Travel Insurance Buying Tips

We are all quite vulnerable when we travel because it usually means venturing out of our comfort-zones, and travel insurance is the only way to shield ourselves against monetary losses when things do go wrong. So here are some very useful tips to ensure you buy the right travel insurance that will protect you against such expected financial losses.

  • The most important thing to remember with travel insurance is that you are effectively buying an agreement, so always READ THE FINE PRINT, especially the exclusions at a coverage level and the general exclusions. They are written in legal jargon, so be sure to seek clarification on anything that you don’t understand.
  • All Insurance companies are classified as financial institutions and are consequently regulated by the government organizations like the Financial Services Authority in the UK. So be sure to check this.
  • One of the major risks is trip cancellation, so ensure you buy the travel insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed, even if you are not traveling for months. It’s not going to cost you anymore and your cover kicks in as soon as you purchase the trip insurance.
  • Always check the deductibles! A deductible, also known as excess, is what the insurance company deducts before payout on claims. For e.g. if you put in a travel medical claim of USD300 and the deductible is USD150, you’ll only get USD150.
  • Be wary of companies offering cheap travel insurance premiums, more often than not they have very high deductibles.
  • Check the payout for children because some insurance companies only pay half the payout for children, which is ridiculous because the trip costs for a child is almost the same as for adults.
  • You need to count the start day and the end day of your trip when buying travel insurance. E.g. if you are departing on 05-April and arriving back on 10-April, your need cover for 6 days and not 5 days!
  • Don’t get taken in by the high coverages like 10 million medical cover, its highly unlikely that you’ll need that. Stay focused on the actual cover you feel need. For instance, if you are traveling with expensive business equipment, then you need to ensure that is covered adequately.
  • Check the payout ceiling because insurance companies tend to have a limitation on the maximum payout. For instance payout for personal belongings could be USD5000, but the maximum payout per item may only be USD1000. So that may not be adequate to cover your expensive golf clubs. Most insurance companies will list the payouts clearly, if they don’t, avoid them.
  • If you are are frequent traveler you may want to consider taking an annual multi-trip travel insurance because it can save you time and money. Some insurance companies even throw in free extras like ski cover.

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