Choosing the Correct Insurance Cover
It cannot be stressed enough,time and again.It is listed as a very important prerequisite in my post for Essential travel prerequisites.Travel Insurance-this word remained an abandoned and a forgotten item in the travel list for a majority of the populace.The same populace who never forget to insure their car,life and house never attach the same importance to a Travel Insurance before their trip.With increasing cases of difficulties and adversities faced by travellers,the importance of a Travel Insurance has slowly dawned on the new age traveller. This document is equally critical just like the other essential prerequisites like a passport and visa.While these have a set process and a finite document is handed over to you,the Insurance is not that simple and finite.It can be confusing and complicated process to choose a Travel Insurance among the multiple options available in the market.Just like the car,life and home, a Travel Insurance also needs to be chosen wisely and prudently to secure your interests.The reasons many people go with whatever is presented to them is their lack of knowledge and education about the importance of a Travel Insurance,or may be no idea of what and how to check for your trip specific coverages and inclusions and the period for which the Insurance needs to be selected and so on and so forth.Let us understand how to arrive at a suitable option which covers all the aspects of your trip.
CHOOSING THE CORRECT COVER
So let us know how this works and make it simple.How to go about choosing the right policy for oneself ? Is the Insurance premium being charged by the Insurance Company high ? If yes does it cover all aspects that is required for the visiting Country or Countries?Does the baggage that is being carried needs a special cover? Does the policy pay more attention to the medical expenses which may be incurred in the visiting Country ? What is the coverage being offered to the other aspects ?
Just like you research thoroughly and deeply for Travel options,the same research mode also applies for choosing your Travel Insurance.Do not just settle for Travel Insurance only because it is required or just because many agents offer it along with your travel ticket.A Travel Insurance should be chosen in accordance to the Country or Countries you are planning to visit in a single trip or multiple trips.A good Insurance agent should be able to help you choose a cover based on your itinerary.Especially if you are on a multi-country trip, opt for a wise plan after checking out all the points in the policy options in the list carefully.
You should always pay attention to the health coverage of the policy and make a good observation of these points.Travel insurance premiums are divided into two types : 1] For travel to the other Countries excluding the United States of America and Canada and 2] For travel to Countries including the United States of America and Canada. Any health and medical emergencies-be it sickness,injury or hospitalization happening in a Foreign Country [if they occur and I sincerely pray they do not occur] in both the options will be expensive and can prove a huge dent in the travel expenses and ultimately to your wallet due to the difference in the rates of currencies of these Countries.A Travel Insurance without the correct medical and health coverage in your Insurance for travel in these Countries if used could prove a huge loss.Hence a higher medical expenses cover is a must when you are buying a Travel Insurance.Please ensure to check the expense limit if any attached to the health Insurance cover. If you are settling for a cheap policy with a low value,chances are that the health cover expense limit is on the lower side and it gets over even before your treatment has started.The end result-you end up shelling out more money from your pocket inspite of having an Insurance with you.
Next on the list to be checked and understood is the Baggage cover for your Insurance.For a simple family vacation for a few days,the number of bags are usually are one or two each per member.Each bag is packed with great care and contains all the necessities for the trip–clothes,shoes,favourite sunglasses,the lovely beach hat and some may even contain the emergency and daily dose of medicines.Imagine these bags getting delayed or misplaced in transit with you arriving at the destination but the bag unfortunately does not.Here always inquire about the items in the bags covered in the Insurance.On the other hand consider a large cultural troupe with many members carrying huge and costly equipments or for that matter a film crew travelling to a Foreign Country for their film shoot again carrying expensive shooting apparatus and high priced cameras or a band of musicians travelling for a musical concert with their precious and important musical instruments which may be small or big in dimension but very expensive and highly priced.Here one needs to pay good attention to the coverage offered for the equipments and instruments,in case they are damaged or misplaced besides the Health Insurance of the members of the entire group.Simply put opt for a luggage cover only if you think your luggage needs special cover.The Insurance is worth it only if the coverage offered delivers the real value of the baggage else it does not make any sense paying for a luggage cover.
UNDERSTANDING THE “CANCELLATION” PART
Let us also understand the opposite side of this as well.What happens if my trip is cancelled due to some unforeseen circumstances beyond my control ? Or if at the nth hour you have to amend the travel plans again due to an injury or unexpected conditions ? You have finished your trip and reached the hub city on your way back home.At the hub city you learn that your connecting flight has been cancelled back home ? Will the airline help or do we spend an additional amount for another flight and may be a place to stay if the need arises ? You have booked a hotel resort for your vacation and midway through your stay you will need to be evacuated from that resort due to unruly weather then what happens to the prepaid money for the entire stay..? will it be refunded back and how ? All the above questions bring us to the most obvious question.Does my Insurance provide a cover for any of the situations mentioned above.This can be one slippery area which can be an uneasy one and affect your finances and budgets hugely.
ANNUAL POLICY COVER VS SINGLE PREMIUM
If you are a family which loves to take three or more vacations in a year or planning to take one next year,it is prudent to choose an Annual policy. This not only saves your time and trouble of choosing the policy each time,but also saves some pennies as it is valid for the entire year.For one off Single trips Insurance can be taken for the exact number of days of the trip ,departure and arrival dates inclusive.Therefore once can procure an Insurance cover 7 days, 14 days, 21 days and so on as per thee days of travel.Whether it is an Annual cover or Single trip Insurance,always run through all the available options and make your observations on the coverages offered.Speaking of single trips, backpackers also can be put under this category,but they can choose a specific backpacker’s insurance policy.Students travelling abroad for higher education are advised by their respective universities to cover themselves with the appropriate Insurance cover during the course period in that Country
CHECK THE NON-COVERED AREAS TOO.
Checking what aspects are not covered in your Travel Insurance is equally important so that you are clear and well aware upfront that this will not be covered.Many of the policies if not all do not cover accidents and injuries caused while participating in high adventure activities such as hang gliding, paragliding, or bungee jumping.Some of them cover these on additional payments.Many of the Insurance Companies will not cover for A] your negligence and carelessness in handling your belongings and baggage, B] you become the cause of injury to anybody or someone on the road,C] if you get embroiled in any untoward incident involving alcohol,drugs or any intoxicating substance,D] Coverage is not offered for pre existing illnesses at the time of buying the Insurance.Simply put,if the Insurance provider reasons that the claim asked for has happened due to somebody’s rash actions,please note that the chances of getting a reimbursed is very minimal and low
To sum up an Insurance policy covers many facets of your Travel trip and facilitates to have a hassle free and a secure holidays or a business trip.So it is not just another piece of paper to be attached with your travel documents.Above mentioned are some of the general pointers on what should be kept in mind while choosing a policy.Decision to arrive at the right policy is a combination of all areas put together.Please make a comparison of the all the coverages offered and premium rates quoted.Keep your updated on all available insurance options when you are searching for different covers.i.e.health,baggage and all possible disruptions you can imagine can happen when you are way in a Foreign land.It is always recommended to choose a flexible option where you can take an informed decision on each aspect part by part or as a whole.A little attentiveness and observation on your part can bring out the real value of the Insurance cover bought.Check the credibility of the Insurance Company and their agility and efficiency in responding to an emergency situation or a call from a distressed traveller at any given time. It is also important to inspect their ability to settle disputes and claims if required.It would greatly help if your Insurance Company has a global network with offices world wide and a 24 X 7 customer helpline so that they can be reached out to anytime anywhere and under any circumstances.
BETTER BE SAFE THAN SORRY
I sincerely hope and pray that you never have to use your Travel Insurance and the percentage of the usage of this policy is just a paltry 0.01 percent whenever you travel.But this should not be a deterrent to procure the correct Travel Insurance each time you travel. You may think that this is an unwanted expense to your travel budget but the strongest advise always is to never travel without the Travel Insurance because uncertainties come unannounced and you never know what unknown is in store for you at a place hundreds of miles away from home.Tales of these incidents can be narrated by those who have faced adverse situations while travelling abroad.The internet is full of such experiences and stories shared by travellers explain the importance of buying the Insurance and how it helped them get out of complicated situations.
So have you added a Travel Insurance to your Travel Checklist yet?