequently travel insurance sounds like a waste of money but, let me assure you that it certainly isn’t. Travel insurance will cover you for a wide range of unexpected events and emergencies up to a specified limit, depending on the level of cover that you select. If you’re planning a family vacation you don’t have to worry about excessive chargers for each member of your family as most travel insurance providers have special offers for travelling families. In addition the internet has made it possible for you to get premium travel insurance online at a much more affordable price than ever before so there’s no excuse for not carrying some form of travel insurance – whether for your annual family vacation or for more frequent, business related travels. Your life insurance policy should still cover you while your abroad provided that you inform them of your plans to travel, particularly if you're likely to be away from home for an extended period of time.
What would a travel insurance policy cover?
If you're travelling alone and are not part of a group or large organization – you should begin looking for travel insurance well before your expected departure date to allow you to make the most affordable, comprehensive and informed choice. Travel agents and airlines may offer you “easy” last-minute travel insurance however, it is important to note that these travel insurance policies are usually more costly and come with serious limitations. Let’s take a close look at some of the most import things that any travel insurance policy should cover. It has been statistically proven that visitors to Thailand are most likely to require assistance from their consulate or embassy – whether due to problems with corrupt authorities or being a victim of theft. Visiting countries like South Africa and China statistically come along with a very high risk of having your passport stolen – and therefore travel insurance is something you don’t want to be caught without when visiting there high-risk countries. If you're belongings are stolen – including your passport, legal documents, credit cards and cash you’ll certainly find yourself in a very dangerous and difficult situation. Having travel insurance in such a case will certainly be helpful and will assure that you're not left stranded for any longer than need be.
Medical expenses & emergency assistance while abroad
Medical expenses, emergency assistance and repatriation are perhaps the primary reasons that anyone travelling should have some form of travel insurance, ensuring that the expensive medical costs and treatments can be covered in case you should fall ill, have an accident or get attacked. Thailand, Greece, Egypt and India are also the four countries where foreign visitors are most likely to require hospitalization but, having travel insurance isn’t only required for high-risk destinations since anything could happen at any time regardless of where you're going or where you come from. Repatriation cover is important because should you for whatever reason be unable to return home as planned, an appropriate evacuation, medical air-lift or alternative commercial flight will be arranged and covered. Any good travel insurance should include coverage for evacuation and repatriation in the event of social or political unrest, natural disaster and even terrorist attacks. Specialized travel insurance has to be undertaken in the event that you are travelling to a country or area where kidnapping and extortion are major risks – this insurance should cover any ransom and repatriation costs that may be incurred in such events. In addition, there are also specialist insurance providers who work with certain “high-risk” business sectors and VIP’s.
Travel insurance cancellation cover
Cancellation covers will allow you to return home before scheduled, or cut your trip short, if you or a close relative become ill or are injured or for a variety of other reasons which will always be specified in the attached terms and conditions. This is one area that you should carefully read through and take a mental note of since anything that falls out of the agreed conditions will not be covered by your travel insurance policy. The maximum amount that any insurance provider will reimburse you for will also be specified in the corresponding section, carefully consider this amount as it should cover at least 70% of your total trip cost. Any delays caused by weather, airline technical difficulties, strikes or other reason out of your control will also be covered by your travel insurance. Generally, a set amount will be paid out per 12 hours of being delayed which should cover accommodation and food. It s crucial that you ensure you research your set destination beforehand to make sure there is not industrial action or strikes occurring in the region prior to your departure date as you will not be covered for any delays resulting from events that had began or continued to escalate prior to your departure date.
Travel Baggage & personal effect coverage
Baggage and personal effect coverage is quite simple to understand and can save you quite a lot of money in the event that your baggage and other belongings are stolen, misplaced or lost. What is however crucial to not is that there is a set payout limit and that if your belongings are worth more than this limit – you will be personally responsible for the remaining amount. In addition, you may also be covered for delayed baggage which will essentially cover the cost of any necessary items purchased while waiting for baggage to arrive. In such a case it is necessary for you to retain any invoices and slips for the items purchased as well as to request an official airline letter stating that you baggage has been delayed and when it is expected to arrive. If it is delayed more than this specified date you should request an additional letter confirming this additional delay.
Personal liability cover is also a crucial part of travel insurance which will payout any fees, fines or judgments up to a set cap should you accidently injure someone or cause damage to property not belonging to you. If something happens to you while abroad that requires any legal fees or representation to be paid in order to claim damage from an individual or organization. There are certainly other sections and coverage that is included in travel insurance and some different ones for holiday travel insurance. Remember that the most important cover offered by travel insurance is that for medical emergencies and even if you have private health care insurance you will not be covered by your policy while travelling abroad. It’s also important to review the limitations and conditions of your travel insurance which will exclude cover for pre-existing medical conditions, injuries incurred from certain sports like skiing and scuba diving. If you're not carrying anything of particular value you may want to look into skipping on the baggage cover as this will lower your fees.