It took just one moment. One tiny misstep and your perfect holiday has suddenly turned into a nightmare. You had your documents with you all along and suddenly cannot locate them anywhere. What if you loose your passport on a trip abroad? A seemingly harmless fall from a happy segway tour has left you with a severely sprained ankle and you have no idea where the nearest hospital is. This is when you need that travel insurance that you first thought was a waste of money.
Without a doubt travel insurance is a big industry and there are many companies out there to choose from. From instance, in India, Bajaj Allianz Travel insurance comes to your rescue whenever you find yourself in a spot of bother. Although, before picking the right insurance, it is important to put some thought into your coverage to ensure that your loved ones and you are protected every step of the way.
To start with, do your homework: A common misconception that comes with the idea of a travel insurance is that travelers feel it is just a health insurance. Well, NO. Before you begin the hunt for travel insurance coverage, be clear on what your trip entails and what you are looking for in terms of protection. It’s wise to be picky about your provider, as sometimes the cheapest insurance also comes with with hidden higher excesses.
#1 – Think about the basics:
- What place are you traveling to? High-risk areas are more expensive to cover. Also, some countries in the Schengen area like Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Portugal amongst many others need you to have a mandatory travel insurance even to apply for its visa.
- Who’ll be with you on the trip? Are you traveling with small children?
- Will you be carrying anything inordinately expensive?
- How will you be traveling? For example, rental cars and flights require varying coverage.
- What kind of risks are involved? Adventure sports like scuba diving or skiing may require an additional waiver or an add-on.
#2 – Medical Cover
- This falls under the category of “must-have” and must never be glossed over.
- Coverage must include medical consultations, hospitalization due to medical or dental emergencies, reimbursements for the purchase of medicines and more.
- Any emergency repatriations back to the home country or evacuations must be part of the package.
- If there is any pre-existing condition you are worried about, look for travel insurance plans that allow such coverage.
- It is important to note that conditions like addiction and mental illnesses are not covered.
#3 – Cancellation Cover
We spend a lot of money booking accommodation, flights, rental vehicles and more. A last minute cancellation due to some unavoidable circumstance can burn a deep hole in our pockets. It is advisable to look for what does travel insurance cover in order to allow you to cancel your plans without facing huge financial losses.
However, every policy has a list of reasons under which they will reimburse cancellations (death of a loved one, sudden onset of illness, natural calamity at the destination, etc.). Pay special attention to these clauses.
#4 – Travel Convenience
Look for plans that offer good support when you are facing travel hassles like missed or delayed connections, lost baggage, lost documentation and more.
Reimbursements for sudden, unplanned expenses that are caused due to such annoyances can really help make a difference between a happy vacation and one spent ruing missed opportunities. Give preference to an insurer who has a 24/7 helpline to handle your issues from any corner of the world.
#5 – Service History
Perhaps most importantly, ask questions about the travel insurance provider’s claim processing and their settlement ratio. Read online reviews, visit their website, and ask other friends how their experience was with the insurer. Providers who have time and again helped their customers during sticky situations are the ones who will be there when you really need them.
Certain plans while offering seemingly low premiums, will offer you nothing in terms of service. So, sign up for the best plans and travel in the hope that you never have to use them!