If you are planning to embark on a journey to a new place soon, then do not forget to add ‘buying travel insurance’ to your to-do list. Inflation, high gas prices, and an unexpected rise in COVID cases—all make purchasing travel insurance important. Also, just buying travel insurance is not enough if it does not cover your needs. So, read and understand all terms and conditions of the policy before buying it. You must know all the inclusions and exclusions before signing on the dotted line. This same rule applies to student travel insurance for students planning to study abroad.
Here are a few things you must keep in mind when purchasing travel insurance to make the best of it.
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1. Study the health insurance plan
You must know the provisions for pre-existing illnesses in your travel insurance. While some policies do not provide medical care coverage for pre-existing conditions, others impose conditions for covering pre-existing illnesses. Thus, ensure that you review the conditions for pre-existing illnesses before the policy purchase.
2. Know the triggers
Travel insurance companies contain triggers or qualifying statements. Although many travel insurance plans allow you to cancel a trip and reimburse for the expenses, the feature usually comes with a caveat. In some cases, some travel companies reimburse for insured trip expenses if you are terminated from your job. However, there may be a qualifying statement regarding your duration of employment, which could range from one year to 5 years. Hence, identify the triggers and choose your single-trip travel insurance plan after careful consideration.
3. Check how much time you have to wait before coverage kicks in
Different travel insurance plans have varying timelines regarding coverage. In cases of baggage delay or travel delay or missed connecting flights or loss of personal items, you have to wait for some time before claiming compensation. Most travel insurance companies offer compensation for meals, hotel bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses; albeit after a delay of at least 6 to 12 hours.
4. Review the cancellation clause
If travel insurance companies claim that they provide compensation for cancelled trips, do not believe them at face value. They mostly provide compensation if you cancel your trip only due to specific reasons. It means if you cancel your trip because you are afraid to travel, you cannot claim compensation. You can know such details by reading the fine print and understanding what’s covered in your travel insurance policy.
5. Read about trip cancellations due to other reasons
Travel insurance companies allow you to cancel your trip due to many reasons. Even so, you may not be fully compensated. You could be eligible for a 50-75% refund of your prepaid trip expenses in some cases. Also, travel insurance plans with such provisions are way steeper than standard policies. The premium amount for such plans can go up to 10% of the entire cost of your trip.
6. Check the exclusions
Many destinations are all about adventurous experiences such as heli-snowboarding, heli-skiing, bungee jumping, surfing, and skydiving. If you want to indulge in such activities make sure your single-trip travel insurance plan covers injuries and medical expenses related to them. In some cases, you may have to buy add-on covers for extra coverage.
7. Learn how to file a claim
To make a claim, you require certain documents. Knowing the requisite documents for filing claims helps because you then know what receipts and other documents you must save for seamless claims.
8. Watch out for other exclusions
Your travel insurance does not cover all your trip expenses. So, you should be aware of the exclusions of your policy. For example, some insurers require the policyholder to contact them for approval before covering a travel emergency. Therefore, it is best to go through the various clauses and look for exclusions.
9. Examine the fine print
Travel insurance covers much more than your travel expenses. Yes, you can get additional protection via travel insurance. Some travel insurance plans offer refunds if you do not get the services you signed up for. So, read the fine print to get the maximum benefit from your travel insurance.
10. Stay updated
Many people travel during the holiday season, increasing the possibility of cancelled flights. This makes it crucial to study the flight cancellation clauses to know how well you are covered.
Being well-prepared before jetting off to your holiday destination can save you a lot of time, effort and money. Among other things, do not miss going through your travel insurance document as part of your holiday preparation.
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