24 Mar 2016
Travel insurance is the all-purpose emergency coverage that you never hope to use.
It’s also one of the last things we do before going on holiday. And yet, when we do finally get around to it we’re confronted with a myriad of complex plans where making sense of all the clauses and exclusions becomes an achievement in itself.
The good news is that the average cost of travel insurance has fallen over the years, but like all insurance plans, having the wrong policy is almost as bad as having no insurance at all.
Here’s what to look out for in a great plan:
1. Medical expenses
Look out for a plan that includes a high coverage limit on your medical expenses. A good travel insurance policy will provide up to $100,00 in coverage including emergency medical and surgical treatment in addition to treatment which can be delayed until your return (according to medical opinion).
Likewise, your policy should cover emergency evacuation and care. For instance, if you were to break your leg in the middle of the bush, this provision would cover your evacuation to the hospital with the same form of coverage applying to natural disasters and political strife.
2. Lost, Damaged or Stolen Possessions
While lost baggage or stolen jewellery are common inclusions under this provision, a good insurance plan will include coverage for your electronics such as phones, laptops and cameras and have the option for a higher coverage limit.
Just remember that you will need to report all losses within a certain time period and get a written report from your airline carrier if they lose your bag.
3. Cancellation / Curtailment
If you’re left having to delay, cancel or even cut your travel plans short, a good insurer will cover your hotel bookings, flights and transportation bookings that you have paid for and can’t claim back.
There will be, however, different cover limits for the first twelve hours of delay and for every twelve hours after that.
4. Read Through The Exclusions
Exclusions are the number one subject of complaints to insurance providers, and certainly not something to skip over when it comes to assessing travel insurance.
Common exclusions to keep an eye out for include:
– Irresponsible behaviour
– Loss or injury suffered while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
– Emergency dental
– Unattended baggage or possessions
– Pre-existing medical conditions
– Emergency evacuation and care
– Adventure activities such as motorbiking, skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping and skiing
Plus: Making A Claim
If you’ve lucked out while away, no matter how reputable or expensive your insurer is, at the end of the day they’re an insurance company and are no hurry to hand over their billions of dollars.
Be patient and prepared to wait to receive your compensation. Keeping all your receipts, necessary forms, and proper documentation on hand will help make your claim go through a lot faster.