Travel

Discover What Type of Travel Insurance Policy is the Best for You

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With the combination of financial troubles of major airlines and tour operators, political unrest, economic crisis and the prevalence of non-refundable train and airline tickets, more and more travellers have come to realize the tremendous importance of purchasing travel insurance in order to be protected against unforeseen negative events that might impact their plans.

Because Australians have no legal entitlement to any kind of financial assistance from the Government in case something goes wrong overseas, you really need adequate insurance cover. Travel insurance is much more than just a simple medical protection. A good travel insurance policy covers you when your flight in cancelled, a family member dies, something gets stolen or even when your camera or laptop breaks.

Travel Insurance Basics

The bad news for travellers is that getting a good travel insurance policy can be of the most confusing and complex aspects of planning a trip. With the myriad of companies, plans and offers available out there, you can get easily confused about what travel insurance policy is best for you. In this article, we would like to discuss the importance of travel insurance; also, you will find how to choose the right travel insurance policy for your needs.

Travel insurance is something any traveller needs. Since the future is so unpredictable, you need to be 100% sure that you are covered. Travel insurance is something you hope you never have to use, but it could come in handy in case something bad will happen.

Travel insurance is split into five main categories:

  • Travel medical
  • Trip cancellation
  • Major medical
  • Flight accident / accidental death
  • Emergency medical evacuation

A standard plan includes options from all five categories, such as overseas medical insurance, 24-hour assistance hotline, financial reimbursement for delayed or cancelled flights with accommodation included. Typically, a travel insurance plan cost anywhere between 5% and 10% of your total trip. However, in some cases, the cost can exceed 20%. This is why it is very important to not only choose a plan from a reliable company, but also work with an “affordable” company.

A great policy should always include the following:

  • Coverage for your electronic devices
  • Coverage in most countries of the world
  • Cover sudden illnesses
  • 24-hour emergency services
  • Cover damaged, lost or stolen possessions like baggage, jewellery, documents etc.
  • Covering in case of emergencies or strife in the countries visited
  • Cover cancellations, such as hotel bookings, flight, trip or transportation booking
  • Cover legal expenses
  • Personal accident coverage
  • Financial protection if the company goes bankrupt and you are stuck on another continent or in another country

Who Needs Insurance?

Not only adventure travellers need insurance, but also business and family travellers.

  • Adventure Travellers

While some companies offer basic medical-only plans for thrill seekers who are likely to break a leg of a hand while zip-lining through the Amazonian rainforest or might get stuck when climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, you should choose a plan that covers much more, including your electronic devices. One of these plans will cover everything up to $100,000 hospitalization expenses. You need to know that medivac services might cost up to $90,000, especially if you have to be airlifted out of a canyon or mountain in a remote area.

  • Business Travellers

The best policy in this case is one that offer coverage for your computer, tablet and smart phone.

  • Family Travellers

If you love going on holidays with your family, you should choose a travel insurance policy which covers your children less than 12 years at no additional cost. Also, choose a policy that will reimburse you in case you are displaced from your hotel room.

Tips for Finding the Right Travel Insurance Policy

Before making a final choice regarding travel insurance policy, it is imperative to know what type of coverage is best for you. Use the following tips in order to find the best insurance plan for your needs.

1. Determine what’s best for you

First of all, you need to make a list of everything you think is important during the trip you’re planning. This list might include luggage, smart phones, accommodation, flight and staying healthy. Now, imagine that you might lose one of these things. Choose the most important for you in order to determine what type of coverage you need.

2. Check for what is Already Covered

More than often, home policies include insurance for most personal possessions when you are travelling. Hence, why paying for baggage cover when you are already covered by your home insurance? Be smart and check for your existing insurance options.

3. Choose an Annual Cover

In case you travel more than three times a year, getting an annual policy is likely to cost you less than acquiring separate single-trip plans. Annual trip policies cover trips up to a maximum of 30 days, so be aware – if you are planning for a two-month trip, you should better stick to separate single-trip policies.

4. Check for Age Limits and Medical Exclusions

Very few policies will insure men and women over 65 years of age. Moreover, an insignificant number of travel insurance plans will cover pre-existing conditions. Hence, if you are asthmatic and let’s say you suffer an attack while on holiday, your policy will not pay for hospitalization and medical treatment. It is very important to choose a policy that covers your condition and gives you the peace of mind you won’t pay additional money in case something unexpected happens.

5. Calculate the Total Trip Cost

Next, you need to see how much you will pay in the end. Usually, you should pay 6%-7% of the total trip cost on your policy.

6. Compare Companies and Plans

Based on the criteria you have selected, it is time to choose the right travel insurance policy that caters to your needs. Do not simply choose the cheapest plan out there, but look for several aspects, such as: fame, accreditation, reviews, limits, benefits and exclusions.

Conclusions

Choosing the right travel insurance policy for you is not such a daunting task if you keep in mind the aspects presented above. Be smart and keep your eyes open when choosing the right quote and be prepared to claim if the right time comes.

About the author

Kelly Jones is a travel lover from Perth, Australia.

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