How to Search for Decent Travel Insurance to Fit Your Needs
Traveling is one of the greatest pleasures in life. People who explore different places and cultures have a broader perspective on life and are willing to embrace more adventures. As you plan your next adventure, it is worth investigating different types of travel insurance to ensure that what you’re getting is the best fit for you.
Travel insurance provides reimbursements and assists in unprecedented situations. It provides gives your money or part of your money back just in case you need to cancel your reservations due to a serious medical situation or death in the family. It also provides assistance and gives financial support in case your baggage is lost or stolen or if you need help finding a doctor or lawyer in another country.
Many insurance companies offer travel insurance policies, but if you want to find value insurance, you might have to dig a little deeper and see beyond the surface. Here are ways to search for decent travel insurance that fit your needs:
- Check if the travel insurance offers a comprehensive policy.
When travel insurance is sold as a package, it is a comprehensive policy. This means that it includes a variety of coverage. A standard comprehensive package offers reimbursements for trip cancellations, interruptions, and delays. It also pays for emergency expenses incurred during a trip, emergency medical assistance and even repatriation if needed.
- Ensure that it provides 24-hour assistance.
Good value travel insurance provides 24-hour assistance to its policyholders. The insurance company should provide a 24-hour hotline that would assist insured parties when it comes to booking flights in case of missed connections, looking for a doctor, or finding lost luggage.
- Determine whether your insurance offers a high coverage limit on medical expenses.
The maximum coverage amount for medical expenses while traveling can reach up to a million US dollars. Medical care abroad can be very costly, so it is wise to cap coverage limit to a higher amount just to make sure that hospital bills and other medical needs are covered. When it comes to coverage for medical expenses, be sure that you check other details such as out-of-pocket expenses and limits.
- Check out the various provisions of your travel insurance plan.
An excellent travel insurance plan will usually cover most countries around the world. It will also provide financial protection if any hotel, travel agency, or transportation provider you have hired goes bankrupt. It should also be able to cover lost, damaged, or stolen belongings. This includes jewelry, important travel documents, baggage, electronic devices, etc.
- Know what is not covered by your plan.
Although some insurance companies allow policyholders to customize or add to their plans, a standard travel insurance plan will not cover loss of cash, pre-existing medical conditions, and accidents sustained while doing extreme adventure activities.
An all-purpose emergency coverage is one of the most important things that you should get for your trip. We all hope that we never have to use them, but they are invaluable when untoward incidents occur.
Can I Buy Travel Insurance After Departure?
Ideally, if you’re going on a trip, you should purchase travel insurance right before you leave. However, it is perfectly understandable that for some people, this might not be that case. There are many travelers who ask whether they can purchase travel insurance after departure. This might happen when your travel insurance has run out because you have overstayed in a certain place, your policy has expired, or you just forgot to take out travel insurance.
If you’re already abroad and you decide to buy insurance, you can still get coverage. Look for a reputable insurance company that offers an Already Traveling Policy. The good news is that some insurance companies are already offering this to travelers.
There are certain conditions for getting this type of travel insurance. Leading travel insurers provide this type of coverage subject to certain conditions. If you are under 65 years of age, you should not exceed 18 months outside of your country of residence. If you’re between 66 to 74 years of age, you should not exceed 6 months outside of your country of residence. You can also get this type of insurance when no claims or any occurrence leading to a claim has previously happened. Here’s an example of the latter scenario: If you lost your laptop yesterday, you are not allowed to take out this type of insurance and make a claim for it.
What coverage will you actually get when you get an Already Traveling policy?
- 24/7 emergency medical assistance
If you fall ill or get injured, you can get emergency medical assistance 24/7, 365 days a year. Just call the emergency hotline provided in your policy. This also covers medical expenses and emergency medical transportation.
- Coverage for adventure activities
There is standard coverage for adventure activities specified in the policy. Make sure that you read what types of activities are covered and that you understand the terms and conditions.
You can get this extension option to your Already Traveling policy. You can get protection for your belongings while you travel including your bags, technology gear, jewelry items, and important travel documents.
Obviously, pre-trip cancellation is not covered in this type of insurance. This is because you have already left your home country. We feel that we need to stress this because some travelers still ask this question even though the insurance is especially meant for people who are already traveling.
Will Travel Insurance Cover Lost Items?
Travelling abroad can be an enriching and life-altering experience. It usually brings positive experiences because it broadens our horizons as we learn from other places and cultures.
Amidst all the excitement that travelling brings, it does have a dark side. There is always the possibility that unexpected events can occur while you’re on a trip. One of the things that might put a damper on your trip is losing valuable items. Whether you’re going on a business trip or family holiday, you need to bring valuable items such as tablets, laptops, jewelry items, leather bags, and cameras. If these items get lost or are stolen, will travel insurance be able to cover these valuables?
Here are some important guidelines about travel insurance for valuables:
- Although it is not part of the standard travel insurance policy, you can get additional coverage for your valuables and other electronic items to protect them from getting lost, stolen, or damaged. You can arrange this easily with your travel insurance provider. As you fill-up the insurance coverage form, you need to specify the make, model, product age, and the serial number of each valuable.
- Policyholders have the option to increase the cover for valuable items such as audio, video, computer, photographic, and electrical equipment. They can also opt to cover wearable valuables such as watches and jewelry. You can get coverage for the following items:
- Video cameras
- Mobile Phones
- Most travel insurance policies specify the total amount of coverage with a single item limit. The policyholder has the option to increase the cover up to an additional amount specified by the insurance company.
- In the event that you file a claim on a lost valuable remember that insurers usually pay the current value of the item. This means that they will not pay for the value of the item when you purchased it, but its second-hand value. However, there is usually no depreciation applied to certain high-value items. You just need to show the receipt with the purchase price when you need to claim.
- Travel insurance companies will not pay your claim if you are proven to be negligent or acting irresponsibly with your valuables. You will not be covered in these situations:
- If your belongings were unattended.
- If items were not reported as lost within 24 hours.
- If the item has no proof of purchase.
- If the belongings were left unattended in a vehicle – whether it’s a boat, motorcycle, or car.
- When alcohol and drugs are a contributing factor to the loss of belongings.
Why Your Travel Insurance Claims Can Be Denied
Travelling is a good experience one can have in his lifetime. Most travelers opt to buy a travel insurance coverage to be “safe and secured” when something does not go according to plan or something unexpected happens. Before buying a travel insurance, it is very crucial for customers to understand first what the insurance does and does not cover. It is not guaranteed that you’ll be inevitably covered when anything goes wrong. Misinterpretation of an insurance policy can lead you disappointed when your travel insurance claim is denied in time that you most need it.
What if your travel insurance claim gets rejected in time that you most need it? The following are the most common reasons why your claim can get rejected:
Undeclared pre-existing conditions
When buying a travel insurance, state if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Some insurers will cover medical conditions for an additional cost while others may not. If you fail to disclose this info, then your attempt to make a travel insurance claim will be possibly denied when your medical records are consulted. Check and comply with all the rules set by the provider. Remember this particular insurance coverage is intended for unexpected injury and illness only.
Incomplete forms and documentation
Another reason why your travel insurance claim can be denied is simply that of an incomplete form, missing important information or are filled out incorrectly. Always make sure that your form is filled out properly and completely. All the necessary attachments are included before you send off your claims such as doctors’ certificate, police report (for theft or loss of item), purchase receipts for your valuables or even the travel delay confirmation from the carrier.
Participating in adventurous or dangerous activities
Travel insurance policies have different coverage in terms of sporting activities and adventure they cover. Usually, they don’t cover extreme sports which are deemed dangerous but an additional premium may be available for activities such as parasailing, jumping, trekking at heights, etc. Make sure to check the activities your provider covers before you sign up to a certain holiday activity.
Unapproved destinations (against WHO or FCO advice)
Some insurers will only cover for specified destinations and, usually, they don’t cover locations which the Foreign and Commission Office or the Whole Health Organization have advised against travel.
Alcohol intoxication or Drug Use
If you lost valuables, damaged a personal item or have an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your travel insurance claim is likely to be considered invalid. Though you are travelling to enjoy your life, be responsible and just keep everything in moderation.
Fraudulent, dishonest and illegal behavior such as going to restricted locations and unauthorized use of facilities are not covered by any insurance. Always abide by all the rules and regulations to avoid any problem during your trip.
Take note that unattended items will not be covered unless they’re in a locked hotel safe or in a secure car boot. When you claim for a lost item, always get a police report regarding the incident or ask the hotel or travel operator to give you a written statement – this will help with your travel insurance claim.
Events that happen before buying the travel insurance
Events that already happened before you bought an insurance, apparently, won’t be covered. If you claim for it then it will be rejected and could even be considered as fraudulent.