Travel insurance is just about mandatory in any trip that you are planning to take. It is viewed as a boon in a world when almost anything is liable to happen. It protects your money and luggage. This is especially true when the trip is expensive and one that you have saved for and were looking forward to.
While there are many perks of insurance, there are some downsides too. You need to keep both in mind before you consider putting your money in insurance.
The first question to ask yourself is whether you really need insurance at all. Most people buy insurance only when there is a serious risk in the visiting country. If you are healthy and on the younger side and your destination is relatively safe, then there is really no need for insurance. Even the best n big firms have a lot of fine print that you cannot possibly delve into.
And if there is something to fear in the country you are visiting, make sure that the policy covers it. Say you’re visiting a place that is prone to natural calamities, check with your agent whether your policy will cover damages and delays coming from these disasters. This means not just actual damage but also delays in flights and hotel cancellations. If there any type of hesitancy or half way coverage then there is no point in investing.
As far as medical issues are concerned, you need to be clear till what extent the insurance stands good. Sometimes coverage is only for a duration that is shorter than the trip. This is especially true if you are on a long trip of perhaps some months. Pre-existing medical conditions are taken into deliberation if the customer applies for them specifically and the insurer accepts this request.
Coverage is often given only insurance against travelling inconvenience like delayed flights and lost luggage. But they do not cover accidents during travelling. You need to ask about this, because aeroplane crashes and emergency landings are fairly common, particularly in regions where weather tends to be turbulent and the airports are underdeveloped and risky.
Many countries require a visa for entry. If you do not have the requisite visa when you are leaving, your insurance could be compromised. Also, if your passport is anywhere near expiring within the duration of your trip there could be problems. Some countries demand that the visitor’s passport be valid for at least six months before stepping their territory.
Yet another problem is the mode of payment. Some companies do not entertain claims if the trip was paid for in cash and not by a card. Some policies also have an excess that has to be paid by the customer if he/she wants to make a claim.
Check who is taken under account in pre-existing medical conditions when insuring, i.e., the number of people. Sometimes, insurance might cover you but not your spouse or children. It is a good idea to ensure the number of people the insurance is willing to cover with or without extra charge.
Everything you need will never be covered under a single policy, so choose your needs carefully and insure accordingly.
Image credit: Moyan Brenn