While planning a vacation we often come up with words such as adventure, romance, fun, entertainment, relaxation, and not accident, illness or emergency. Therefore, it is quite natural for many people to plan their international travel without considering the travel insurance. They do not even bother to think about the same unless they require one mandatorily.
Most countries do not mandatorily need travel insurance . However, if you are planning for the European or the American holidays, you sure do need one, as it is mandatory to have one to apply for the visa. In many cases, it is quite unnatural to make a claim every time you purchase travel insurance. Nonetheless, it is ill advised to make international traveling without one. The reason is the alarming costs of medical treatment in most of the foreign countries. Even a mere consultation with a doctor could put a hole in your wallet.
A travel insurance gives you access to cashless hospitalization, and if required, covers evacuation costs. The insurance further provides complete protection against unwanted mishaps such as loss of baggage, passport, trip cancellation/interruption, and other personal accountabilities. A few policies even pay for legal support should you need one in case of financial emergency. Spending a few hundreds of dollars will always help you travel under protection and if needed, receive the best service at all times. Therefore, it is important not to treat travel insurance as just another document required for your travel visa. Many people take the wrong step by choosing whatever the travel agent recommends. Though they might come at best deal, they do not provide you with all-round protection.
It is utmost important to understand your needs. With a few questions, you will be able to find the most suitable plan that will provide ample coverage and protection against all the glitches that you may face during your foreign trip.
The primary consideration is the destination that you are planning for your foreign trip. The location determines the size of the cover that you require for the entire stay. It is important that the insurance package stress more on medical emergencies. Decide on the coverage or the sum insured depending on the costs of medical services in the country or the destination that you are planning for your trip.
The premium payment depends on the destination and bases itself on the health costs. For instance, the premium for travel insurance is high for the United States, Europe, and Canada than much of South East Asia. Furthermore, given the history of the natural disaster occurring in Japan, the premium rates for that country are higher than any other country in the Asian continent.
The trip length also decides the premium that you would be paying for your travel insurance. Usually, the premium is high if your trip period is long. For example, for a coverage of $100,000 (sum insured) for a single trip for a 25-year-old male for eight days will cost between $34 and $71 with the plans segregated as basic, gold, and platinum. The coverage offered by these three plans change. Additionally, the prices shoot up with an extended stay.
Nonetheless, if you are a regular flyer and travel a lot within a year, then choosing the annual multi-trip policies will be advisable. These plans are valid for a complete year and will cover any number of trips within the specified time. Nonetheless, these plans have a cap of the duration of a single trip to a maximum of 45 days. An annual multi-trip plan is cheaper and suitable for avid travelers and business people who are on the move from time to time. Holding such a document also helps in avoiding inconvenience caused and the need to submit paperwork each time you prepare for your travel.
Travel insurance is the same for both leisure and business categories. However, the industry is maturing and will soon come out with plans that are more suitable for the two classifications. You can expect different pricing and coverage soon.
3. Things you will do
If you are heading for your trip as a sightseeing tour, then you can select a different policy then those who are heading out for some adventure. If your itinerary has trekking, water sports, skiing, and other such “adventure” activities, it is time to fill the gaps in the travel insurance. The regular plans will not cover such risks. However, you can request to add them at an extra cost.
Senior citizens can ask for policies that have special features such as existing illness coverage and additional special features such as accidental death and dismemberment cover.
For additional cost, you can add fire and burglary protection to your home for the days you would be traveling. It will ensure that you are protecting and covering your house as well.
The key to choosing the right travel insurance plan is comparing several of them from different providers. With plans offering different protection and benefits, the comparison will give an insight into the services and coverage provided. It is important to consider offering such as online services, toll-free number, claim procedures, hospitals covered, and payment options. Read the claim process thoroughly and prepare the necessary documents should you require a claim.
5. Factors that affect insurance premium
Sum insured = higher sum will attract higher premiums
Type of plan = Single trip, student, multi-trip, or senior citizen
Coverage = Add-ons such as cover for adventure activities, insurance for your home back at home for the trip duration, insurance for expensive goods and documents, which altogether increase the policy cost
Duration = trip duration, which also affects the total premium
Destinations = Countries such as USA, Canada, Australia, and the European Union have expensive medical care. Therefore, you end up paying more as your premium
Age and health = applicant’s age and current health parameters too add to the cost of the premium
To travel without worry and stay protected at all times, get yourself the best travel insurance by considering the information mentioned above. Plan ahead and travel safe!
Updated: May 28, 2016