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Travel Insurance Tips

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tips on travel-insuranceWhen you plan a holiday or a business trip, you should consider first what risks you may undergo, though this is not a very good topic to think of during all the excitement of travel. And for this, the concept of travel insurance has come up which can cover your financial loss while you are in travel. During your trip, you may face any kind of mishap like loss or theft of possessions, accidents, illness, injury or death of you or your relative, natural disaster, or trip cancellation. In such a scenario, you are at risk of facing heavy financial loss and so, you should opt for travel insurance. And for this, you should know some basics. Let’s have a look.

The Basics

There are five main courses on the travel insurance menu: trip cancellation or interruption, flight insurance, baggage, evacuation and medical. If you want coverage other than these, you can opt for supplemental insurance. Generally, you may want to buy more than one of these in combination. However, you can buy only one specific coverage like medical, though it usually comes with a bit of baggage or cancellation insurance additionally.

Through “comprehensive insurance” you get coverage for all the above in addition to expenses for delayed trip, missed flight or change in itinerary.

Many companies have brought a better change lately, which offer comprehensive packages which act as your primary coverage, i.e. they will cover your expenses no matter what other insurance you might already have – like health insurance through your job.

Cost of insurance can vary tremendously with most packages incurring from 5 to 12 percent of the total trip cost. Age is amongst the largest factors influencing the cost. Rates increase dramatically for every decade beyond 50, while for children of 17 and below, coverage is usually inexpensive or even free.

Travel agents recommend you travel insurance because if they don’t explain you insurance options, they are held liable for your losses. Though they can give you advice on insurance providers, they are not insurance agents; so, always contact the insurance provider or insurance agent for any specific questions.

Coverage Types

Cancellation or Interruption – This is the most practical type of insurance. You incur heavy loss if you have to cancel or interrupt a prepaid trip. You can alleviate the loss by paying a faction of the trip cost for cancellation/interruption coverage. Healthy, gung-ho, unattached or rugged type of travelers often skip this option. But if you have bought an expensive organized tour, if you have a medical condition or have a loved one at home with a medical condition, cancellation/interruption is always the best bet.

Medical – Before buying a travel medical insurance, check with your existing medical insurance if it covers you internationally, because most of them do. And still, if you want additional coverage, you can buy it. Travelers above 70 years of age should think twice before buying travel medical insurance because it can be an expensive option for them. Comprehensive insurance may be a better option regarding cost.

Evacuation – This covers the cost of getting you to a place where you can get proper medical attention in emergency situations and that may usually be the nearest hospital. Sometimes it may be the coverage to get you back to home, e.g. after an accident. “Medical repatriation” means getting you home is considered only if medically necessary. You should ask your provider what coverage you get before and after you are hospitalized.

Baggage – Baggage insurance is included in comprehensive policy. It is rare to purchase it separately. Also, baggage is covered already by your airline (ask for the liability limit if you have a particularly expensive possession). Sometimes your homeowner’s policy too has coverage for baggage. Check the details with your agent.  

Flight – Flight insurance is actually a life insurance policy that offers you coverage when you are in an airplane. It is quite insensible to buy this insurance because plane crashes are so unusual.

Collision – This is an important sort of insurance for rental cars which may have been included in some comprehensive plans or is available as upgrades on others.

You should ask many questions regarding what type of cover you will get, whether you will get reimbursement or the company will pay right at the time of a mishap, and all such things, to your insurance agent or provider, and then take a more educated decision about buying travel insurance.

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