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Travel Insurance - What, Why & How To
Selecting the right travel insurance policy for your trip is not a very complicated thing to do, however it's vital that you keep several things in mind while purchasing travel insurance in order to receive the right policy, for the right price of course.
Selecting the type of insurance policy:
First thing you should do is decide what kind of Travel Insurance you need. In order to do that, consider your trip's character:
- Activities – Based on the type of activities are you going to engage: are you going to visit a few museums and lie down on the beach, or going to climb the Kilimanjaro or jump from airplanes.
- Health & Hygiene – Some countries (especially 3rd world countries) are inclined to have more diseases running around and poor sanitation, increasing your risk of getting ill while traveling.
- Crime level – This is pretty straight forward: more crime = more chances of you not coming back with all your gear and/or money. Better safe than sorry.
- Infrastructure – Are the roads well maintained? Are there lots of car accidents? Will you be required to drive?
Here are the main issues you should consider while purchasing travel Travel Insurance.
Medical Coverage: Emergency & basic coverage. Find out exactly what you policy covers and what it does not. Make sure you understand your medical coverage completely.
- What is the limit coverage on baggage?
- What is the excess insurance they ask?
- Make sure everything you plan on taking with you is covered in case of theft or damage.
- Are you also insured for money lost/stolen?
Extreme sports: Ski, scuba, sky diving etc. If you plan on conducting any dangerous activities, make sure you have an extreme/adventure clause in your policy and check exactly what are the activities included in this clause.
Rescue & Extraction: Backpackers usually tend to go places where it is easy to fall or get lost. You don't want to find yourself paying thousands of dollars (this can go up to a 5-6 figures bill) just because you are not covered properly.
Personal Liability: This clause is basically your liability
protection In case you hurt someone else or damage another person's
Note: This doesn't mean you can go around burning other people's stuff…
Holiday Cancellation & Delays: Each travel agency has different cancellation & delay policies and coverage. When comparing policies, make sure you also consider the following aspects:
- "Cooling off" period – Some insurance agencies give a full refund upon cancellation, if it is done within the limits of the cooling off period.
- Cancellation Policy – what is the cancellation fee?
- Delays – what is the coverage on delays? Do they also cover additional accommodation fees due to delays?
- Is the policy relevant at all times?
- Will you need to pay for the medical treatment and be refunded later on by your insurance company?
- Let your insurance company know any health issue you have. If they will find it out later on, you are most likely to be stuck with no Travel Insurance.
- If you travel with a companion/s, purchasing Travel Insurance as a group might lower your insurance costs.
- Don't compare only prices – compare terms & benefits. Read the fine print!!!
- Have contact numbers & copies of the policy with you at all times. Keep in mind your wallet isn't necessarily the safest place to put it in since getting it stolen is often the reason you need Travel Insurance.
Get your Travel Insurance now.