Here are a few things to consider when thinking about which travel insurance policy to buy. From excluded destinations to missed connections, there are several issues to think about before buying a policy.
1. Number of Trips Per Year
Is there a limit on the number of trips you’re allowed to take? Some multi-trip insurance providers offer unlimited trips, while others have restrictions.
2. Maximum Trip Length
Are you limited to short trips? Is there a maximum number of travel days per trip?
3. Travel Restrictions
Do you understand which countries are excluded? Many travel insurance companies exclude high risk countries or those that have been issued travel warnings by national governments.
4. Age Limits
At what age are you no longer covered? Many policies stop cover at age 65, so double check to make sure you’re covered. Conversely are your children fully covered?
5. Standard Excess
How much is it? An excess is the amount you must pay out of pocket towards any claim you make. The remaining amount is paid by the insurer up to the limit of the benefit.
6. 24/7 Insurance
Are you provided a number to call in an emergency? Do you have access to round-the-clock support and assistance?
7. Emergency Medical Evacuation
Will you be able to get home in the event of an emergency? What are the limits and what kind of assistance does your insurance provide?
8. Repatriation of Mortal Remains
What are the limits of getting a body home in the case of death?
9. Medical Expenses
Is the coverage for medical emergencies overseas enough to give you peace of mind?
10. Chinese Medical Treatment
Does the insurance provider cover alternative treatments such as Chinese medicine?
11. Emergency Dental
If you have a dental emergency, can you get the treatment you need? Can you fix the pain in your tooth?
12. Accidental Death
What is the coverage in case of death?
13. Permanent Disability
If you become permanently disabled, what kind of cover does the policy provide?
14. Personal Liability
What if you hurt someone? You need to know that you’re covered in case you’re at fault.
15. Trip Cancellation
Many times, your pre-pay your flight and accommodation expenses. Can you get this investment back if your trip is cancelled? What are the limits?
16. Trip Curtailment
What if your trip is cut short and you have to return home? Can you claim reimbursement for the unused part of travel services and accommodation you’ve already booked?
17. Missed Connection
What if you miss a connecting flight? Is the limit high enough in case you have to spend the night in a hotel?
18. Travel Delay
What is the limit? Most insurance companies will cover some expenses for an initial wait of up to six hours, with additional cover for further delays.
19. Luggage Delay
How long do you wait before your bags are considered lost? Will your insurance reimburse you for toiletries and a new outfit if you are without your luggage for a few days?
20. Lost or Damaged Baggage and Property
How much will the policy reimburse you for lost luggage and personal effects? Can you prove how much your luggage and belongings are worth? (Hint: Save your receipts).
21. Loss of Travel Documents
Do you know how to replace them and how much it would cost abroad? Many insurance companies will offer some kind of coverage in case you leave your passport on the plane.
22. Theft of Cash
Many insurance companies will provide coverage for a modest amount of cash. It’s a good rule of thumb not to carry more cash than you need, but check to see your coverage limit.
23. Car Rental Excess
Renting a car abroad can be tricky. If your rental car gets damaged or stolen, what charges will your insurance cover?
24. Travelling as an Individual
Whilst travelling as a family is always a pleasure sometimes you or your family members have travel plans that differ. Always check whether there are any restrictions as some conditions will only cover family members when travelling with the primary insured person and family member will not be covered when travelling on their own.
25. Are Your Family Worth Less Than You?
Check family packaged travel cover for both family limits (benefit limits based on the family accumulated claims) and whether individual family members have different benefit limits. Is is very common for children to have limits much less than their parents.
What happens if you decide to relocate yourself to the south of France for a period of the year or move your family to another country. Will your annual travel cover move with you or will you loose what you've paid for and need to purchase again once you land in your new home country?
Thinking about the things that can go wrong on your travels isn’t fun, but it’ll mean you’re prepared in case the worst happens. Having the right insurance policy will help keep an inconvenience from becoming a true emergency.
Disclaimer: Any comments or opinions provided in this article are informal commentary only and cannot be considered as specific advice to be acted upon. All information was correct at the time of publishing and may change without notice. The author, The Wise Traveller and any associated partners or third parties accept no liability for the manner in which this article is considered, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided within this article.