5 features to consider before purchasing a travel insurance policy
During a recent vacation to Turkey, Tejas Mane, a young IT professional, contracted food poisoning. He spent more than five days in a hospital, which would have cost him a fortune, had it not been for a travel insurance plan, with medical sickness benefits, that he had bought before setting out.
While vacation may be a time to relax, things could take a serious downturn if you have a medical emergency or lose your passport or luggage. Though travel insurance can seem like another expense, without it, an unforeseen circumstance could end up causing havoc both financially and psychologically. Travel insurance is a simple way to protect your belongings and minimise losses.
Here is an all-inclusive guide on buying travel insurance and ensuring it covers all your travel plans.
A step-by-step guide to buying the right travel insurance
How can one find the best-value travel insurance policy? Easy, one may say. Just go to a price-comparison website and buy the cheapest one. But there is a catch. Price-comparison sites seem to be have a fascinating effect. Since they are so powerful and used by many people, there is an intense competition between companies to keep the price of their policies as low as possible to try to ensure that they appear close to the top results.
An important point to bear in mind about insurance is that travellers have different kinds of needs, depending on their age, value of their luggage, the type of travelling they do (there are endless limitations and exclusions relating to outdoor activities), how risk-averse they are and how often they like to travel and so on.
Because of these variations, it is not possible to recommend one policy which will be a good purchase for all travellers. Instead please find below factors one should consider when buying a policy.
Multi-trip policies cover all trips one undertakes in a calendar year, with limits on the length of each trip. Whether it is cheaper to buy separate policies for each trip or one depends on how much travelling you intend to do in a year. If one undertakes three or four trips a year, one would save with a multi-trip cover. The other significant advantage of a multi-trip insurance policy is that you are covered continuously throughout the year and don’t have to shop for a new policy each time you travel.
2. Medical history
If one has a medical history in terms of a serious disease or condition, or if you smoke or consume alcohol on a regular basis, the premium goes up. A life threatening pre-existing illness is mostly not covered under a regular travel insurance policy provided one buys an add-on for the same policy. In most cases, policy for elderly people attracts higher premium due to the age factor.
If your trip destination is known to be a high-risk zone or is famous for various adventure activities, the premium goes up as you are perceived to be in a risky area.
4. Covering expensive gear
Most travel policies have a per-item value limit but make sure it’s high enough to cover all your gear, or choose an insurance policy that allows you to increase the limit. Another option is to contact your home contents insurance company and check if you can get them insured as portable valuable goods.
5. Cancellation policy
It’s no fun if you fall ill just before you leave and can’t go on your trip. Many unexpected problems can come up. Not all insurance policies cover cancellation of accommodation and flights, so please read the policy wording relevant to you very carefully.