You have insurance for practically everything- house, health, life, renters, car and even pet insurance. So why not invest in travel insurance too?
Yes, you are going to have fun. You are supposed to do things that millions of travelers have done before and then returned home without a scratch. But there are indeed a couple thousand in them who have had something stolen, broken or have had to pay a visit to the doctor on their trip. It’s not unheard of.
This is not to discourage you from traveling- things can be replaced, and most wounds can be healed.
And most of the time, nothing happens.
However, you should have to pay the minimum possible damage if something does.
Look at it this way, if something bad happens, you’re ready to face it and won’t have to shell out thousands for damage control. And if all goes well, you have had your peace of mind the entire trip. The right travel insurance can be the end of many woes of a traveler. So, we put together a list of questions to ask your travel provider and yourself when you go out to get one:
1) For the provider: What’s the upper limit?
For you: Will a probable injury/accident cost more?
An upper limit is the maximum amount an insurance company will pay you for a loss covered by their policy.
It’s important because you don’t want to find out at the hospital that your insurance’s upper limit is not even half of your expensive bill and then have to piece together every bit of the local currency on you to pay the rest.
The upper limit should not be too small and should be able to cover the cost of more extreme treatments. (Think fractures not flu)
But, if you’re planning to do any adventure sports, the upper limit needs to be higher than usual.
2) For the provider: What is covered in the policy?
For you: Is it enough?
Read travel insurance policies thoroughly. Seriously, this is very important. This way, you know when your insurance will help you out. Most insurance companies cover these basics:
- Health coverage
- Loss of luggage
- Loss of passport
- Trip delay
- Dental treatment
- Trip cancellation
The above cases are VERY basic; if your travel insurance provider doesn’t cover these, it’s probably best to find another.
If you are planning to do any adventure sports, it’s better to clear if possible injuries from it will be covered.
Also, you should check whether your insurance covers emergency evacuation from the country in case of political agitation and natural disasters.
3) For the provider: What is not covered?
For you: Should it be covered?/Do I want it to be covered?
At the time of need, a lot of people face disappointment when they realize that their specific condition is not covered by the travel insurance they picked. This is because they did not read their policy information properly. While no travel insurance is perfect, you want one as close to it as possible.
Most travel insurances don’t cover general health checkups, your reckless behavior after a few drinks (or hits) and irresponsible handling of now lost belongings. So be pragmatic, travel as you normally would and don’t let the fact that you have coverage make you go too crazy.
4) For the provider: Is the coverage according to my needs?
For you: What are my needs?
You may be a student backpacking through a continent, a senior citizen celebrating your retirement or a businessperson whose work takes them everywhere- your needs will be different than others. A student will, for example, need protection against study interruptions while a businessperson won’t. So it’s best to take a policy suited to your needs.
Senior citizens’ insurance is risky; hence, they may not get the same benefits as young individuals do; however, there are still plenty of other advantages in policies designed for them.
5) For the provider: What’s the price?
For you: Am I compromising?
This one is quite simple. Of course, you want the best possible policy at the least price.
However, it is essential to not focus on small differences in costs and choose the one that gives you better coverage. You might be saving on a few hundred with a cheaper deal but might end up shelling thousands later.
6) For the provider: Which countries do you cover?
For you: Will I be going somewhere that’s not on the list?
It’s important to know your travel plans here. You don’t need to know the exact timeline of your visit to every country. There are 195 countries in this world- it’s *almost* impossible. Just an idea of what’s on your list, what falls low and what’s not on it will suffice.
For example, most don’t travel to countries with political unrest and high rates of violence, so such places fall in the second or third category. Some want to visit and document these very countries, so for them, the list is drastically different. Make a list of all the countries you will be traveling to, beforehand, and make sure the insurance covers them.
If your list is particular to a region, you can take travel insurance that’s specific to a continent such as a Schengen or Asia Travel plan.
Choose a travel plan that fits your needs well and travel safe and worry-free!