Those who love traveling would agree that it is fun and enjoyable. Visiting new places and seeing new things can be exciting and relaxing. However, despite travel bookings, hotel bookings, and many other bookings involved in a trip, travel insurance should also be a priority in all your arrangements.
Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling.
In preparation for an upcoming trip I have done a ton of research on what insurance cover I will need while travelling. I am writing this article as guide to what you should take into consideration when looking to get travel insurance.
There are various policies covered by most travel insurances. Some may lack a specific policy that you think they should include. It is essential to go through the laid down insurance policies to familiarize yourself with the cover and what it involves before committing to the travel insurance.
Types of Travel Insurance
Travel insurance comes in two major types. Even though travel insurance policy needs are wide depending on different travelers, the two types of travel insurance narrow all these to fit them in their plans.
Vacation plan is the most common travel insurance plan of the two. Most traveler when buying a policy to cover their traveling automatically would go for this policy.
It is a simple package, and yet it covers a lot. Some of the covers included in this package are cancellations, evacuations, medical, emergencies, loss or delays, lost baggage, and many others. You should ask your insurance provider about the specifics covered in this vacation plan.
The evacuation plan under this vacation plan is whereby the insurance company takes full responsibility for all evacuation plans including transportation and accommodation.
Statistics show that Vacation Plan has the highest insurance sales with 94 percent above Travel Medical Plan.
Travel Medical Plan
The policy is a medical cover while traveling outside your home country for further treatment or by your doctor’s recommendations such as a holiday in the tropical climate. Most health insurance plans might overlook travel needs and either skip the cover or cover it partially.
Medical coverage under travel medical plan will above everything else primarily focus on medical expenses and emergency evacuation on medical grounds.
The travel medical policy will consider covering pre-existing health conditions, multi-trip, a long-term period in abroad on medical grounds, and emergency evacuation on medical grounds.
The travel insurance has many different insurance policies that anyone taking the cover should be aware of them. It is essential to go through your travel insurance certificate to note what they have included and what they have not and decide whether it is the policy most fitting for your travel needs.
Types of Policies in Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is an umbrella of many other insurance covers that any insurance company should include. Such policies are:
If any unavoidable circumstances would cause your trip to be called off, the trip cancellation insurance or interruption coverage comes to force and is reimbursable. The details could be sudden health breakdown, problems in transportation, and many others. The insurance company concerned will define every condition that would fall under trip cancellation policy. It is important to note that besides those conditions they represent, they would not cover the rest.
Medical insurance is another cover that falls under travel insurance. The medical insurance covers accidents and emergencies.
This type of insurance attracts expenses on evacuation to the nearest hospital and back to the picking point.
Personal item or Baggage loss Insurance
When a specific item or the whole baggage is lost on transit either by theft or merely lost, then the insurance covers for the loss.
World Assistance 24/7
The policy ensures that the travel insurance agency offers the policy holder assistance and that every emergency should get maximum attention.
Travel Insurance Ratings
The travel insurance ratings for the above policies differ with different insurance companies, the distance of the trip, and the level of your plan. Most of the insurance companies’ ratings are between the percentage of 4 and 10 of the whole cost of the trip.
Once you show an interest in purchasing the travel insurance policy, you will get a Policy Certificate with full details concerning the insurance policy covers under the travel insurance. You might well know that most of the insurance companies will have the insurance cover printed in the smallest fonts which makes it hard to go through everything written on the policy certificate. Take time to read the policy carefully, noting all that is covered by the insurance plan before accepting and paying for it.
If by mistake you have already purchased the policy without reading it and suddenly it dawns on you that you do not agree to some parts of the cover, in most cases you have ten days to cancel the policy after initial payment.
It is also essential to shop around different insurance companies and compare policies to get the best cover with the best ratings. Do not fear to ask questions when searching for the best insurance cover since it is the only way you can get to learn about the policies and what they cover.
The Ambiguities Common to Insurance Covers
Just like with any other insurance companies, a travel insurance company will hedge its policies to keep off unscrupulous people who would wish to take advantage of the unprotected policy plan. It is for this reason that insurance companies streamline travel policies against any misdemeanor.
You should get all the information concerning the policy you are about to take and what it contains or what it covers. As you know the lack of knowledge is ignorance and ‘ignorance is no defense.’ What the insurance does not cover cannot be paid.
Some policies in an insurance cover may be vague in covering some reasons and leaving out others. That is why you must be alert to avoid getting fixed in any duplicity involved in the cover before committing yourself into buying it.
Here are some of the common ambiguities and how you can avoid them.
Trip cancellation cover entails many reasons, and it is not possible for the travel insurance to cover all these many reasons. Again, one of those many reasons not covered might be what you may encounter.
The insurance plan will list what it covers only. If then your reason for cancellation is not included in this list, it is therefore not covered hence not reimbursable. This area is one of the many any insurance company is careful to seal for anyone who wishes to make money out of it.
However, since reasons for trip cancellation are unforeseen, you may need to get an insurance policy that covers ‘cancel for any reason’ policy. There may be some fundamental reasons that can force you to cancel a trip and which may not be covered by the standard cancellation policy.
Such reasons may include:
- An outbreak of a certain deadly virus in your trip destination or political instability
- Government prohibition
- Airline cancellation due to weather or other reasons
- Sudden unforeseen financial situation
These are some of the reasons that standard travel insurance may not cover. Tas a traveler you would appreciate if such an occurrence happened while under ‘cancel for any reason’ policy.
These are conditions that existed before taking up the cover. Any insurance covers occurrences that happen after taking up the insurance policy and not before. If an insurance company does not seal this condition, many people will take insurance covers to finance their already existing conditions.
Likewise, travel insurance is no exemption from such happenings. People may get into such a policy knowing very well they cannot take up the trip.
The solution to a circumstance such as this would be to make a special arrangement to waiver the exclusion of the pre-existing condition.
Travel insurance cannot cover everything and therefore to avoid any frustrations when presenting your claim, it is essential to note what your travel policy does not include. In the travel insurance certificate, there is a section that defines what the insurance policy does not cover. Most of the exclusions that appear in travel insurances are:
- Trip cancellation without reason included in the insurance policy probably due to lack of enough finances to cater for the trip
- A loss that happens due to a condition that existed before taking the insurance policy
- A situation that prevents and prevails the purpose of the trip such as a deadly disease outbreak or political skirmishes
- A loss the occurs due to alcohol or drug influence
No insurance company can allow anyone to enter a cover of an occurrence that is happening or has happened. For instance, you cannot take a travel insurance cover of an accident that has already happened.
Take your travel insurance policy immediately you pay for your trip and not later. Taking an insurance policy earlier enough is an advantage to you since you will have ample time in case of cancellation as stipulated in the insurance policy.
All the insurance plans you intend to take must have an Insurance Policy Certificate which provides the list of what is covered by the policy. It is paramount to go through the list to note what is in it for you. Do not assume, but make sure what you need is included. If what you need is not offered by a specific insurance company, you can switch to another.
When something happens along the way during your trip, and you present your claims to your insurance, what you ignored to note is what the insurance company might use against you. Be careful to read through the whole policy. Be sure to inquire or ask any question bothering you concerning your insurance policy.
This article is a guide on travel insurance, it is important that you do research and speak to your insurance provider about your travel insurance needs.
Read Best Travel Accessories to get a list of 25 items you should consider bringing on your trip with you.