Travel is so much fun. But the truth is, it’s not all fun and games. All seasoned explorers know that insurance is imperative when it comes to traveling. This guide explores how to choose the right insurance policy for your travels.
Travel insurance policies can be lifesavers when you’re out exploring the world. They are designed to give you financial coverage if something goes wrong when you’re out and about. However, it’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all policy when buying travel insurance. You’ll need to be smart when choosing your insurance policy to minimize your risks as you travel.
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1. Identify the nature of your travel
Start by identifying what type of travel you’re doing. First, note whether this is a one-way trip, a round trip, or travel through various places. You will be able to buy coverage for the specific journey based on whether it’s a one-way or a round trip.
Second, consider if this type of travel is occasional or regular. Certain providers offer annual travel insurance for frequent flyers. Such policies can save you a lot of money and prevent you from buying the policy each time you travel to a particular destination.
Finally, determine the destination/s you are traveling to. Often, travel insurance policies cover certain places and not all. Therefore, you may need to get more than one policy if your itinerary involves multiple locations.
2. Check the travel advisory released by your government
This is a crucial step that some travelers forget to do. The security risk posed by a destination determines the premiums you pay and the features available in a particular travel insurance policy.
In locations that are deemed high-risk, you may require special medical or luggage coverage that doesn’t apply elsewhere. You may even be forced to extend your trip, adding to your insurance expenses. Again, checking the travel advisory to your destination/s can help you budget for your travel insurance.
3. Narrow down on policies that cover the entire group
Travel insurance policies that offer coverage for a couple or an entire family are more affordable and feature-rich than policies covering a single person. Therefore, if you are traveling with a spouse or your family, it’s better to get a group travel policy.
4. Read the fine print to understand the type of coverage the policy offers
Typically, travel insurance policies offer three major coverages – medical, luggage, and valuables.
Medical travel insurance offers coverage for specific medical conditions that arise during or during the travel period. Luggage coverage provides financial protection for the loss of luggage during travel. Theft of luggage is not included in every policy, and you’ll need to consult your provider to check if theft is included in your policy or not.
Coverage for valuables differs based on each provider and what item they consider valuables. Usually, this includes the wallet, passport, and jewelry. But some providers also club electronics like smartphones and laptops into this list. Therefore, it’s essential to ask your provider what is included in their coverage policy so you can purchase the right one accordingly.
When it comes to policy coverage, it’s also essential to understand whether a travel insurance policy is a primary coverage or secondary coverage. The former pays for your coverage during the emergency during travel. The latter reimburses you after filing a claim once you have received your primary travel coverage.
5. Check what is excluded from your travel insurance policy
Apart from inclusions, it’s imperative to check what is excluded from your coverage. That way, you can search for the most appropriate policy for your travel plans. Usually, travel policies exclude the following:
· Pre-existing medical conditions that have regular flare-ups.
· Dental care.
· Psychological conditions.
· Pregnancy and birth.
· Adventure sports and high-risk activities.
· Visits to high-risk areas prone to natural disasters, political issues, and other security risks.
· Inclement weather.
· Last-minute itinerary changes or cancellations.
· Missed flight (or other modes of travel).
· Legal or embassy-related issues during travel.
· War or acts of terrorism.
However, some providers offer add-on clauses that you can purchase, which provide coverage for some of the above exclusions. A good example is dental care or complications from pregnancy or cancellation coverage.
6. Choose a claim limit closest to the value of your budgeted expenses
Comparing claim limits is essential when choosing a travel insurance policy. Not all policies have the same claim limit. Your provider may have different limits for different types of coverages too. For example, the limit may differ for a family making a round trip versus an individual with a one-way ticket.
It helps to budget the value of the luggage you’re carrying and the cost of any potential medical expenses at the destination before choosing a policy. Then, you’ll have a fair idea about the claim you may need to apply for should you run into problems when traveling.
Also, remember that your claim limits (and premiums) may be different if you are a regular consumer of tobacco or alcohol. Therefore, you will need to disclose your current medical status and habits to the provider to get a fair estimate about what claims you can expect.
7. Check around for customer feedback before finalizing a travel insurance policy
Finally, once you have narrowed down a list of potential policies based on the above criteria, check the customer feedback about it. You will find feedback about the policy online on forums like Quora or Redditt. Sometimes, the provider’s website will have the input listed on their page. You can also consult your friends and family to find policies that meet your requirements.
Choosing the right travel insurance policy can make your travel risk-free and enjoyable. Use our guide to find the right policy for your current travel needs and have a memorable experience.