Checklist When Choosing Travel Insurance

Checklist When Choosing Travel Insurance
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There are many people who ignore the importance of travel insurance or feel it’s too bothersome. On the contrary, if you face a dire situation abroad, you’ll inevitably face expensive bills. In such scenarios, your travel insurance will be your shield and take care of your costs.

Imagine you’re in San Francisco and want to tour Alcatraz. You buy a couple of Alcatraz tickets and head to the port. Unfortunately, you fall down and get fractured. Now you have a big medical bill that you need to pay. If you’re properly insured, your policy will cover it. The point is, even if you’re visiting a “safe” destination, completely unexpected things can happen. That’s why you need to take travel insurance!

However, many people find the world of insurance confusing. There are too much fine print and not enough explanations. And with so many policies available, how do you pick the right one for yourself? The trick is to ask the right questions. In this article, we provide a comprehensive checklist that you should use when choosing travel insurance.

Is your medical insurance enough?

Most policies only cover emergency medical treatment expenses for serious injuries you sustain abroad. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you’re insured for general medical treatment. If you’re a person getting treated for a serious fracture, you want all of your treatment to be covered by your insurance. Don’t cut costs on your health - the minimum amount you should ideally get for your travel medical insurance is $100,000 USD.

You should also check if your policy covers any pre-existing medical conditions like pregnancy, diabetes, heart problems, and mental illnesses. You might also have to pay a higher premium if you smoke or drink too much alcohol. Always disclose all of your medical details accurately to avoid facing unnecessary hassles when you file a claim.

Are you covered in every place you visit?

This is an essential part of your insurance. If you choose a good policy, it will cover all of your stopovers, side trips, cruises, and of course, your destinations. To determine your coverage, plan your detailed itinerary beforehand. If you intend to make detours or visit another place before reaching your destination, make sure it’s covered in your policy.

Checklist When Choosing Travel Insurance
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What about the coverage of your belongings?

Almost every policy offers some amount of coverage for your belongings. However, it may not be enough to protect all of your belongings. Roughly evaluate the value what you’re taking with you. To be on the safer side, opt for a policy that offers a higher coverage than your estimate. If you carry expensive camera gear or other electronics, take suitable supplemental insurance to cover all your electronics.

Note that many policies don’t cover your valuables if you don’t carry it on your person. Yes, it sounds ridiculous but it’s true! A lot of people miss this condition as it’s sneaked into the fine print. So, if you leave your valuables in your hotel safe or elsewhere, it’s not covered. Since you can’t carry them with you at all times, contact your insurer to upgrade your policy, if necessary.

Are you covered if you indulge in sports?

For many of us, travel isn’t complete if we don’t indulge in “risky” sports. Some common activities that have the risk of injury are scuba diving, water skiing, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, and motorcycling. If you plan on participating in such activities, check if you’re insured properly. You should also check the conditions on which the coverage will apply. For example, some policies offer coverage for scuba diving only up to a certain depth.

Checklist When Choosing Travel Insurance
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What happens if you are in an emergency?

There are many emergencies that could happen when you’re traveling. Things like natural disasters, terrorist attacks, accidents, fire outbreaks, thefts, and civil unrest are just some of the emergencies that a traveler could encounter. Ensure that your emergency cover includes any emergency transportation and treatment costs. Also, your policy should cover you if you need to fly back to your own country on an emergency basis.

What happens if you lose your baggage?

If you have good coverage on your belongings, you should be insured. However, baggage costs can vary depending on the value of the items you’re carrying. While you should invest in better coverage, you will also be paying a higher premium for it. So, if you are not carrying anything valuable, save money by taking a policy that offers lesser coverage. You won’t lose money if the airline doesn’t compensate you for lost luggage. Although you would have paid a lesser premium, you will still get full compensation from your insurer.

Checklist When Choosing Travel Insurance
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Do you have cancellation cover?

In the unfortunate event that you have to cancel your trip, keep yourself insured to cover all the costs. Most insurance companies offer a payout only if you cancel your trip for a particular set of reasons. Before taking the insurance, check if the coverage is enough to recover your expenses. Also, the cancellation coverage of one policy applies to only one person. Take the time to make yourself familiar with the conditions of the insurance.

Other things to keep in mind before taking travel insurance

You want to buy travel insurance that is the right fit for your requirements. Since there are different aspects to consider, pay close attention to the conditions for each type of policy. Read through your insurer’s product disclosure statement (PDS) to understand the nuances and the extent of your coverage.

It’s also important to realize the benefits that are not included in your policy. There are some commonly excluded items like military actions, epidemics, travel provider insolvency, and cancellation cover for terrorism. Do your research and buy your insurance before your travel date as many companies don’t accept claims otherwise.

Remember that in addition to the benefits of travel insurance, you could also receive flight cancellation compensation if your flight was in the EU.

Checklist When Choosing Travel Insurance
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Travel insurance saves lives! It offers help, protection, and monetary assurance when we need it the most. With the above checklist, save yourself the trouble and get the right travel insurance.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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