The Ultimate Checklist When Choosing Travel Insurance

So you’re heading overseas? Bon voyage! But before you go, make sure you get comprehensive travel insurance. It could prove as important as your passport or plane ticket. Accidents can happen while you’re overseas – even if you’re visiting a “safe” destination. If your trip goes south, you could be saddled with an enormous bill for medical, legal and other expenses and that particular countries Government won’t bail you out. That’s why comprehensive travel insurance is crucial. It covers your medical costs and personal liability. It can also compensate you if your belongings go missing, or you need to cancel or change a travel booking. The Basic categories that Insurance covers are :

1. Medical Insurance

If you’re injured or fall sick, travel insurance covers the cost of treatment at a doctor’s clinic or hospital overseas. If the medical adviser determines you’re too sick to continue your trip, your insurer can help organize and pay for you to get home. Comprehensive policies provide benefits on top of medical care which includes additional accommodation and travel expenses if you’re told to rest before continuing your trip. A small daily allowance for extras, such as phone calls and magazines, if you’re laid up in hospital, Airfares and/or accommodation expenses for a companion to travel with you (or remain with you) if you’re in really bad shape. If the worst happens, your policy should cover reasonable expenses associated with returning your remains to your country or cremating you overseas.

Also Read : How to save money while travelling

2. Emergency Evacuation Insurance

Nobody likes to think about dying or serious injury, but when “shit hits the fan” you want this sort of coverage. Emergency evacuation insurance pays for you to be airlifted to a local hospital, or flown all the way back home. Imagine that you’re backpacking somewhere remote like the Canadian Rockies and you fall off a cliff! Now you need a helicopter ride to go back to the hospital and save your life and since helicopter rides are quite expensive, it might dig a deep hole in your budget or simply even cancel your plans in similar case scenarios.

In such a case where you get in a serious accident in a developing country where there is not a great healthcare system, Emergency evacuation insurance will pay for you to fly home so you can get proper treatment in your own country.

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3. Travel Protection

Travel Protection will reimburse you for the cost of your trip if for some reason; you have to cancel at the last minute. With Travel Protection, you get the money back from your flights, as well as any other reservations you made in advance. So do you need this? Well, if you’re a traveller who likes to book everything in advance, then it probably makes sense to buy this. But if you prefer to arrive at a destination and wing it, you probably don’t need it. Also, keep in mind if you buy your airfare on your credit card, you could be insured from your credit card so just double check before you make a purchase.

4. Baggage Protection

This kind of Insurance covers loss or damaged on your flight. Airlines are liable for any baggage lost or stolen up to a certain amount, and if you bought your ticket with your credit card, that should have some coverage as well. Just make sure you check the limits and get insurance for anything over that. You can also insure your possessions against theft, loss, or damage, which is really smart if carry laptops and camera equipment. Again, you might already have coverage if you have renter’s insurance or homeowners insurance, so just check your policy to make sure.

Also Read : How to Pack a Suitcase in 30 Minutes

So, ladies and gentlemen, time has come to choose the right plan for yourself as per your needs. To safeguard your travel plans, we have prepared an ultimate checklist that will help you choosing the right one. Before you choose, make sure you go through this ultimate checklist to find is required :

A. Decide what cover you need

  1. What level of medical cover will you need?

  2. Are you taking any valuables on your trip?

  3. Will you be doing any sports or activities that have a likelihood of causing injury?

  4. If you have to cancel your trip, will you want your money back?

  5. Do you want to be insured from the time you book your flights, or just for the period of travel?

  6. What kind of cover will you want for your personal belongings and baggage?

  7. Do you want cover for just you, or will you be travelling with family members?

  8. Are you planning on renting a car while you are away?

Also Read : Step by step guide to planning your ideal holiday

B. Choose an insurance provider

  1. Get at least three quotes to compare (online, in person or via phone)

  2. Check what kinds of excesses apply on various policy inclusions

  3. Note any limits that apply to policy inclusions

  4. Do any age restrictions apply

  5. If you book your trip via credit card, is complimentary travel insurance provided and what does it cover?

  6. Consider using a broker – they will explain cover options and be your support in the event of a claim

  7. Consider using an online aggregator site (are all aggregator sites equal?)

  8. Don’t hide information from your insurer as it will risk your cover being voided when you need it

  9. Always call up and talk to an insurer if you require more information.

C. Take note of typical exclusions

  1. Pre-existing medical conditions

  2. Do any age restrictions apply

  3. Travelling against medical advice

  4. Travelling to a destination that the Government has warned against travelling to

  5. Leaving your belongings unattended

  6. Some high-risk activities (swimming with sharks, bungee jumping etc)

  7. Disobeying road rules while driving in a foreign country

  8. Drinking and driving

  9. Reckless behaviour (anything that happens while you are under the influence of drugs/alcohol)

  10. Changing your mind and electing not to go on the trip

  11. Passports or visas not arriving in time for you to go on your trip

Also Read : 5 Ways to be a Tourist in your Hometown

D. Know what to do if you need to claim

  1. Write down and take emergency assistance, insurance and consulate phone numbers

  2. Save copies of insurance and travel documents to a secure email or cloud account

  3. Know what sorts of documentation will be required if you need to make a claim

  4. Understand there may be a wait time for your claim to be processed

  5. Have the proof of ownership required for claims on stolen items

  6. Note what your insurer advises in the event you need medical treatment

  7. Check if you need to claim while overseas or if it can wait until you get home and note any time limits on making a claim that might apply.

Also Read : Common Mistakes Tourists Make While Travelling

Without insurance, these situations can bankrupt you and your family so it’s always clever to get the right insurance. Also, it will let you fully enjoy your vacations without being worried about miscellaneous issues. Try to get a basic one as it will cover the basic requirements. Only if you are specific, go for customized.

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