Are you planning a solo weekend trip or a long holiday with your family? Travelling to beautiful destinations and exploring new places can be very exciting. We all spend endless hours planning our trips – looking for the best hotel deals, ideal ways to travel, and places to visit. But it is easy to overlook one important aspect of travel – the insurance.
It has become increasingly important to take out an insurance policy before travelling, even if it is just for a day. After all, it makes more practical sense to have it than choosing not to opt for it. Most travel protection plans offer compensation for inconveniences such as:
- Delay or missed flights.
- Lost, damaged or misplaced baggage.
- Medical coverage in case of illness while travelling.
- Trip interruption.
- Hospitalisation fees.
While we can plan everything to the last detail, there is no telling when things can go wrong. Having a travel insurance coverage will help you if things don’t according to the plan.
Now that you have understood the benefits of traveling with insurance, let’s find out how to choose the ideal policy for you.
What Does the Policy Cover?
Roughly there are three categories of travel insurance based on the coverage they offer. There are many to choose from, different packages offer various types of coverage.
Trips can sometimes prove to be expensive. If for some reason you have to cancel the trip, most of these packages are non-refundable and can cost you a small fortune. In the event of an unexpected emergency like illness or an accident, a travel protection plan could help you could recover your money. Package plans offer comprehensive coverage for inconveniences like lost baggage, medical fees, evacuation, and others.
Travel Medical Cover
Travellers who want to ensure that they have medical coverage during their out of station stay can opt for medical insurance plans. Individuals, families, or couples travelling to an area out of their health insurance network can opt for secondary travel insurance. This will make sure that they don’t have to bare the medical costs if any of them fall ill.
International students and businessmen who need to travel often could benefit from coverage for injuries or illnesses while they are in a foreign country.
Speciality Insurance Plans
Travel insurance speciality plans are perfect for covering gaps in any existing insurance policy.
If your health insurance covers travel medical care and you aren’t worried about recovering the trip’s cost, you can consider a speciality plan. These plans offer coverage for selected instances like evacuation and damage repatriation.
Speciality plans are also beneficial to cover rental car damages or pre-paid ticket costs. They can be customised to suit your immediate coverage needs.
Based on your requirements, area of travel, and coverage of any existing policy, you can choose a travel protection plan that works best for you.
Is There an Age Limit for Travel Insurance?
No, there is no age limit for getting travel insurance, but premiums can go up steadily as you get older. They are significantly higher for senior citizens. But the benefits will outweigh the cost because travel insurance plans usually cover unlimited medical emergency expenses, and some even apply to pre-existing medical conditions.
Does the Coverage Extend to Your Co-Travellers?
One of the most important aspects that you need to check is if the insurance plan covers just you or extends to your co-travellers. This becomes important if you are travelling with your family. It is crucial that you choose a travel insurance plan that covers every individual making the trip with you to get full coverage.
Annual Policy or a Single-trip Cover?
If you are a frequent vacationer or traveller, it would not be feasible to opt for a plan that offers coverage for an entire year. You need to be very careful while choosing an insurance that fits the duration of your travel. Opt for a policy that offers the best benefits for your travel plans.
What is the Coverage Amount and the Premium?
With many choices for travel insurance in the market, it can be easy to get confused and choose the wrong plan. If you are not careful, you might end up paying a big premium for an insurance policy that does not offer a big coverage plan. Smart money would be on opting for a policy that has an affordable premium with the highest coverage that ticks all the right boxes for your insurance needs.
Check for Exclusions
Always read the fine print. There may be instances where you have chosen a plan, but later have realised that it does not have the coverage you require. It can be a tedious process to get it changed in the last minute. Hence, it is always better to check if there are any pre-conditions or specific exclusions in the insurance plan that you are choosing. Some policies do not cover inconveniences cause by severe weather conditions, natural disasters, and acts of war or civil unrest. So it is vital that you choose a plan with the least exclusions.
Understand What Your Requirements are
Especially while travelling, it is easy to get overwhelmed and choose an insurance policy that covers almost everything. While it may make you feel safe during your travel, you may end paying a premium that is not worth the money. You need to carefully consider your insurance needs and opt for a plan that is best suited for your travel.
Your Destination Matters
Even though you may have opted for additional travel coverage, it may still not include all the countries on your itinerary. Insurance companies conventionally do not cover high-risk countries. These include disaster affected areas, war zones, and in some cases, where the home country has advised nationals against traveling to any specific country. Some countries may also be excluded because of their crime rates. While opting for a travel protection plan and especially when you are requesting a quote, make sure to include all the countries that you plan to visit. If not you may end up with an insurance plan that covers just half of your trip.
How to File a Claim?
Although it does not rank high among the important considerations, the process to file a claim is also essential. Some insurance providers have a lengthy, complicated process to file a claim which can work against you. Make sure to understand the procedure and the various terms and conditions attached beforehand.
Certain credit cards also offer complimentary travel insurance coverage only if you charge your airfare to the card. It is necessary that you do your homework before opting for a travel protection plan. Refer comparison websites to understand insurance plans in a comprehensive manner.