When purchasing travel insurance policy for the first time, it can be tricky to know what should be included to make it a good policy. This article will guide you through what to look out for as a base. If you are looking to upgrade your current travel insurance policy, knowing what should be included already can also help you figure out if you are getting good value on your insurance or if you may need to switch insurance provider or policy.
Here are the key aspects which should be included in your travel insurance policy:
1. Trip Cancellations
Trip cancellation cover is hugely important for travelers as a cancelled holiday can result in a huge loss of money. It is not only flight cancellation insurance or missed flight insurance that should be included; Cruise fares, hotel rooms, boat rentals and tour packages should also be covered.
Oftentimes, travelers must pay for these expenses long in advance and the fees are non-refundable. Airline travel insurance is often inadequate and most airlines will try to find a reason to not reimburse you for your expenses. Without travel insurance, you are at risk of losing all of the money which you have already invested into your trip even if it cannot go ahead.
This is where trip cancellation insurance can help. With this included in your travel insurance policy, you can be reimbursed for all of your prepaid and non-refundable expenses if the trip cannot proceed.
Each insurance company provides a list of acceptable cancellation reasons which will be accepted if you make a claim. Here are the main covered reasons which should be included in your travel insurance:
- Sickness, injury or death of yourself, a family member or a travelling partner (the most claimed reason);
- Extreme weather conditions at your destination forcing flight cancellations;
- Unexpected redundancy from work or obligation to work;
- Obligation to carry out jury duty in court;
- Bankruptcy of your travel provider;
- Terrorist incident at your travel destination.
Of course, your insurance provider may cover far more than the situations above. As you can see, there is a plethora of different reasons for a trip having to be cancelled and, as such, it is extremely useful to have trip cancellation coverage.
Trip interruption insurance is similar to trip cancellation insurance, but instead will cover you for the same issues as the list above but while on your trip. Sometimes unfortunate situations can occur when abroad and can be very stressful. If something happens that requires you to interrupt your trip and return home early, your insurer can reimburse you for the lost expenses from the remainder of your trip as well as any additional expenses required such as a last-minute flight booking.
It is absolutely essential that trip cancellation and interruption cover are included in your travel insurance policy.
2. Lost/Delayed Arrival of Baggage and Delayed Flights
Delays occur quite commonly while travelling, whether it is a flight that is delayed or the arrival of your bags at your destination. These delays are unexpected and usually not too inconvenient, however if you are taking another mode of transport or a connecting flight at your destination you could be in trouble.
By ensuring that you are covered for flight and baggage delays in your travel insurance, you can be reimbursed for any lost expenses or extra costs which are incurred as a result of these delays.
If you need to make a flight delay insurance claim, your insurer will provide you with reimbursements for additional expenses such as an extra night in a hotel or your meals until your delayed flight can proceed. Flight insurance is very important and should definitely be included in your travel insurance cover, as the value of your flights can often be a large part of your overall trip expenses.
Luggage insurance is another essential to have. In the unfortunate event that your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged, you can be reimbursed up to the total value of your personal belongings affected, while baggage delay coverage will provide you with enough money to buy all your essential items needed until your bags arrive.
3. Medical Expenses
Medical expense coverage is an absolute essential for your travel insurance. Depending on your country of destination, travel expenses incurred while travelling can be far higher than at home and can cause quite a lot of stress if you run up a large medical bill. Travel accident insurance protects you for such a situation and will insure reimbursement for medical expenses during your trip.
Having overseas travel medical insurance becomes vital if you become ill while abroad or require any emergency treatment or care. Such circumstances are generally unforeseen and so having foreign travel health insurance is a must.
The key point to be aware of here is that you must inform your insurance provider about any pre-existing medical conditions that you have in order for a medical claim to be approved. It is not worth taking any risk; be fully honest with your insurer regarding any health conditions and avoid being caught later if they do not accept your claim.
4. Emergency Evacuations
Emergency evacuation expenses can be extortionate. Having cover for this would be particularly crucial if you have a severe accident while abroad and require an airlift or medical assistance on your flight home.
While this is not the most common of events to occur, it is good to have peace of mind by ensuring you would be covered in such circumstances just in case.
5. 24/7 Phone Assistance Services
Most travel insurance providers offer 24/7 contact services which you can use if you have any emergency while abroad and need to ask for assistance. This service can be extremely useful if you are unsure of what to do in case of an emergency.
If you have just lost your passport mid-trip or your bag has been stolen, having this number to call immediately will allow you to access the information you require regarding what you will be covered for and what to do next. It is very helpful having this guidance available if needed while abroad.
Other reasons why you might need to contact your insurer 24/7 might be to locate the nearest hospital, arrange transportation home, access emergency interpretation assistance or get help regarding lost or stolen baggage.
Travel Insurance Extras
Some other useful extras for your travel insurance policy include life insurance, extreme sport insurance, or rental car cover. While these are not viewed so much as essentials to be included in your policy, they can be a good idea depending on your plans for your trip and what activities you may participate in while abroad. If you are going skiing, for example, having Winter sports cover would be a must for you.
Make sure to have sufficient travel insurance that includes everything that you may need while abroad as well as all of the essentials discussed above.
If you need help in finding the right travel insurance policy for your next trip, let Ucompare.ie help you in your search. We make sure that you get the best insurance cover at the best price on the market using a fast and easy-to-use tool.